Studio Theatre’s Apprentice Program is inspired by the concept of a “teaching hospital” and structured with two pillars in mind: on-the-job training and programmatic seminars and events. We see it as a partnership between Studio Theatre and the Apprentice – one that is mutually beneficial for all parties.
As a respected midsized theatre, Studio is both ambitious enough to provide invigorating programming and small enough to allow its Apprentices unique access to the Theatre’s artistic and administrative leadership. The work is rigorous and rewarding; Apprentices work together with the staff to fulfill the aspirations and goals of the organization.
The priority deadline has passed for apprenticeships in the 2023-2024 season. Applications submitted after April 1 will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
Overview: The Directing Apprenticeship is an immersive training experience, giving early-career directors and producers first-hand, practical experience with the artistic activities of one of the country’s most respected mid-sized theatres. Through frequent interaction with Studio Theatre’s guest artists and direct mentorship by the Creative Producer and Literary Director, the position provides a chance to learn from and work with established working directors, dramaturgs, and producers.
What You Will Do: The Directing Apprentice serves as an assistant director on plays in Studio’s Main Stage season and new play development projects, and provides active support to the Casting, Scouting, and Literary departments at Studio. Responsibilities include supporting the director and creative teams; assisting with understudy management for the season; maintaining shows; reading and evaluating play submissions; writing support materials; scouting local talent; and assisting in the day-to-day needs of the artistic department.
What You Will Learn: Studio’s Directing Apprentice will gain a deeper understanding of directing, strengthen their communication skills by working under pressure with people in multiple departments with differing work styles and priorities, build their leadership skills through problem solving, and learn practical artistic administration skills. Apprentices are also mentored through a year-long process to set and pursue their own learning goals to set them up for work after Studio.
Skills/Qualifications: Applicants much be creative problem solvers with directing experience and strong writing, research, and communication skills. Studio has hosted successful Apprentice candidates out of both undergraduate and graduate programs.
Additional Application Materials: Candidates for this Apprenticeship should submit up to five pages of critical writing that shows your ability to communicate original ideas in a clear and non-academic tone; at least one writing sample should be about a theatrical production.
Overview: The Producing/Community Engagement Apprenticeship is an immersive training experience, giving early-career directors and producers first-hand, practical experience with the artistic activities of on of the county’s most respected mid-sized theatres. Through frequent interaction with Studio Theatre’s guest artists and direct mentorship by the Creative Producer and Literary Director, the position provides a chance to learn form and work with established working directors, dramaturgs, and producers.
What You Will Do: The Producing / Community Engagement Apprentice serves as the lead assistant producer for Studio’s 2023-2024 season, and provides active support to the Community Engagement, Casting, Scouting, and Literary departments at Studio. Responsibilities include co-curating and producing show-specific programming to deepen audience engagement with our season; event planning and execution; reading and evaluating play submissions; supporting the budgeting and administration of the artistic department; writing support materials.
What You Will Learn: The Producing & Community Engagement Apprentice will both learn and practice Creative Producing, deepening their understanding of the relationship between available resources and artistic programming; learn how to effectively manage relationships with visiting artists; meaningfully engage with community members and observe the interplay between management and board governance; they will learn practical artistic administration skills; develop strong communication skills by working under pressure with people in multiple departments with differing work styles and priorities; build leadership skills through problem solving. Apprentices are also mentored through a year-long process to set and pursue their own learning goals to set them up for work after Studio.
Skills/Qualifications: Applicants should be creative problem solvers with directing, producing, and/or community organizing experience and have excelling writing, research, and communication skills.
Additional Application Materials: Candidates for this Apprenticeship should submit up to five pages of critical writing that shows your ability to communicate original ideas in a clear and non-academic tone; at least one writing sample should be about a theatrical production.
Overview: The Business Apprenticeship provides a unique opportunity to gain direct managerial insight and firsthand financial and operational experience at a mid-size theatre. The Apprentice will have the opportunity to learn from key decision-makers through direct mentorship with the Business Director, collaboration with the Management team, and by attending high level meetings alongside the General Manager and Executive Director.
What You Will Do: The Business Apprentice works closely with Studio Theatre’s entire Management team assisting in daily tasks as well as long-term institutional projects. Opportunities and responsibilities include: introductory bookkeeping and accounting duties like Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, and daily cash management; regular financial reporting including aiding in the preparation of the annual financial audit as well as prepping and documenting during the budgeting process; supporting the Theatre’s Board of Trustees by attending all meetings of the full Board and supporting key committee meetings; and providing general admin support to all staff. The Apprentice will often work cross-departmentally, collaborating on budgets, hiring, culture, and professional development programs.
