A Day in the Life of an Intern at the Rep

Seattle Repertory Theatre Interns Blog

Thursday, March 15, 2007

'Ware The Ides of March

Today is the DEADLINE for applications. Get them in the mail today!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Well this week in SM is going pretty well. We’re busy, busy, busy. I am working on Fire on the Mountain right now, which happens to be my final show at the Rep. It’s pretty exciting to be almost done here but it is also incredibly sad as I will miss this place a lot. Not that I am going very far. I am going just across the street to the Intiman Theatre to be the ASM on Skin of Our Teeth and A Prayer for my Enemy. I will be working with Lisa Chernoff, who was the Stage Manager for Memory House which was the show I completed before beginning Fire on the Mountain. It’s very exciting to know that I now have employment for the summer where I will be receiving a nice paycheck :).

As for the show…it’s always good to sit through because the music is always entertaining and the audience just LOVES it. The other thing that is exciting about the show is that you never know what’s going to happen, sometimes people forget words and other times their mics go down. It’s always a little bit of a gamble and the show is never the same two days in a row.

Sarah & Deb (my partners in crime) are also extremely busy. Sarah is working on My Name is Rachel Corrie. They began tech on Sunday and they have their first invited performance this evening. Deb is in the midst of rehearsals for Gem of the Ocean. This is their second week of rehearsals and they are doing wonderfully (I think).

There are always weeks in stage management when you are ready to pull your hair out but I think that this week, although stressful for some, has been a good week for us. I believe that we have all achieved something this week that we have been incredibly proud of. For Deb, I think the fact (and correct me if I am wrong Deb) that she has taken on such an immense project with being in charge of millions of props in Gem. And Sarah who has is right in the middle of teching a very emotional and complex play. And then for me, beginning the second week of the Fire run and preparing to move on to my first show as a professional stage manager. We all know that when life gets crazy and stressful, it’s the weeks when you feel great about what you have done that really count.

Tammy Batiste
SM Intern

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Communicating with the Angry

I was just given the assignment of typing up a letter to an irate rabbi who had disagreed with some aspect or another of our production of My Name is Rachel Corrie. It was a fun break in my day to be able to see what the big wigs are doing about the controversy.

It was fun to go looking for the Artistic Director, David Esbjornson, who had wandered off in “that direction” but not officially engaged in any meetings at present. I found him in the hallway talking with Fran (our Fearless Leader) about going to the gym. Life is so lovely and ordinary sometimes, I love it! But I was actually hunting him down to approve and sign the aforementioned letter which is trying to keep a potentially volatile situation under control.

As he was reading it over, Ben Moore (Managing Director) walked by and said “Are we meeting in hallways now?” and I got to watch these two great leaders of the organization read over the letter and sign off. It was fun to be in the thick of things just for a moment, even if I was just the typist and courier.

That’s all from Communications right now. I’m off to the company meeting! We might have a season for next year. Shh!!!


Monday, March 12, 2007

A Letter from a Stage Management Intern

Hi Chimmie,*

Sorry it's taken me so long to reply, but here I am!

So, my experiences here as an intern...

Overall, it's been extraordinarily beneficial to my development as a stage manager and as a theatre professional. I had worked a lot in university theatre and also in summer stock before I came here, and have found my time at the Rep to be an invaluable experience. People are forever using the phrase "bridging the gap" when they talk about moving into the professional world and it's really true. For me, this internship has been a great stepping stone into the world of regional theatre. Here, I've been able to grow in the way I work and to learn about how stuff actually happens at a professional level. As an SM, it's important to know what the Development or Communications departments do, because they are going to interact with your actors, and you don't generally have access to departments like these unless you're at a regional level. I have also been able to make some great contacts, which as I'm sure you know is one of the most helpful things in terms of getting work. A lot of people here have worked in New York, or know people there, so though it's Seattle, there is still an "in" into NY that way.

As an SM intern, I am assigned to 3 out of 9 shows in the season; two in the Bagley Wright (the larger theatre) and one in the Leo K (the smaller theatre). In the BW, there is an Equity Stage Manager and Equity ASM, and you are the third member of the team. In the Leo K, you are the ASM, though your official title is "intern." Though it depends on the stage managers you're working with, I would say we are basically treated as members of the SM team. I would also say we (interns) are all respected and treated by staff members in that same way. So for example, if the props master has a question about a note in a report, and comes down to the office but you're the only one there, they'll ask you the question. Don't get me wrong, you make coffee too, but I never ever felt like someone's coffee b**ch. We have a dishwasher here too—so no mug washing. :-)

As far as the stipend, it is totally possible to live on ___ a week. I also saved money from my summer work so that I could move cross-country and live here. Seattle isn't super expensive city when compared to New York or Boston or San Francisco. I am also pretty lucky and live in a house with 9 other people (it's very nice actually, and not as bad as it may sound), so I only pay 425/month which includes utilities. The Rep website has info. on where to live and how to look for housing. Wallingford and Ballard are good areas to check out. It's hard to have a second job as an SM intern, but you could try and find something to take on during the day when you are in performance.

Hopefully that information was helpful. Anyhow, let me know if I can answer any more questions for you.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Stage Management Intern

*Name has been changed to protect the innocent.

Friday, March 09, 2007

The Alleged 12th Intern


It’s me, Jenn, the fabled 12th Intern. It has been, and continues to be a whirlwind here in paint land. Whether I’m assisting the full time professional crew on the productions or working on my own projects, there is never a dull moment.

My half of this season started with a landscape using anything but a brush. It was a great mind-stretching experience as I foraged for anything and everything to push, pull, slosh, drop, drizzle, or smear the paint onto the canvas.

