Learn from experienced, professional technicians, designers and administrators

Technical Director Megan Morey works with scenic interns.


Build your network

At the Great River Shakespeare Festival, interns learn from nationally known, professional theater artists. The people you work with every day can be the beginning of your professional network and important connections to graduate programs and further training.


Build your skills

In addition to hands on experience in a professional shop, experienced artists at GRSF offer interns workshops. In 2015, workshops included practical skills like molding, casting, rigging & knots and welding as well as soft skills young professionals need to move a career forward like looking at and applying to grad schools and URTA, creating a winning resume and portfolio, navigating interdepartmental communication, applying for jobs and writing cover letters.


Work with the best

At GRSF, we believe that part of becoming a great artist is becoming a great person. We are a company of artists, and we are part of a community. We value respect, empathy and compassion every bit as much as we value excellence, authenticity and innovation.

We all grow as artists by working with other great artists. We are currently in the process of hiring for 2018. Here are the professional theater artists you would have worked alongside in 2017.

Ready to apply?

Join us for the summer of 2018


  • Use this link to fill out the 2018 GRSF Intern Application
  • Please email your cover letter and resume as a single pdf to
    • Help us get your application to the right person by making the subject line of the email and the name of the pdf the title of the internship followed by your name (i.e., “Education: Jane Smith” “Text Coach/Dramaturgy: Lonnie Rodriguez” or “Stage management: Will Shakespeare”)

About GRSF


Our Vision

The premier place to experience Shakespeare’s stories as our own.

Our Mission

To create dynamic, clearly spoken productions of Shakespeare’s plays, which enrich people’s lives.

To accomplish our mission, we:

  • Engage and sustain a highly skilled company of theatre professionals including Equity Actors.
  • Seek and treasure patrons and partners who value and support the Festival’s commitment to bringing Shakespeare to the people and making artistic excellenceaffordable.
  • Contribute to the region’s vitality and prosperity.
  • Provide educational opportunities for learners of all ages and backgrounds.
  • Stage plays by other playwrights and encourage artistic events of high quality.
  • Explore Shakespeare’s language and themes in order to engage people of all ages and backgrounds in conversation relevant to their lives, community, and world.

Our Core Values

In all we do, we are passionately committed to:

  • Respect, empathy, and compassion
  • Excellence, authenticity, and innovation
  • Outreach and education
  • Accessibility and affordability
  • Honesty, responsibility, and accountability
  • Diversity and inclusiveness

Frequently Asked Questions

What does an intern do?

Interns support the festival through their hands-on work in various roles, including carpenters, stitchers, electricians, videographers, assistant stage managers, etc.  This includes work in the shops as well as supporting the productions as run and changeover crews in performance. Interns also have the opportunity to design and build the Apprentice/Intern Production.

Through this experience working alongside professionals in each area, our interns gain valuable skills and insight into the professional world.

What qualifications do I need to be an intern?

Generally interns are expected to have a basic level of skill/knowledge in their area prior to starting at GRSF.  This might include, for example, a basic knowledge of materials and an ability to use standard tools (table saw, miter saw) for Scenic Interns, or a basic ability to sew both by hand and with machine for Costume Interns.

In general, interns will be working at a college or graduate level in their area and have the intention of becoming a professional theater artist.

What is the time commitment?

Interns are expected to start on May 8th or 9th (dependent upon area).  Most contracts finish upon completion of Strike, August 2nd; please contact us if you have specific questions.  If conflicts during the summer arise, we are usually able to accommodate for short absences; if conflicts are known about in advance, please do bring it up in your application or in an interview, as we will often be able to accommodate in advance.

Internships are a full time commitment with regular days off during the employment period.

How much do internships pay?

  • Interns are paid a stipend of $175/week.
  • Housing is provided – each intern will have a single bedroom in a 4-person suite, in which they share a living room/kitchen (between 4 people) and a bathroom (between 2 people).  Internet and cable are provided – you must provide your own computer/TV/cables/etc.  All other standard items such as linens, pots and pans, dishes, etc., are also provided.   
  • Travel is must be arranged and paid for by the intern.




Are there other learning opportunities in the internship?

