• Theatre Arts Internships

    Theatre Arts Internships

    Recent internships completed by theatre arts students include:

    • Assistant Stage Manager--Actor's Theatre of Minnesota
    • Sound Design Assistant - Children's Theatre Company

    In addition to the more formal and longer term internship many theatre students work as "over-hire" help in area theatres. These experiences allow students make contacts and test their skills in real production settings. In the past three years students have worked at:

    • The Penumbra Theatre
    • The Children's Theatre
    • Theatre de la June Lune
    • The Guthrie

    Purpose

    An internship is a career development opportunity for students with a strong interest and preparation in a particular field. Because it requires thorough planning and consideration, these guidelines are designed to assist you in your preparation for an internship and to alert you to the departmental expectations. 

    Eligibility 

    Students with junior or senior standing may participate in the internship program. The department does not normally approve internships at an earlier point since there is usually insufficient course and skill development to obtain an internship which will offer a challenging experience. 

    Timing 

    Planning an internship will require several steps:

    • Discuss internship plans and ideas with your faculty advisor at least a semester prior to registration. 
    • Meet with the faculty member teaching the Field Experience Seminar for advice and information at this time. 
    • Obtain all necessary paperwork from the Career Development Office. 
    • Note that all paperwork and registration must be signed by the intern, the Field Experience Seminar instructor, the site supervisor and the Chair of the Department. 

    NO internship will be sponsored on a retroactive basis. You must have Departmental approval to participate in the Field Experience Seminar and to have an internship approved for credit in the department. 

    Registration  

    Students with approved internship plans must register for THTR 3960 or COMM 3960 Field Experience Seminar. Seminar registration and participation is for the semester that the internship is occurring. 

    Work Experience 

    To qualify as a Theatre Arts/Communication Studies Internship the following requirements must be met: 

    • The internship must involve a minimum of 15 hours per week of on-site work for a continuous 10 week period. 
    • No internship of less than 120 on-site hours will be approved. 
    • Only in special circumstances will internships of less than 10 weeks duration be approved 

    Finding an Internship  

    Primary responsibility for finding an internship site is the student's responsibility. The department regularly posts listings of available internships and individual faculty members may know of sites seeking interns. The Career Development Office maintains extensive listings of internship sites. 

    Preparation 

    Prior to contacting a company or business the student should prepare all necessary materials. These include: 

    • A current resume; 
    • A list of references and, if required, letters of reference; 
    • A portfolio (if required by the company.)

    The Theatre Department offers workshops each fall to assist students in developing materials for job and internship searches.

    Students should contact their faculty adviser for assistance in how to prepare for interviews. The Career Development Office also offers regular workshops on resumes, interviews and cover letters. 

    Documentation  

    Internships require careful documentation. The Field Experience Seminar includes a series of projects and discussions that will provide documentation of the internship process. All TA-CS also will require: 

    • Hours Log. A continuous record of time spent and work performed on site. The log must be signed weekly by the site supervisor. 
    • Journal. This is a regular written record of your internship experiences. The nature and frequency of journal entries will be explained by the Field Experience Seminar instructor. 

    Evaluation  

    Internships are evaluated on a pass/no pass basis. The evaluation has three components: 

    • Site Supervisor's Evaluation
    • Intern's Self Evaluation 
    • Field Experience Seminar Evaluation

    The Field Experience Seminar instructor will explain the component weight of each of these evaluations in determining the final grade.

    No grade will be submitted for the internship until all the evaluations have been completed and submitted to the Field Experience Seminar instructor.

    Internships that fail to meet the Field Experience Seminar requirements or that do not meet the on-site hours or duration requirements will not receive a passing grade. 

    Meet a Graduate

    Jordan '05

    When I started at Hamline as a first-year student, I had planned to either major in biology or political science. At the end of my first year I realized neither of those majors was a good fit for me and I decided I would major in anthropology. While working through my Hamline plan requirements in my sophomore year I realized my true passion was in technical theatre. I combined my class work with a student worker staff position in the scene shop as I took the departmental classes. I am drawn to theatre for two reason. The first reason is because of the technical challenges theatre creates. I love building a set from scratch and getting to use all of the fun power tools. The second reason is because theatre is such an amazing art form and such a necessary voice in our culture. Theatre challenges us to use our auditory and visual senses all at the same time while engaging our minds and souls.

    Through my junior year my responsibilities in the department grew as I took on opportunities for a main stage scenic design and work as a rental events manager. This lead to professional work in conjunction with my final year at Hamline. Through Hamline I had an opportunity to work with Penumbra Theatre, the company where my employment continues as a Master Carpenter/Assistant Technical Director. Even as a college student my skills and knowledge were on par with professionals in the field. Into my senior year I was working half time professionally and maintaining a shop position. Upon graduation I have continued to work professionally with several area theatres and production houses. In the fall I will be on the road with Penumbra’s national tour of “Grand Children of the Buffalo Soldiers” in conjunction with Trinity Repertory Company of Rhode Island.

    As a professional using my major I am tremendously grateful for the deep and broad education I received at Hamline. The professors at Hamline taught me how to think critically instead of what to think. Theatre is a mixed bag of challenges and success requires broad knowledge and deep skill. Hamline provided me with the opportunity to prepare myself for the profession by engaging me as an individual and giving significant opportunities to practice and shape my craft. I hope to one day attend Cal Arts or the Yale School of Drama to further my education in theatre. Eventually, I would like to teach theatre at a liberal arts college…..who knows, maybe even Hamline.