Carla Mirabal Rodríguez is a fourth year Theatre major with a concentration in Performance and a minor in Business Administration. She has held positions at The Huntington Theatre Company and has been involved in several on-campus organizations such as NU Stage, the Silver Masque Theatre Company, and the NU Shakespeare Society. For her current co-op, she packed her bags and traveled to Madrid, Spain, where she started her role as a Marketing and Coordination Intern at Pentación Espectáculos, a private company that produces and promotes theatre shows. We were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sit down with Carla and learn more about her unique experiences living and working in Madrid. Read the Q+A below to find out more!
What does a typical day working at Pentación Espectáculos look like for you? What are your daily responsibilities?
Typically, I work on publicity proposals, publicity outreach, sales analysis, and data tracking, but occasionally I help out with a few social media and website things. However, every day is different, and I’m still settling into the role I’ll play within this company.
Tell us what it is like living and working in the Theatre field in Madrid.
It’s definitely different. First, it’s a bigger theatre scene; I feel like everywhere I look there are more and more productions popping up. Productions also last a longer time here than they do in Boston, where a long run might last a month or two. Here, there are productions going up that take up an entire season, which makes this theater industry more similar to New York or London. Madrid, itself, is a huge city that keeps on growing, so there is always plenty to see and much to do, if you go looking for it. It’s been pretty exciting to live here. I’m having a lot of fun seeing plays I’ve always liked (as well as new plays) in Spanish, since most of the theatre I’ve seen in the past 4 years has been in English.
What are some of the challenges and highlights that you’ve had working at Pentación Espectáculos?
It was a bit of a challenge to get used to “Spain Spanish”, as I call it. Spanish is my first language, but I’m Puerto Rican, and Spain and Puerto Rico have slightly different ways of speaking. In Madrid, they use certain words that I’ve never heard before or just don’t typically use. For example, they call a computer an “ordenador” but I call it a “computadora”. They also always speak in terms of “vosotros”, which I had never done in Puerto Rico. So, certain things took a bit of getting used to, but it’s been a lot of fun experiencing a different culture and seeing what similarities exist between Puerto Rican culture and Spanish culture. One of the highlights I’ve experienced here has been meeting my co-workers. They’ve been incredibly welcoming and they maintain such a fun working environment. While everyone gets their job done, there is always some kind of story being told or a joke being made. The pressure to get work done definitely still exists but it doesn’t mean that we can’t have fun while doing it. Also, having a one-and-a-half-hour lunch break is a definite plus!
What has been your favorite project thus far that you have worked on while on this co-op?
I haven’t been here for very long, so I haven’t had a big project assigned to me just yet. However, there are a couple of things on the horizon, like helping Pentación develop and broaden their subscriber program and potentially helping with the next installment of the company’s new magazine. I’m excited to see what’s to come!
How does your experience at this co-op differ from previous co-ops or internships that you’ve had in the past?
The work culture is definitely different; Spain is generally much more relaxed and easy-going. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy my previous position, where I was a Marketing Co-op at the Huntington Theatre Company, but it is definitely a different experience. For one, in my previous co-op, I was more oriented towards the communication and press side of things. Here, I am immersed in the world of coordination and publicity, with the occasional social media input. As a theatre-producing company, Pentación is much bigger than the Huntington Theatre Company and constantly has multiple productions in Madrid, multiple on tour around Spain, and huge seasons (14-16 productions in each theatre!). I just love that I get to explore a new country and a new culture while being on co-op. I’m learning a lot, and not just about theatre, but about Spain in general.