2016 Intern/Apprentice Company production: Coriolanus

2016 Intern/Apprentice Company production: Coriolanus

Interns also have the opportunity at various times throughout the summer to participate in workshops led by professionals within the company. Workshop topics are determined at the beginning of the season, dependent upon the interests of the interns.  Past workshops have included Resume Evaluations, Portfolio Reviews, Molding and Casting, Rigging, Welding, and Paint Techniques.  Workshops are open to all interns, regardless of department.

In addition, interns work as designers and/or lead construction crew in all technical areas for the Intern/Apprentice Production. This production runs alongside the professional company productions for the last week and a half of the season.


What is a typical day for an intern?

For production interns, the summer is generally comprised of 3 parts: Build Period (5 weeks), Tech (3 weeks), and the Rep Period (all of July) followed by Strike. 

  • Production Interns begin work in early May for a five-week build period.  During this time the Scenic/Lighting/Sound/Props shop works 6 days per week, 8 hours per day (with standard breaks and lunch hour); hours may adjust slightly depending on needs, but will not extend past the set number per week.  
  • Mid-June we enter a three-week period of Technical Rehearsals, during which a typical day may be 10-14 hours, six days per week.  Production interns serve as crews for running all three mainstage productions; examples of crew assignments include Fly-Rail, Deck Crew, Light Board Operator, Follow-Spot Operator, etc.  
  • Once all three productions are open (end of June), the schedule shifts to running shows and performing change-overs (one or two per day, 6 days a week).  

It is during this Rep Period (all of July) that the interns are also spending their free-time working on the Intern/Apprentice Production (optional), which opens the 3rd week of July.  The season concludes with three days of strike during the first week of August.

What do former interns say about the program?

We can’t speak for everyone, but here is what Avery Regan (Lighting Intern, 2016) had to say to future interns:

To the Future Intern at the Great River Shakespeare Festival,

My name is Avery Reagan, and I served as one of the two Lighting Interns with the Great River Shakespeare Festival during their 13th Season in the Summer of 2016. First off, let me congratulate you for choosing to apply to such a wonderful company. GRSF is truly one of the greatest theatre establishments I had the pleasure of working with so early in my career.

I’m writing to inform you about the process and expectations you will have as an Intern. The GRSF is built upon hard work, long hours, and high standards for theatre. I will not sugarcoat the reality of all the work you will put in throughout the summer. Once you arrive in early May, you work all summer until you move out in August. Be expected to show up early and be held accountable (with donuts) if you’re late. If you choose to participate in the Apprentice/Intern Production later in the season, be expected to work after your normal work schedule. It is not unheard of to work a full day with the mainstage productions and then work several hours on your own production.

Coffee is available, don’t worry.

It should be known that you are an intern and not a professional technician or designer. You will be held to high standards, but not impossible ones. This company encourages education amongst its members. If they wanted to hire professionals to do the work, they would have. While working in the various shops early in the summer, you will undoubtedly be asked to do something you’ve never done before. You will never be asked to do something you’re not comfortable with, but I encourage you to ask questions and learn something new if and when that situation presents itself to you.

Take advantage of every opportunity presented before you throughout the summer. The GRSF provides you with workshops, tutorials, and hands-on experiences to better your skills in the theatre. Basically, be a sponge and soak up as much knowledge as you can. There are other members in the festival besides interns. The company is full of professional technicians, designers, actors, directors, managers, and artistic geniuses who have been working in the industry for some time. They know what they’re talking about. Befriend them and listen to what they have to say.

I would highly encourage you to participate in the Intern/Apprentice Production. This was probably my favorite part of the whole festival. The production is viewed similarly to that of a mainstage production. You will be given a small budget, small inventory items, scheduled deadlines, and weekly production meetings. Some Interns choose to work in a different field than what they were hired (ie. a Costume Intern wants to work as the Scenic Designer), and some choose to try something different in their own field (ie. a Lighting Designer would like to be the Master Electrician). I served as the Lighting Designer for Coriolanus and was mentored by the Festival’s Head Lighting Designer, Lonnie Alcaraz. No matter what field you will be working in during the festival, take the time to get to know the designers. And if one of them offers to mentor you throughout the Intern/Apprentice Production, you take that offer. You can thank me later.

If I could pick one piece of advice I gained from the process of designing Coriolanus, it would be to remain positive and be creative with your inventory. It is easy to look at the size of the budget or the quality of materials you’ll have to work with and immediately think about all the design ideas you can’t do, but I encourage you to look at your inventory and view the possibilities of what you can do. You will be surprised to learn that you won’t end up sacrificing much of your original design.

