Now accepting applications for the 2024-2025 Apprenticeship program! All materials are due by March 22, 2024. Apprenticeships begin in September 2024 and last until the beginning of September 2025.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
Olney Theatre Center is committed to training the next generation of theatre makers and providing these training opportunities to individuals of all backgrounds and identities. Every year apprentices live on campus and train under our professional full-time staff (many of whom are apprentice alumni!) with key responsibilities in nearly every single department. Our apprenticeships are year-long, entry-level, full-time job positions where individuals forge connections within the theatre community, learn practical and professional skills, and get hands-on, real-world experience to build resumes and portfolios. Our program offers a space for early-career theatre artists to learn and work alongside professional technicians and administrators and participate in world-class productions. By the end of the apprenticeship year, we want our apprentices to feel confident applying to job opportunities in their chosen career tracks that they didn’t feel confident applying for prior to joining us. Our goal is to be excited to recommend our graduating apprentice class for future job opportunities.
As an Olney Theatre Center Apprentice you will…
- Live and work in a vibrant artistic community for a full season.
- Receive on-site dormitory-style housing at no cost (includes a shared bedroom, bath, common area, and kitchen).
- Take advantage of the Washington, DC metro area theatre scene, one of the nation’s largest theatre markets.
- Develop marketable skills and create contacts for future employment.
- Benefit from working directly with the resident staff, in addition to over 300
visiting professional artists.
- Participate in bi-monthly professional development classes with various staff members and industry professionals at Olney Theatre Center.
- Receive complimentary tickets to Olney Theatre Center productions and many
other DC area shows.
- Have shared use of company vehicles and free parking (also free for personal vehicles). Olney Theatre pays for gas and tolls for company cars for local area use.
- Complete a capstone project, demonstrating what they’ve learned at the end of the apprenticeship.
- Earn $225 weekly stipend.
HOW TO APPLY
1. Submit materials to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 22, 2024. What materials are appropriate? Standard materials often include a resume, cover letter, and three references (just contact info). Additionally, some people like to include links to portfolios or writing samples (Casting & Dramaturgy as well as Education & Engagement applicants should certainly plan on submitting samples). Some people like to send full letters of reference; that's great too. Most importantly, we want you to let us know: (1) who you are; (2) which apprenticeship position(s) you’re applying for; and (3) why you want to spend a year learning and working with us. So submit what you think will best tell us that.
2. Complete the Apprentice 2024-2025 Application portion. This form is strictly voluntary and asks for demographic information that helps us track who is applying to our programs so we can make future plans that serve our Anti-Racism Reaffirmation. You do not have to complete this form in order to submit your materials in step one, but collecting this data will help us get a better idea of who we're reaching. In order to complete the form, it'll ask you to create an account with us. We will never look at your individual answers to this form in regards to your application materials.
OLNEY THEATRE CENTER APPRENTICESHIP DESCRIPTIONS
The Production Management Apprentice works as a member of the Production office team with the Director of Production and Production Manager to ensure all Production Management needs are met in an efficient, timely, and professional manner. This apprentice assists in the daily operations of the Production Office, including receiving and processing purchase orders and check request forms, as well as managing production calendars, databases, policies, and files.
This individual also assists and shadows the Director of Production and Production Manager in meetings with production and creative personnel. Additional responsibilities include run crew assignments and serving as an emergency contact on campus. The Production Management Apprentice will be able to develop relationships with all the shops on campus and have the opportunities to work with other industry professionals like designers, directors, and technicians. They are often privy to conversations with higher-level staff members and get inside information about important decisions affecting the whole organization.
Candidates should be able to multi-task and establish priorities, be detail-oriented, have a valid driver's license, and be familiar with Microsoft Office and Google Drive. Excellent organization and interpersonal skills are a must. They should be comfortable completing tasks both alone and as part of a team. This position is appropriate for those working toward careers as Production Managers and General Managers.
The Company Management Apprentice is an essential member of the Administration Department, working directly with the Company Manager to ensure that all departmental needs are met in an efficient, timely, and professional manner. This apprentice serves as a primary contact to visiting artists, including assisting with travel and accommodations, attending to the needs of artists, executing hospitality with a smile, managing budgets, and maintaining company files.