What You Will Learn: This Apprenticeship affords a wide range of learning opportunities. The Apprentice learns real world skills that they can take to other theatres or industries by processing weekly Accounts Payable and Receivables, and helping run a busy office. Through the budgeting process, the Apprentice sees into every nook and cranny of running a theatre; How do we earn our money? How do we spend our money? By sitting in on high level meetings – Board Meetings, Board Committee Meetings, and Senior Staff, amongst others – the Apprentice gets a firsthand look at topics discussed at the top of an institution, as well as our decision-making process.
Skills/Qualifications: Applicants should be able to work with budgets and numbers, organize and interpret data, and be able to handle confidential information. Prior experience with Microsoft Office (particularly Excel), and with working with a diverse group of people in a friendly manner desired.
Overview: The Company Management Apprentice will have the unique opportunity to work across multiple departments and projects to experience how Studio Theatre supports visiting artists and staff members. The Apprentice will work directly with the Company Manager on contracting, season planning, and staff culture and while supporting visiting artists during their time at Studio Theatre.
What You Will Do: The Company Management Apprentice will work closely with the Company Manager and the General Manager to build and maintain relationships between the theatre and visiting artists. The Apprentice will support actor contracting, payroll, and housing. They will also help coordinate artists’ travel and hospitality. The Apprentice will get to see firsthand negotiations between actors, agents, and the theatre. Additionally, the Apprentice will support staff recruitment.
The Apprentice will collaborate with the rest of the Management team on supporting and executing company culture events and needs; support the Theatre’s Board of Trustees by attending all meetings of the full Board and supporting key committee meetings; and work closely with the Artistic and Production departments on successfully producing a six-show season.
What You Will Learn: This Apprenticeship offers real world skills and an inside look at what it means to be a Company Manager. This Apprenticeship will focus on relationship building, creative problem solving, and supporting individuals. The Apprentice will leave with a deep understanding of artists’ contracts, negotiation, and LORT guidelines.
Skills/Qualifications: Applicants should have a desire to work with artists and be service oriented. customer service oriented, willingness to help others, creative problem solving.
Overview: The Development Apprenticeship is an engaging, hands-on opportunity for an early-career individual interested in non-profit administration, specifically fundraising, institutional storytelling, and connecting artistic vision with fiscal stewardship. The Apprentice will receive broad exposure to Studio Theatre’s fundraising program, which provides roughly half of the operating income for the Theatre.
What You’ll Do: You will support the individual giving team implementing various fundraising campaigns, assisting with event logistics, and providing admin support through our database of 600+ donor households. You will have monthly mini-seminars with the Grants Coordinator learning the ins and outs of the grant writing process from initial inquiries to writing a mock grants proposal. You will also gain experience in cross-departmental collaboration, working with the marketing team, specifically to request design assets, build emails, and create social media content.
What You’ll Learn: You will learn database management through the arts CRM Tessitura, including pulling reports, looking up giving history, and ensuring proper data hygiene practices; various communication skills by drafting multiple forms of donor correspondence; board relations by supporting two board committees most concerned with fundraising; and event management through the planning and execution of donor events, amongst other responsibilities of a small non-profit fundraising team.
Skills/Qualifications: Applicants should have an interest in writing, fundraising, and digital systems; have good problem-solving and customer service instinct; and have flexibility for some evening and weekend work as required.
Overview: The Marketing and Communications Apprentice will receive a first-hand look at marketing and communications for a nonprofit theatre, working closely with all members of the marketing and communications department.
What You Will Do: Day to day responsibilities include: drafting, building, and sending marketing emails; maintaining a social media calendar, drafting content, and updating platforms; making updates to Studio’s website and building web pages; writing a variety of content, including social media posts, press materials, direct mail, and on-site collateral; assist with press/influencer outreach; brainstorm with the Marketing team on subscriptions and single ticket sales strategies throughout the season.
What You Will Learn: The Apprentice will receive training in the planning and implementation of key marketing operations including: creating and implementing email marketing strategies; press and media relations; social media and digital marketing creation; distribution of promotional material; archiving of all media and marketing collateral; grassroots marketing strategies; and researching new marketing opportunities.
Skills/Qualifications: Applicants should be comfortable with persuasive writing, have a working knowledge of Microsoft Office (Excel, Word), and have an interest in marketing and sales. Familiarity with social media platforms and best practices, digital marketing/email marketing platforms, website CMS, and database management are a plus, but not required.