In my opinion, the Great River Shakespeare Festival is one of the greatest Summer Repertory Theatre Festivals in the Midwest. They respect their workers’ time, they encourage you to stretch yourself and try new things, they support you when work can become stressful, and they go above and beyond to make sure you are gaining something from your experience. Be prepared to work. I promise your payoff will be sweet.

Welcome to the GRSF Family,

Avery Reagan

Video production interns assist professional film maker Christopher Gerson

Read more

Internships in all areas

Company Mangement Internship

The company manager of a theatre entails all the day-to-day needs of the acting, design, and technical company members. At GRSF it includes being the liaison with WSU for housing, booking airline tickets and arranging rides from the airport, orchestrating furnishings, and dealing with any special needs and requests. You could also be asked to help with party planning, tech meals, mail delivery, chauffeuring, and being on-call when the company manager is unavailable. We also work very closing with a volunteer organization named Friends of Will who helps up with these various needs. In order to succeed your skill sets should include: working well with other, self-motivation, skilled communicator, and organized. You need to be comfortable working in a fast-paced environment and able to spot and solve problems quickly.

Scenic Internship

Scenic internship.

Lighting Internship

Lighting internship.

Props Internship

Props internship.

Costume Internship

Costume internship.

Sound Internship

Sound internship.

Video Internship

Video interns assist on all aspects of video production at GRSF which extend far beyond the archival and documentary recording done at all theaters. Working under the guidance of experienced professionals from our company like Christopher Gerson (Darwin: The Series) and Benjamin Boucvalt GRSF’s video team has created a YouTube channel with over 300,000 views. Promotional videos include trailers as well as creative projects such at the Real Housewives of Shakespeare and Dumb Ways to Die in Shakespeare. On Facebook, The Great Shakespearean Bakeoff got more than 85,000 views in the final 3 weeks of the 2017 season. Video interns also help with photography, graphic design and social media.

There are two video interns, one paid and the other unpaid. Interns often progress from the unpaid to the paid position or to other positions within the festival. Candidates need familiarity with Final Cut Pro and have experience shooting and editing video.

Box Office Internship

The Box Office staff members are an integral part of the Administration Team, and work closely with the Marketing & Sales Manager to successfully sell tickets and Season Passes to patrons of the festival. Box Office staff members are often the first line of interaction a patron has with the festival, and so are vital to its success. Box Office staff will have the opportunity not only to learn and successfully utilize customer service management software, but also participate in specialized workshops focused on expanding their knowledge of arts administration from marketing to development to finance.  Customer service and retail experience is extremely helpful, but not required.

This internship offers valuable learning opportunities to work closely with festival administrative staff as well as other departments within the theater.

Marketing Internship

The Marketing Intern assists the Marketing and Sales Manager with content creation, sales campaigns, and materials distribution throughout the GRSF season. The Marketing Intern is often entrusted with taking over the festival social media content during the height of the season, and being on-site during events to post or go live when necessary. They will be trained in other administrative duties alongside fellow administrative interns, as well as work closely with the Video Team to create exciting new content for the festival. Successful Marketing Interns are independent self-starters with excellent writing skills, familiarity with Adobe Creative programs, outgoing, and willing to collaborate with other company members.

This internship offers valuable learning opportunities to work closely with festival administrative staff as well as other departments within the theater. The Marketing Intern will also lead the marketing campaign for the Intern/Apprentice Production.

Stage Management Internship

Stage management internship.

Directing Internship

Directing interns assist in the rehearsal hall as needed by the director for each production. Responsibilities include note taking, research and text work. This is largely an observational internship which gives young directors the opportunity to watch experienced professional actors, designers and directors move through an entire rehearsal process and into performance.

Assistant directors develop and present our Pre-show Conversations which give audiences an introduction to the play a half hour before every performance. ADs may also help with understudy work, help create and rehearse our free outdoor, bar and Facebook Live performances, assist in setting up and running season auditions, help develop playbill, website and other educational material about each production, and other duties as they arise in the course of the season.

Dramaturgy/Text Coach Internship

Dramaturgy/Text Coach internship.

Education Internship

Education internship.