This apprentice may also assist and shadow the General Manager and Associate General Manager in meetings with production, administration, and creative personnel. Additional responsibilities include run crew assignments and serving as an emergency contact on campus.
Candidates should be able to multi-task and establish priorities, be detail-oriented, have a valid driver's license and clean driving record, and be familiar with Microsoft and Google Suite. Excellent organization, interpersonal skills, and confidentiality are a must. Customer service experience preferred. Should be comfortable completing tasks both alone and as part of a team. This position is appropriate for those working toward careers as Company Managers, Production Managers, and General Managers.
MARKETING & ADVANCEMENT
The Marketing & Advancement Apprentice works with both the Marketing and Advancement departments to provide support for all marketing and fundraising campaigns, special events, and daily activities.
While working in the administrative offices, the apprentice learns the daily operations and responsibilities of both departments and has the opportunity to assist in all activities, from strategizing and creating social media posts to writing a grant application. The apprentice develops skills through communication with members of the press, vendors, patrons, board members, donors, foundation trustees, and corporate sponsors. The apprentice is integral to the running of both departments and gains training in Tessitura CRM software. There are also opportunities to explore work in graphic design and video. Additional responsibilities include serving as an emergency contact on campus and a production run crew assignment.
Candidates should be highly organized, have strong communication and interpersonal skills, and be able to multi-task and establish priorities. This apprenticeship is suitable for those working towards a career in Marketing, Communications, Fundraising or Development, or Arts Administration.
Electrics Apprentices work directly under the supervision of the Lighting Supervisor and Associate Lighting Supervisor to implement lighting designs for each production in multiple spaces. Apprentices also work alongside local and visiting lighting designers and other theatre electricians.
Responsibilities include load-in, hanging and focusing lights, troubleshooting problems, maintaining electrics equipment during production runs, and participating in all lighting strikes and changeovers. During show runs, they share the responsibility of maintenance and running the light board or follow spot. There are also opportunities to learn programming and patching. Additional duties include serving as an emergency contact on campus.
Experience working on electrics crews, programming ETC consoles, and all types of equipment is preferred. This apprenticeship is suitable for those working towards careers as Electricians, Lighting Supervisors, and Lighting Designers.
WARDROBE & COSTUME
Working directly with the Costume Shop Manager and Associate, Wardrobe Supervisor, and visiting designers, Wardrobe & Costume Apprentices assist in the construction and alteration of costumes. They also serve as wardrobe crew on productions, which includes cleaning, maintaining, and repairing costumes and wigs during the run of each show.
Wardrobe & Costume Apprentices handle some projects from inception to completion. Through participating in daily shop operations, apprentices strengthen sewing, construction, draping, and patterning skills, as well as wardrobe management. They also have the opportunity to shadow visiting designers and learn about design budgeting and planning. Additional duties include serving as an emergency contact on campus.
Applicants should have at least basic sewing skills. This apprenticeship is suitable for those working toward careers as First Hands, Cutters, Drapers, Costume Shop Managers, and Wardrobe Supervisors.
The Sound Apprentice works directly with the Sound Supervisor and Associate to implement the sound design for each production. When projections needs arise for a production, the Sound Apprentice also collaborates with the team to implement the projections design, as well. The apprentice also works alongside local and visiting projections designers, sound designers, and engineers.
Responsibilities include assisting with load-in, troubleshooting problems during tech rehearsals and performances, maintenance of audio and projections equipment during the run of productions, and participation in all strikes and changeovers. During production runs, the apprentice serves backstage as audio assistant on all our musicals (A2), and will get the opportunity to learn more about systems design and sound mixing. Additional duties include serving as an emergency contact on campus.
Experience working as an A1 and/or A2 and awareness of current sound boards and equipment is preferred. This apprenticeship is suitable for those working towards careers as Sound Engineers and Sound Designers.
The Properties Apprentice assists the Properties Supervisor and Properties Artisan in creating, building, and/or sourcing all props for all productions. As part of this, the apprentice will have the opportunity to work closely with all production departments and to meet and work with guest designers and directors. The apprentice has the opportunity to talk through designer visions and assists in shopping and decorating.
