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 yearlong 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 Summer 2019 Carpentry Apprentice, Chenelle Foster!
What is the path that brought you to OTC?
I was trying to find a summer job in theatre so I could get some hands-on experience, and I was basically just googling "summer theatre jobs in Maryland" and checking job sites like “offstagejobs”. I saw a listing for a summer carpentry apprentice at OTC. So I emailed JKJ (Jason King Jones) and Jenna with my resume and cover letter, they set up an interview, and a week after that I got the job.
What are you working on right now?
Currently, I am on run crew for Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical. We are extending the run so I'll be doing that for about 3 more weeks. I am also helping with the build for Tiger Style!, which we are just about finished with. After that, we will start to build for Cabaret.
What is something you are looking forward to?
I am really looking forward to Cabaret because it will be the first show in the Mainstage that I will be involved with the whole build for. I came on for the very end of the build for Matilda and I got to build Tiger Style! (which is in the Lab), but this will be the first Mainstage show that I get to be a part of the build from start to finish.
What's special about Olney Theatre Center?
I think the special thing about OTC is the environment. It's such a great place to work and learn, and everyone is all about transparency and understanding. There is a huge emphasis on working together to get things done because we are all working towards the same goal. It's overall just a safe space to learn and grow and really hone your craft.
Why the scenic apprenticeship?
Well I love to build things, and have since I was a little kid. When I was in high school, I was on a robotics team and building and creating things has just been a passion of mine ever since. When I went to college, I definitely knew I wanted to focus on the technical side and I was able to use a lot of the mechanical skills I had previously acquired to work on the construction of the sets and I truly enjoyed it. So, when I was given the opportunity to be a scenic apprentice, I jumped at the opportunity.