Olney Theatre Center believes that arts education plays an essential role in our nation’s cultural health. That’s why in addition to our arts integration program, we offer apprenticeships. The apprenticeship program is a year long experience intended to offer emerging theater artists a bridge between university and the profession. For one year, 16 apprentices live and work on OTC’s campus in every facet of the organization. Meet our Marketing and Development apprentice, Taylor Lamb!
Marketing and Development Apprentice
Hometown: Virginia Beach, VA
What is the path that brought you to OTC?
Literally Google! I discovered that apprenticeships were something that even existed on the internet, and they seemed like an amazing way to help bridge the gap between my college education and a professional career. I stumbled upon Olney Theatre Center through a google search for DC Area theaters and thought the apprenticeship sounded great. I then got the chance to talk to some 2017-18 apprentices at the DC Arts Intern Fair at the beginning of this year. They had wonderful things to say, and that really encouraged me to apply.
What are you working on right now?
Being the Marketing and Development apprentice is interesting because it’s two different departments (with a ton of overlap, of course) with a lot of output and repeated tasks for every show. So I may have some long term projects but then I also have some things I have to do every day over and over. Right now, a large part of what I do is help with the blog (yes, this very one you’re currently reading). I’m writing the press release for Once. I’m working on my first grant! We have our annual gala in May and we’re sort of constantly working on that, and have been since I started here. I’m always working on social media, and trying to come up with new fun things to post (especially on Instagram. Follow us @olneytheatre). I just finished this project in which I was comparing our sales for all of our musicals, and that was a lot of fun and challenging for me because Math and Excel have never been my strong suits. And I’m always in conversation with my bosses about what more responsibilities I can take on as I grow in the position.
TL;DR: I have lots or projects, big and small. And I love them all!
What is something you are looking forward to?
I am so excited for Oil in the spring. The script itself is amazing, and I can’t wait to see what we do with it. And as far as my position, it’s a show written by a woman, directed by a woman, about women, and it’s running during women’s history month! I am really excited about ways we can explore that on the blog and on social media, and I’ve honestly been thinking about that since I got here in July.
What are you planning to do for your Capstone?
We haven’t completely decided yet but we’ve talked about a couple things. One thing is me writing a grant completely, from start to finish, which I’d really love to do. Another possibility would be me planning an opening night party, from the budget to the food to the table cloths! (You’d be surprised about all that goes into that). Like I said, we have our annual gala coming up in May and we’ve talked about ways I can take on a lot of responsibility in that to make it fit my Capstone. There’s a lot of different things in the works and I’m honestly excited for all of them!
What’s special about Olney Theatre Center?
Something I have been in awe of since I got here is how accessible all of the senior staff is, and how much they want to see the apprentices succeed. And not just in our work here, either. I’m fortunate to work in two departments and therefore have two department heads who can mentor me and answer any questions I have. But it’s not just them. Our Managing Director and Artistic Director usually sit in offices with their doors open, and encourage us to come and ask questions. Everyone on staff is open to us asking to learn more about what they do, even if it’s not the discipline our apprenticeship is in. They are constantly asking “How can we help you reach your next step? What do you need from us?” I’ve never worked at another theatre but just from conversations with others, I don’t think that’s the case everywhere. That’s something super special, and it makes me so grateful to work here.
My biggest goal in life is to create art that impacts social change, and I don’t know anything that can do that better than theatre. It’s the only art form which you can connect with people directly, and include them in whatever story needs to be told. It’s something new every night, and each audience member can have a completely different experience, and each one is valid. I can’t think of anything more magical than that.