Duties may include creating prop lists, attending design meetings, pulling rehearsal props, research, shopping, restocking, maintaining inventory, and show prop builds. Builds are based on the needs of the shows, and the apprentice will have opportunities to do many different types of construction and management projects over the course of the apprenticeship. They will also help maintain inventory and running crew for several shows. Additional responsibilities include serving as an emergency contact on campus.
The ideal candidate should be comfortable with power tools, painting techniques, and working with fabric. Excellent email communication skills are required, and a valid driver’s license is a plus. This apprenticeship is suitable for those working toward careers as Properties Supervisors, Properties Artisans, or designers.
EDUCATION & ENGAGEMENT
The Education & Engagement Apprentice assists in the planning and implementation of the theatre’s community engagement and educational initiatives. The apprentice works with teaching artists to develop and conduct lessons, classes, and other school programs throughout the year. Additionally, the apprentice collaborates with the Director of Community Engagement in a variety of programs that deepen our ties to our local community, ranging from running panel discussions to organizing donation drives and coordinating special community events. This individual also helps facilitate post-show discussions and has an opportunity to work directly with students as a teaching artist. They are also involved in artistic season-planning conversations and assist with certain written materials like blog posts and study guides. In addition the apprentice also completes administrative tasks like departmental finance and data tracking. Other responsibilities include serving as an emergency contact on campus and a production run crew assignment.
Candidates should be able to multi-task and establish priorities. They should also be detail-oriented and familiar with Microsoft Office and Google Suite. This position is best-served by someone who can act as a liaison between multiple different stakeholders. Excellent written and verbal communication, organization, and interpersonal skills are integral. Graphic Design skills are a plus. This position is appropriate for those working toward careers as Arts Administrators, General Managers, Producing Directors, Education Directors, Community Engagement Managers, and Teachers.
Carpentry Apprentices work as members of the scene shop staff to construct and install scenic elements for all productions. They also serve as run crew for several productions. Using essential carpentry and construction skills, apprentices learn daily shop operations while observing how to maintain a full-season scene shop. They will also gain hands-on backstage experience in a professional environment. Additional responsibilities include serving as an emergency contact on campus.
Applicants should be comfortable using power tools and be comfortable lifting at least 50 pounds. This apprenticeship will hone new and resourceful methods of stagecraft and is suitable for those working towards careers as Carpenters, Technical Directors, and General Theater Technicians.
The Stage Management Apprentice works as an assistant stage manager or production assistant alongside Equity stage managers and actors. The apprentice begins working on productions during the Stage Manager’s prep week, assists in all rehearsals, and runs a backstage track during performances.
For each production, the apprentice may be assigned responsibilities such as tracking props, costumes, and sets, or making script revisions. When not assigned to a show, the Stage Management Apprentice may assist with office work and other areas of production.
Candidates should have excellent organizational and communication skills. This position is best suited for those working towards careers as professional stage managers.
CASTING & DRAMATURGY
The Casting and Dramaturgy Apprentice works with the Senior Associate Artistic Director and the Casting Director to help produce our season. This individual helps schedule and run all auditions for our shows and assists with producing artistic and community engagement events. The apprentice also creates original dramaturgical materials, including actor packets, program notes, and study guides. They have an opportunity to facilitate post-show discussions, write blog posts, and attend rehearsals. Additional responsibilities include serving as an emergency contact on campus and a production run crew assignment.
The apprentice also has the opportunity to work with the artistic team on various other artistic responsibilities, including season planning. By the end of the season, the apprentice will be familiar with the Actors’ Equity Association rulebook as well as day-to-day and season-to-season theatre operations.
Candidates should be able to work independently and be prepared to take on a large amount of responsibility with support. Candidates should exhibit strong discretion and interpersonal skills, excellent writing, research, and communication skills, and be able to multi-task and establish priorities. This position is appropriate for those working toward careers as Dramaturgs, Directors, Literary Managers, Casting Directors, Casting Agents, Producers, and Artistic Directors.