Where is your co-op?
My co-op is at SpeakEasy Stage Company, a mid-size non-profit theatre in the heart of Boston’s South End. SpeakEasy is committed to producing new plays and musicals that feature new talent. All of SpeakEasy Stage’s productions are Boston premieres, if not New England or world premieres. They describe their values as “collaboration, respect, inclusion, and joy.” During my co-op they produced Violet, Bootycandy, and Dogfight. It’s their 25th anniversary season.
What kind of work are you doing?
I work primarily as a member of the artistic staff. I assist in reading and assessing plays that are under consideration for the upcoming season or the Boston Project — a new works program geared towards telling local stories and reflecting our city on stage. We spent the year developing two fantastic plays by local playwrights culminating in a two-week workshop and staged readings of each play. I also help out with Actor’s Equity auditions and the marketing staff in tracking weekly sales and completing subscription sales.
What has been your favorite part of your co-op?
Getting to read new plays that we are considering for production. It is exciting to read a story that no one else has read, especially since many are set in the city where I’m living and going to college. Reading and assessing new work has definitely given me insight into how to appreciate the creation of new art. Learning to decide which plays have merit and are worth a second read will definitely help me in classes such as playwriting.
What have you discovered about working in professional theatre?
I always knew that working in theatre was a group effort, but I didn’t realize how much that applied to those working behind the scenes in the administrative offices. Even though everyone has his or her title and job, when it comes down to it, we are all theatre artists sharing a common goal. There is no delineation. When we were planning our big 25th Anniversary Gala hosted by the Governor of Massachusetts, all job descriptions were put aside and it was all hands on deck. A successful theatre can only be achieved by a team that supports each other no matter what, and SpeakEasy clearly has that. I’ve loved being part of this team.
What was the biggest surprise about your co-op?
The biggest surprise was how much responsibility I have. Although I had some typical intern duties such as answering phones and doing bank runs, I have also been able to work on projects that an ordinary internship would not provide, such as reading new plays and facilitating auditions for the upcoming season.
What will you bring back to Northeastern?
I’m an actor, so I’ve learned a lot about what it is like to be in the audition room on the other side of the table. Sitting in on professional auditions and witnessing many great — and some not so great — auditions have opened my eyes to how different each audition really is. I’ve discovered how much the director and producer really want each and every actor to do their best. Going into my future acting classes and Northeastern auditions, I will know that directors really do want me to do well, so I can stop being nervous and fully concentrate on doing my best.