Overview: Electrics Apprentices work directly under the supervision of the Lighting & Sound Supervisor to implement lighting designs for each production in multiple spaces. Apprentices also work alongside local and visiting lighting designers and other theatre electricians.
What You Will Do: You’ll participate in load-in, hanging and focusing lights, troubleshooting problems during tech rehearsals, programming and running board for tech rehearsals, maintaining electrics equipment during production runs, and participating in all lighting strikes and changeovers.
What You Will Learn: The main objective of this program is to teach Apprentices through hands-on experiences in a safe working environment. We make sure to offer direct opportunities to learn various skills including soldering, wiring practices, and an all-around electrics experience.
Skills/Qualifications: 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.
Overview: The Sound and Projections Apprentice works directly with the Lighting & Sound Supervisor to implement the sound design and projections design for each production. The Apprentice also works with local and visiting projections designers, sound designers and engineers.
What You Will Do: Assist with load-in, troubleshooting problems during tech rehearsals, programming and running board for tech rehearsals, maintenance of audio and projections equipment during the run of productions, and participation in all strikes and changeovers.
What You Will Learn: The main objective of this program is to teach Apprentices through hands-on experiences in a safe working environment. The Apprentice will learn about system routing and speaker placement, as well as audio mixing a musical and other A2 responsibilities. There will also be an opportunity to experience system tuning using the Smaart program. This is a chance to see how different productions have different sound needs, and how the sound department accommodates them.
Skills/Qualifications: 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.
Overview: The Production Management and Rentals Apprentice works closely with the Production Management Team and the Rentals Manager to learn what it takes to effectively manage a busy production department in a professional non-profit theater environment.
What You Will Do: As the Production Management and Rentals Apprentice, you will work to expand and develop your understanding of the role and function of Production Management and how to build a career as a professional Production Manager and Rentals staff. The Production Management and Rentals Apprentice will facilitate external Rentals communication with prospective clients through the lifespan of the rental as well as facilitating communication and scheduling with all necessary departments. Studio’s Assistant Production Manager serves as the overall mentor for this Apprenticeship; the Apprentice will have many opportunities to work with design teams and production departments to help support the execution of Studio’s productions and external events.
What You Will Learn: The Production Management and Rentals Apprentice will participate in the process of developing and executing a season plan and will work with the Production Management team to oversee a six-show season in Studio Theatre’s state of the art four theater complex. As a member of the Production Management team, they will delve into both administrative and creative aspects of the work, including design development, scheduling, budgeting, contracting, expense tracking and forecasting, technical problem solving, rentals planning and management, and all other aspects of running production for a busy non-profit regional theater company.
Skills/Qualifications: This is an ideal position for someone who loves working in the intersection of the artistic, the technical, and the administrative aspects of theater. Candidates must have prior training or experience in a technical coordination role, such as production management, stage management, events management, or hospitality management and at least a basic understanding of what each technical theater department does and how they work together. To enjoy this experience, you should be extremely organized, eager to learn, enjoy the process of solving problems, strong multitasker, and be an effective communicator with the discretion and flexibility to thrive in a fast-paced theatre environment.
Overview: Studio Theatre’s Stage Management Apprenticeship provides a unique opportunity to learn through working as an Assistant Stage Manager and Run Crew in a non-profit regional theatre setting. The Apprentice will work with multiple professional AEA Production Stage Managers throughout the season, working on all productions from Prep Week to the run of the show.
What You Will Do: As the Stage Management Apprentice, you will work to expand and develop your understanding of Stage Management and how to build a career as a professional Stage Manager. Studio’s Assistant Production Manager serves as the overall mentor for this Apprenticeship. While working closely with the Production Stage Managers, the Apprentice will be responsible for tracking props, costumes, set transitions, and communicating with all production departments.
What You Will Learn: The Apprentice will receive hands-on training by serving as an assistant stage manager for a majority of Studio’s productions throughout the season. In rehearsal, the Apprentice will learn how to prepare rehearsal paperwork, create schedules, coordinate rehearsal properties and costumes, be on book, track line notes, and interact with other members of the production department. During performance the Apprentice will manage all backstage show operations, including managing additional run crew. The Apprentice participates in a career-building curriculum while gaining exposure to all areas of the theatre operations.
Skills/Qualifications: This is an ideal position for an enthusiastic, personable candidate who loves working in a fast-paced theatre environment. Candidates must have prior stage management training or experience, be extremely organized and eager to learn, and possess the discretion and flexibility to thrive.
