ABOUT THE PROGRAM
This is a year-long commitment, lasting from June to June or September to September, depending on the department. Each class of full-time apprentices plays an essential role in Olney Theatre Center operations. Working in every facet of the organization, apprentices learn standards of professionalism while building their resumes and portfolios and forging connections within the theater community.
Our program offers emerging theater artists a bridge between the university and the profession, developing each individual’s skills by working alongside world-class designers and directors. Apprentices also have the opportunity to work with the Director of Education to complete a Capstone Project tailored to enhance their individual goals.
For more information on the program and to see how the current apprentice class lives and works, check out the Apprentice blog for more info on past apprentice classes and our current blog for a spotlight on current apprentices.
As an Olney Theatre Center Apprentice you will…
- Live and work together in a vibrant artistic community. On-site housing includes shared bath, common area, and kitchen.
- Take advantage of the Washington, D.C. theatre scene, the nation’s second largest theatre market.
- Live on campus for a full season, either from June to June or September to September, depending on your department.
- 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.
- Receive complimentary tickets to Olney Theatre Center productions and many other D.C. area shows.
- Earn $155 weekly stipend.
- Have shared use of company vehicles.
Artistic and Casting • Carpentry • Company Management • Costume • Dramaturgy • Education Administration • Electrics • Marketing and Development • Production Management • Props • Sound • Stage Management
Descriptions for each apprenticeship are listed below:
ARTISTIC AND CASTING
The Artistic & Casting Apprentice works with the Associate Artistic Director/Casting Director and visiting directors to help cast each Mainstage production as well as with the AAD/CD and Senior Associate Artistic Director/Director of National Players to cast the National Players Tour three-show repertory season. The individual schedules and attends all local auditions and also works with the artistic team to prepare for out-of-town auditions. The apprentice maintains casting files while assisting the Company Manager with actor contracts and guest artist logistics.
The apprentice also has the opportunity to work with the artistic team on various other 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 theater operations.
Candidates should be able to work independently and be prepared to take a large amount of responsibility. Strong communication and interpersonal skills are a must. This position allows the apprentice to direct their experience to suit their individual interests and is appropriate for those working toward careers as Casting Directors, Casting Agents, Artistic Directors, or Directors.
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 gain hands-on backstage experience in a professional environment.
Applicants should be able to use power tools and lift at least 50 pounds. Experience working with metal and having a valid driver’s license is a plus. This apprenticeship will hone new and resourceful methods of stagecraft and is suitable for those working towards careers as Master Carpenters, Technical Directors, and General Theater Technicians.
The Company Management apprentice is an essential member of the Production 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 the frontline of visiting artists, including assisting with guest artist travel and accommodations, greeting out-of-town artists upon arrival, attending to the needs of artists, drafting contracts, corresponding with agents, arranging complimentary tickets, and maintaining production files.
This apprentice may also assist and shadow the Director of Production in meetings with production 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 be familiar with Microsoft Word, Excel, and Quickbooks. Excellent organization and interpersonal skills are a must. Should be comfortable completing tasks both alone and part of a team. This position is appropriate for those working toward careers as Company Managers, Production Managers and General Managers.
Working directly with the Costume Shop Manager, Costume Design Manager, and visiting designers, Costume Shop Apprentices assist in the construction of costumes. They also serve as wardrobe crew, which includes maintaining and repairing costumes and wigs during the run of each show.
The Costume Shop 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.
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 Dramaturgy Apprentice has the unique opportunity to serve as Dramaturg for all productions at Olney Theatre Center, under the guidance of the Director of Education. On occasion, an external professional Dramaturg is brought in for a production, and the apprentice assists them in the dramaturgical needs of that show. The apprentice creates original dramaturgical materials, including program notes, study guides, research websites, lobby videos, and blog posts. They are also expected to provide in-room support during the rehearsal process and lead occasional talkbacks following performances. Additional responsibilities include company management coverage and a run crew assignment.
Candidates should exhibit excellent writing, research, and communication skills. The strongest candidates are self-motivated, able to multitask, establish priorities, and anticipate the needs of a process. Graphic design and website skills are a plus. This position is appropriate for those working toward careers as Dramaturgs, Directors, and Literary Managers.
The Education Administration Apprentice assists in the planning, implementation, and daily operations of Olney Theatre Center’s education department. The apprentice is an integral part of our summer camp programming and works with teaching artists to develop and conduct workshops, classes, and interviews with local students throughout the year. The apprentice works directly with local schools to coordinate and host student matinees and assists the Arts Integration Manager in the “Our Play” and “My Monologue” programs, serving as both classroom and administrative support. The apprentice also maintains the departmental budget as well supports the operations of OTC’s touring company National Players. Additional responsibilities include company management coverage and run crew assignments.
Candidates should be able to multi-task and establish priorities. They should also be detail-oriented and familiar with Microsoft Word and Excel. This position is appropriate for those working toward careers as Production Managers, Producing Directors, Education Directors, and General Managers.
Electrics Apprentices work directly under the supervision of the Master Electrician and Associate Master Electrician 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.
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, Master Electricians, and Lighting Designers.
MARKETING & DEVELOPMENT
The Marketing & Development Apprentice works with both the marketing and development departments to provide support for all 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, as well opportunities to explore work in graphic design and video.
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, Development, or General Arts Administration.
The Production Management Apprentice works directly with the Director of Production to ensure that 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, contact sheets, databases, policies, and files.
This individual also assist and shadow the Director of Production in meetings with production 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 be familiar with Microsoft Word, Excel, and Quickbooks. Excellent organization and interpersonal skills are a must. Should be comfortable completing tasks both alone and part of a team. This position is appropriate for those working toward careers as Production Managers and General Managers.
The Properties Apprentice assists the Properties Master in creating, building, and/or sourcing all props for the Mainstage season and will have the opportunity to work closely with guest designers. 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, and research. Additional responsibilities include coordinating props rentals and maintaining inventory and running crew for several shows.
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 Masters or designers.
The Sound Apprentice works directly under the supervision of the Sound and Projections Supervisor to implement the sound design for each production. The apprentice also works alongside local and visiting sound designers and engineers.
Responsibilities include assisting with load-in, troubleshooting problems during tech rehearsals, maintenance of audio equipment during the run of productions, and participation in all strikes and changeovers. During production runs, the apprentice works with the Sound Engineer to maintain the show, while serving as audio assistant on musicals and front-of-house engineer on straight plays.
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.
Stage Management Apprentices work as assistant stage managers and run crew alongside Equity stage managers and actors. Apprentices begin productions during the stage manager’s prep week, assist in daily rehearsals, and run shows through closing performances.
For each production, apprentices are assigned responsibilities such as tracking props, costumes, or sets, or making script revisions. When not assigned to a show, stage management apprentices 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. Apprentices are eligible to join the Equity Membership Candidacy Program, potentially leading to full membership at the end of their term.
We are still accepting applications for the 2019-20 Carpentry (summer and full-time) apprenticeships. If you are interested, please send a resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please check back for more information about 2020-21 apprentice applications in January 2020.
Please note: Olney Theatre Center is strongly committed to affirmative action throughout its Apprentice programs. In particular, the company recognizes a critical need to offer training opportunities to minority students and aspiring professionals who wish to enter the field of theater arts. As part of this commitment, Olney Theatre Center strongly encourages people of all backgrounds, experiences, abilities, and perspectives to apply.