Internships

Learn from experienced, professional technicians, designers and administrators

Technical Director Megan Morey works with scenic interns.

Connections

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.

Workshops

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.

People

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 2017. Here are the professional theater artists you would have worked alongside in 2016.

Why GRSF?

Ready to apply?

Join us for the summer of 2017

TO APPLY

  1. Please fill out the 2017 GRSF Intern Application
  2. Please click on each of the internships you are interested in below and follow the link to submit a RESUME and COVER LETTER. Please combine them into a single PDF document with your name as the title of the document. Submit one copy of your resume and cover letter to each of the areas in which you are applying even if this means multiple copies of the same document.

GRSF offers internships in the following areas:

SCENIC

COSTUMES

ELECTRICS

SOUND

STAGE MANAGEMENT

PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT

VIDEO CREATION/PRODUCTION

MARKETING

BOX OFFICE/FRONT OF HOUSE

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.

Video production interns assist professional film maker Christopher Gerson

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

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