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W. Shane Oman

Production Director

What is your background?
I was born into a theater family. I’ve been working behind the scenes on productions since I was old enough to hold a hammer. It’s given me a really unique perspective because I’ve seen so many hundreds of productions that I understand them on an intuitive level. I have a degree in Theatrical Management from Columbia College Chicago, and I’ve worked as a director, designer, writer, manager, and general technical expert for dozens of theatrical and events companies.

So you’re an American. What brought you to Amsterdam?
Right out of school, I started working with a famous Chicago comedy theater called the Second City. I’ve worked with their national touring company, on their resident stages, and with their corporate communications department. Through them I was invited to work with Boom Chicago here in Amsterdam. I spent two years here in ’96 and ’97 as Stage Manager and Director of Corporate Events. In 2008 I returned to Boom Chicago as Assistant Artistic Director, and have been here ever since.

How has your theater work prepared you for working on corporate events?
I’ve worked on all kinds of different events – from classical theater to improvisation, and from corporate presentations to rock concerts – and in all of them the difference between a good event and a boring event comes down to what I call “flow.” In a play, the story provides the flow. If it doesn’t flow, you don’t follow the story. In a corporate event, if it doesn’t flow, you don’t hear the message. Understanding and managing the flow of an event is the key!

What do you enjoy most about working at Whistle & Bell?
My whole career has been focused on making audiences happy. When an event goes well, and everything flows smoothly, the audience leaves happy. And that’s the most satisfying thing to me.