Overview: The Technical Direction (TD) Apprenticeship is a hands-on, learn-while-you-work opportunity that gives practical experience at a mid-size theatre with multiple spaces and a constantly rotating and varied season. Working closely with the Technical Director and the rest of the production department, the Apprentice will learn about all the many specific needs of the individually unique productions and the general needs of a scene shop.
What You Will Do: The TD Apprentice serves as an Assistant Technical Director throughout their Apprenticeship. This involves conceiving a build plan based on the desires of the scenic designers, sourcing materials and labor for the plan, and executing it in a safe and sensible manner. Responsibilities include drafting scenery for build plans, leading teams through the build process, and doing finish work and fix-it notes throughout the run of each show.
What You Will Learn: The TD Apprentice will learn and expand on industry standard/safe building practices, their drafting skills, and their office/organizational skills. In addition, they will learn how to develop relationships with designers.
Skills/Qualifications: The ideal Apprenticeship candidate should have basic knowledge of common theatrical practices for the construction and rigging of scenery. In addition, they should be able to operate power tools and lift 50 lbs unassisted. They must also have basic knowledge of some form of drafting software (CAD or Vectorworks). Experience with welding, soldering, paints, or unique materials a plus.
Studio Theatre provides the following for all members of our Apprentice class:
Housing: Butler House, located in the bustling Columbia Heights neighborhood in Washington DC, is a 20-minute walk from the Theatre with efficient public transit options nearby. This 14-bedroom, six-bathroom row house provides each Apprentice their own private bedroom, completely furnished with paid utilities and household consumables for the duration of their Apprenticeship.
A Weekly Stipend: A weekly stipend of $430 to assist with living expenses, disbursed bi-weekly throughout the Apprenticeship.
Travel Stipend: A one-time travel stipend of $500 for each Apprentice, disbursed two weeks prior to the start of the program to assist with relocation and moving expenses.
Metro Card: A metro card with $100 to support exploring the nation’s capital and to take in the plethora of theatre and art in the city.
Complimentary Tickets: Tickets will be available to Studio Theatre productions, as well as tickets to other Washington DC area theatre productions.
Seminars: Participation in a year-long seminar series, “The Life Cycle of a Season,” which provides a deep dive into each department’s contributions to Studio Theatre’s success. Additional seminars are offered based on interest and availability.
Mentorship: Each Apprentice is partnered with a staff member in their department to customize an education plan and provide learning opportunities alongside real-world experience. Apprentices will also have regular interaction with Senior and Executive Leadership.
Other Opportunities: Apprentices will have the opportunity to attend first rehearsal events (including interacting with directors, designers, actors, and other artists), staff meetings, invited dress rehearsals, opening night events, and board/committee meetings. In addition, there are networking opportunities with other DC-area apprentices.
Emily Abrams (she/her) is a director and creator. She has a BFA in Directing from The University of the Arts and is an alum of the National Theatre Institute's Advanced Directing program. She has worked for leading not-for-profits, including: Ars Nova, New York Theatre Workshop, Manhattan Theatre Club, Roundabout Theatre Company, Asolo Rep, Musical Theatre Factory, The Tank, People's Light, The Kimmel Center, The New Group, Life Jacket Theatre Company, and more. Find out more about Emily, her work, and her obsession with Tommy Wiseau by visiting EmilyAbramsDirects.com
Clarice Berardinelli (she/her) is a Massachusetts native, and recently graduated from Western New England University with a BS in Business Administration, concentrating her studies in Entertainment Management. During her collegiate career, Clarice channeled her passion for event planning into her daily life through her roles as a Resident Advisor, Spring Event Chairperson, and Public Relations Chairperson for Student Senate. Combining her love for music and production, she has coordinated concerts for Olivia O'Brien, 3OH!3, girlfriends, Lee Brice, Maddie & Tae, Zara Larsson (canceled due to COVID), Telehope, KYLE, and Mike Stud. In the future, Clarice hopes to work in production management as well as event planning for both commercial and non-profit theatres.
McKenna Canty is from the Boston area, and she graduated from UMass Amherst in May 2021 with a Communications degree and Theater minor. In college, she gained fundraising experience as a communications intern with the New Music Alliance, where she interviewed professional musicians featured on the organization’s weekly radio show and promoted their annual Valley Music Showcase festival. She was also the Marketing Videographer for the UMass Theatre Guild where she filmed and edited trailers for the group’s plays, musicals, and special events. Since graduation, she has performed in Boeing Boeing (Arlington Friends of the Drama) and Dearly Beloved (Quannapowit Players). She hopes to continue to pursue development or arts administration to support innovative storytelling and live theatre. She’s excited to combine her passion for writing and the performing arts through a career in theater development.
