Elizabeth Holland ’13
Major(s): Theatre Arts, American Studies
Internship Site: Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival - New York, NY
I have always been interested in the Public Theater’s work, especially Shakespeare in the Park. After reading “Free for All: Joe Papp, The Public, and the Greatest Theater Story Ever Told” for a class, I was passionate about working somewhere that believed theater and art could make a difference. When I was researching internship opportunities, I found that The Public Theater hires several “Production Interns” to help with their summer season of free performances in Central Park. As a coincidence, one of my professors previously worked at the Public Theater and helped me contact the internship coordinator, which led to several interviews and eventually secured me the internship.
My favorite project was working on the 50th Anniversary Gala Performance of Romeo and Juliet starring Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline. The technical rehearsals were from 11:00pm – 3:00am and while everyone was exhausted, we all were thrilled to be working on such an amazing performance. The energy in the theatre was incredible and the event was extremely educational.
Working outside. There are countless challenges with working in an outdoor theater including turtles laying eggs backstage, birds making nests in the set, or raccoons running on stage during a performance. I learned that Production Management must always communicate with the Central Park Conservancy to let them know of any wildlife activity at the theatre. The weather was also something that theaters don’t normally have to worry about. For us, we had to worry about rain, thunderstorms, heat waves, etc. and how it affects the actors, crew, and equipment.
My experience working on Dickinson performances helped me the most with my internship. I knew how to work with a team and how important it was to have good work ethic. However, both my Lighting and Scenic Design classes helped me learn the technical skills needed to work in production at a professional theater.
I was able to meet and work with several industry professionals including Lighting and Scenic Designers as well as the staff of the Public Theater. Everyone who worked at the Public was not only good at his or her job, but also exceptional teachers. I never went a day without learning something new. In addition, I was also able to utilize the resources of the Public Theater and talk to staff members about my future goals and get advice on where to go after this experience.
Tips from Elizabeth:
While you are looking for internships, make sure to keep an open mind. If you see an internship that you may be at all interested in, apply and see what happens! Additionally, make sure to take an internship that you are really interested in at an organization you are passionate about. It makes going to work every day exciting and forces you to give your best effort during the internship.
*To find out more about how to get an internship, make an appointment with a career counselor. Just call the Career Center at 717-245-1740 or stop by Biddle House.