Thursday, June 19, 2014

Meet our 2014 Woodward Intern Class

By Erin Focone, Marketing Intern
Photos by Kat Gloor

Every summer Westport Country Playhouse welcomes nine interns to be a part of their vibrant season. This year we come from all over the United States, each with a different background excited to be a part of such an esteemed theatre company. You will find us all in various parts of the theatre this summer; whether it is assisting the Stage Manager during a performance, working in the administrative office, or serving hors d'oeuvres at an event, we can be found almost anywhere. We are all so thrilled to be here and learn all we can as we start to pursue a career in theatre.

Olyvia Brown: Company Management Intern
Hometown: Harper Woods, MI
Education: Alma College, B.A. in English and Theater

Who is your role model and why?

My role model is my mom: not only does she work a full time job and raise three kids, she also is back in college, where she is trying to finish up degree. My mom makes her mark everywhere she goes; she strives for perfection. She is the least selfish person I know and always puts everyone, especially her family's, well-being in place of her own. I hope that someday I can be as amazing as her.
What does theater mean to you?

The first time I stepped foot into the theater, my parents took my five year old self to see Cats. The moment the lights came up, I knew I was forever bound to the theater world. At first I was nervous to go into something where everyone gets that look on their face and says "Oh honey, good luck." But my dad gave me a great piece of advice that I carry with me every day: "Get up every morning looking forward to your job." I would protest, "But dad what about the money?" He'd shake his head, "Life isn't about money. The money will come. How will you know what will happen, unless you try? Go for the dream." To me, theater means love. I do theater because I must.
 Colleen Doyle: Doug Sheffer General Production / Props Intern
Hometown: Round Rock, TX
Education: Sam Houston State University, BFA in Theater Design and Technology

Favorite book and why?

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. When I first read that book 6 years ago, I'd never laughed so hard in my life. Stories about familiar creatures (vampires, werewolves, varies, etc.) re-spun into a new and interesting world was a big part of the book's charm.
What does theater mean to you?
Theatre is storytelling, plain and true. Some stories are new, some are reinvented for centuries, but in the end we always come away from them with something we didn't have before. I want to be a part of that kind of theater.
Why did you choose WCP?
I wanted to spend my first few months out of college somewhere that could give me a realistic perspective on professional theatre. I wanted to be ready when I took the first shaky steps towards my career, and when I learned about the Playhouse and its history, I was certain that they could help me reach my full potential.
Erin Focone: Marketing Intern
Hometown: Monroe, CT
Education: University of Vermont, B.A. in English and Public Communication

What is your favorite musical?
Rent has always been one of my favorite shows. I saw it for the first time when I was 13 and I remember being blown away by it. As a rising angst-y teenager at the time, I really felt like I connected with that show.
What does theater mean to you?
I have always believed so strongly in the power of live theater. At its most basic, it is simply a form of storytelling, and because of that theater has a magical way of connecting people from all different walks of life.
Why did you choose WCP?
I chose Westport Country Playhouse because they chose me, but also because I was confident that the esteemed internship program would guide me on the right path in pursuing a career in theater.
 Wade Jennings: Development Intern
Hometown: Palm Beach, FL
Education: Florida State University, B.A. in Theater Arts and Entrepreneurship

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself somewhere in New York City. The question is whether it will be in a for-profit or not-for-profit setting. I’d like to be on my way to becoming an executive producer at a New York theater, working to produce new art for people.
What does theater mean to you?
The best part about plays is that you get to play; the whole point of theatre is to represent on stage what we see in life. Whether that’s done through serious drama or satirical comedy. We start with this bible, or this biography, that is the script, and then we as humans get to determine what it means to us now. I say “This means something to me - what does this mean you?” and then it’s our happy medium that makes the production.
Veronica Lee: Stage Management Intern
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Education: Elon University, B.A. in Theatrical Design and Production

What is your favorite place you’ve traveled to?
That is a tough one. I have been lucky enough to be able to travel quite a bit and I am always torn between London and Japan as my favorite places I’ve been to.”
What does theater mean to you?
To me, theater is a means of connecting with people. It can be a way to escape and entertain or to inspire and educate. Either way, it is a special, collective experience shared by the cast, crew, and audience because it only exists in that form in that moment.
Why did you choose WCP?
I chose Westport because I was excited by the opportunity to work with professionals in the industry and to learn what it means to work in professional theater. I was also drawn to Westport’s mission to make this an educational experience, as well as an experiential one.
Jinae Linek: Scenic Painting Intern
Hometown: Oakley, CA
Education: University of South Alabama, B.F.A in Technical Theater

What is one thing you can’t live without?
Family is absolutely the one thing I could not live without.
What does theater mean to you?
Theatre means a lot to me, but I think one of the things I admire most about theatre is its ability to combine so many different art forms.
Why did you choose WCP?
There are a number of reasons why I chose the Playhouse. One of them is that I love how the Westport Playhouse is a barn- there is so much history and character that goes along with it.
Allyson Mojica: General Production / Wardrobe Intern 
Hometown: Wilmington, NC
Education: East Carolina University, BFA Theater Arts Design and Production

What did you want to be when you grew up and why?
There are a couple of things I wanted to be when I was little. It ranged from Princess to Veterinarian to a Fashion Designer. Now that I'm older, I think I'm going to go the Princess route after all.
What does theater mean to you?
I love theater because it's interactive art on display and combines so many art forms in one space. It's easy to be diverse in your talents or find a specific spot for yourself.”
Why did you choose WCP?
I choose Westport because of my experience at the SETC conference. The staff that I spoke to in the interviewing process were all very friendly and it made me feel even more comfortable about the decision. And so far, it has lived up to my anticipations.
 JT Murtagh: Stage Management Intern
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Education: Temple University, B.A. in Theater Production/Stage Management

Favorite Shakespeare quote and why?
"Fate show thy force. Ourselves we do not owe. What is decreed must be and be this so."
- Olivia, Twelfth Night, 1.5
I love this quote because it is basically how I live my life. Everything happens for a reason. All should live their life as if everything handed to them is a blessing, no matter how bad it may seem.
What does theater mean to you?
Theater to me is an art for anyone participating that allows them to become a new person or try something they will never get to do. It is also something that acts as a means of escape from the real world.
Tajh Oates: General Production / Carpentry Intern
Hometown: Fairbanks, AK
Education: Georgia Southern University, B.A. in Theater and Multimedia Communications

What is your favorite part about theater and why?
I love the collaboration. So many people become united to produce one vision. Nothing is more energetic than being backstage before a show when everyone is getting set up. So many different people doing so many different things all related to one purpose: putting on a great show.
What does theater mean to you?
Theater means diversity. You can see a thousand different productions of one show and not one of them will be the same. Everybody you work with has different personalities and experiences and stories that you get to learn. Every show has new requirements and challenges that you get to overcome and adapt. It's never a boring life in the theater.

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