Delaney Dunster (she/her) is an avid reader, occasional horseback rider, theatre artist, and dog mom. She holds a BFA in Stage Management from Webster University. Her recent theatre credits include American Mariachi and The Marvelous Wonderettes (assistant stage manager) at Alabama Shakespeare Festival, The Student Voices Project (production stage manager) and The Learned Ladies (assistant stage manager) at Webster University, as well as Apples in Winter, Showstoppers, and the New Play Festival (production stage manager) at Centre Stage in Greenville, SC. This season at Studio, she will be assistant stage managing People, Places and Things; English; and Good Bones. Check out her passion project here takefiveopportunities.org. On social media at @delaneyclaredunster (Instagram).
Indigo Garcia is a lighting designer and technician. She is a recent graduate from Ithaca College with a BFA in Theatre Production Arts with a concentration in Lighting Design. Her theatre credits include lighting design for Marie Antoinette and Sister Act and co-lighting design for Violet at Ithaca College. She has also worked as a master electrician on Angels in America Part One: Millennium Approaches at Ithaca College, and The Kentucky Cycle at Scottsdale School of Film and Theatre. indigogarcia.com
Parker Nolan (He/They) is a born-and-raised Vermonter now living in Washington, DC. He graduated with a BA in Communication and Theatre Arts from Eastern Michigan University in April 2021 and is currently pursuing his MFA in Performing Arts Management from Brooklyn College. At Studio Theatre, Parker is the Arts Administration Apprentice, working alongside the Business Director and General Manager to support the day-to-day finance and managerial operations. He is also the Assistant Company Manager, supporting the Company Manager to welcome and care for the many visiting artists hosted each season. Parker aspires to work as a Theatre Manager for a professional not-for-profit theatre company, as well as an educator in the arts. He believes strongly in improving access and equity in the arts and aims to develop arts programs for youth who are often unable to gain access due to costs or lack of opportunity.
Clarissa Shirley (she/her) is an administrator, educator, and creator from the Jersey Shore with interests in marketing, directing, and dramaturgy. Clarissa is a proud Alumni of Muhlenberg College where she studied Directing and English. She has collaborated with marketing teams at Muhlenberg College Theatre and Dance, New Jersey Thespians, and Gita Nagari Sanctuary and Eco Farm. Her recent directing credits include Can You Hear Them Crying (Ocean County College), Every Brilliant Thing, Ambivalence, Dandelions (Muhlenberg College), and Girls Like That (Jackson Reed High School). Clarissa is currently working towards certification as an Intimacy Director, and she is a certified Intimacy Captain (ICOC). In her spare time, Clarissa hangs out with cows, cooks new recipes, and teaches poetry writing workshops.
Phoebe Sweatman is a stage manager, lover of cats, occasional painter and calligrapher, and amateur roller skater. She holds a BFA in Theatre Design Tech with a concentration in Stage Management from the University of North Georgia. Some of her recent theatre credits include 9 to 5 (production stage manager), The Tempest (production stage manager), The Laramie Project (production stage manager), Our Town (assistant stage manager), and Legally Blonde (assistant stage manager) at the Gainesville Theatre Alliance, as well as The Wedding Singer (assistant stage manager) and Newsies (assistant stage manager) at The Historic Holly Theater. This season at Studio she will be assistant stage managing Heroes of The Fourth Turning, English, and Clyde’s. You can find her on social media @phoebesweatman (Instagram).
Miranda Taylor (MT; she/her) is a carpenter, designer, performer and all-around “athlete of empathy.” She recently graduated from Gordon College with a technical theatre and performance degree. Her theatre credits include Steel Magnolias and The Children’s Hour (Gordon College). She recently served as the set designer for Men on Boats (Gordon College) and The Sound of Music (Imago Stage Productions). On social media at @miranda_j_taylor (Instagram).
Sarah Velkovich is a recent college graduate and holds a BA degree in Music and a minor in Psychology. She has worked on many live music and theatre productions in both artistic and production-related roles. Her recent theatre credits include sound design, A1, and A2 for live musicals including Anything Goes, The Little Mermaid, and Grease at Showtime Theatre Company. Sarah recently received a Metrolina Theatre Award for Best Sound Design of a Musical.