Deadline met, I moved onto the tin-foil lion sculpture extravaganza. Using somewhat experimental techniques, I forged a lion’s face out of tin foil and hot glue, covered it in “Kim Board” (you’ll have to ask), and proceeded to faux paint weathered pealing paint on “concrete” with lots of mossy goodness.

Step two: paint marble. Step three: paint lion’s head over marble as if the lion was carved from the marble. End product: super-sweet despite my inevitable weariness of the lion subject.

After that, I was a rusting machine. By which I mean, a machine which creates rust, not a machine that is rusting. Fire On The Mountain hit the shop, and I more or less headed-up the rusting efforts with assistance from my fellow intern, Angie. Fun with Ferris Sulfate, woo-hoo.

Then there was my portrait on velour. I took a self-portrait by Mengs and swapped the head for that of my dear friend, the lovely and talented Lawrence. Most onlookers were contented with just the value study, but eventually the day came to wash it over with color. All went home happy.

We are now on the cusp of painting a gigantic drop for Gem of the Ocean. Its HUGE, like 3 times the size of drops I used to paint in Duluth. It’s fantastic. And somehow the 4 of us (myself plus the three regular painters) are supposed to finish it in 3 days. Wish us luck!

Scenic Arts Intern, Part Deux

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Adventures in Teaching

Today I co-taught the Drama Intensive performance class. Drama Intensive is the big spring project here in the Education Department. Basically, we take two high school classes and transform them into a small theatre company. One class is all about acting and performance and each student is cast in an original show (written by Andrea Allen the Director of Education), and the other class is all about design and tech production and each students works on building either the set or the costumes. The project culminates in a performance on The Rep's Leo K stage in late May. As the Education Intern, I participate in this project in a variety of ways. I assistant teach both of the classes, and serve as the Assistant Director for the production.

Anyway, back to today. Unlike the beginning of the semester, when I sometimes felt like our classroom was a wild jungle, today's class went really well. Part of this was perhaps due to the fact that half of the students were out-of-town on a model UN trip, so the class was really small and intimate. (Or it could be that Scott and I are just ridiculously brilliant teachers who have brought enlightenment and wisdom to the masses.)

Anyhow, we used most of the class to have a group discussion all about embarrassing moments, gossip and rumors. Andrea is planning on using the material that we generate with these discussions in the script that she is writing for the class. The plot is loosely based on Sheridan's The School for Scandal but she is filling it with anachronistic tidbits (everything from the latest Britney headlines to our students' experiences in middle school.)

This afternoon I am spending my time processing internship applications, and getting some work done on my theoretical Romeo and Juliet costume design. "What, what?" you say. "Isn't this the Education Intern? What is she doing designing things?" Well, here's the deal. In the Drama Intensive design class, the midterm for the students will be working in a group to develop a design "pitch" for The School for Scandal set and costumes. These pitches will be integrated into the design for the show by the magical wizardry of our designers, and the students will spend the rest of the semester building the set and costumes for the Drama Intensive production in May. Jess Smith, Seattle Rep Teaching Artist and former Education Intern, (the lead teacher for this class) and I are working on developing a "model" presentation so the students can see what we're looking for. Hence, I am developing the costume design of a theoretical production of Romeo and Juliet which integrates the ruffles and jewels of the 16th century Elizabethan court with contemporary fashion. Denim pantaloons, perhaps?

Anyway that's the news from the Education Department.

Happy Spring!

Education Intern

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Can't Think. Face Hurts. Tired.

Just had the first day of rehearsal for Gem of the Ocean, directed by the magnificent Phylicia Rashad. I am officially no longer an intern--since I'm the Casting intern, I started and ended significantly earlier than everyone else. However, the Rep can't get rid of me that easily---I've been hired to freelance as Phylicia's assistant on this show.

Unfortunately, the general jubilation that this blog should be expressing is clearly well hidden under a blanket of fatigue. Tired, tired, tired. No longer making a whopping ___ dollars a week, but still exhausted. The artistic intern's rush into production is just that--a rush! You make the giant and seemingly unending actor packet, and as soon as it ends and you think you can just collapse into bed proud of a job well done, you have to get up and actually do the show you've been preparing for all that time.

Did I mention my face hurts? Maybe my hair, too. Yes, I'm sure I mentioned it. Theatre is so glamorous.

Wait, just got distracted by my fellow artsitic intern, Kati. It was very important we discuss the "ordering a pizza and watching tv" portion of the evening. But now she is busy learning about Russia, so I can continue blogging. Blog. Blog. Blog. I'm tired.

The read-through was great. They are always great. Not only do you learn so much about the play (often about things you didn't even know you didn't know), but it's so immediately invigorating to realize that you aren't doing this work on the text alone anymore--it's often your first glimpse at the other members of your team. Actors at the Rep are consistently wonderful, but somehow the wonderfulness of each new cast always manages to be a surprise. Wondefulness? Is that a word? I don't care...

After the read-through, we had the meet and greet where the cast and crew are able to meet the Rep staff members. There is always food (Thank God!) and the designers and directors give you a glimpse into their vision of the play. These meetings are welcoming for the cast and physically connect staff members with every show. It's important to feel that connection to each show--important to get that glimpse into the thought process. Sometimes you get so busy working that you feel a disconnect from the art. It all goes so quickly... TANGENT.

Okay, I'm done. Must go sleep and get ready for tomorrow. I need to do a little more research before rehearsal, so I need to be up earlier than I want to.

I hope any of this made sense. I know I didn't use a synonym for anything. Sorry. I assume you know that my tired may be affecting my writing.

Casting Intern '06-07 "grad"
Assitant to Phylicia Rashad for Gem of the Ocean