APPRENTICE TRAINING PROGRAM
ABOUT OLNEY THEATRE CENTER
Located just north of Washington, DC in Montgomery County, Maryland, Olney Theatre is an award-winning regional institution with a 79 year history. OTC is one of two companies in the country to operate under a Council of Stock Theaters (COST) contract with Actors’ Equity Association—but we have evolved far beyond our summer-stock beginnings. The OTC campus now boasts two proscenium stages, a black-box laboratory, an outdoor stage, and a rehearsal hall, along with administrative offices, fully equipped scenery and costume shops, and on-site residences.
In 2016-2017, OTC is producing three musicals and five plays (including two world premieres) and also is launching the 69th season of the country's longest-running touring company, National Players.
Olney Theatre produces and presents extraordinary theater and performance on its four-theater campus for an ever-more diverse set of audiences in our community, and educates the next generation of theatermakers to follow in our footsteps.
We strive every day to unleash the creative potential of our artists and audiences, and in so doing, become Maryland’s premier center for theater performance and education.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
This is a year-long commitment, lasting from June to June or September to September, depending on the department. Each class of full-time apprentices plays an essential role in Olney Theatre Center operations. Working in every facet of the organization, apprentices learn standards of professionalism while building their resumes and portfolios and forging connections within the theater community.
Our program offers emerging theater artists a bridge between the university and the profession, developing each individual’s skills by working alongside world-class designers and directors. Apprentices also have the opportunity to work with the Director of Education to complete a Capstone Project tailored to enhance their individual goals.
For more information on the program and to see how the current apprentice class lives and works, check out their blog at otcapprentices.tumblr.com.
AS AN OLNEY THEATRE CENTER APPRENTICE YOU WILL…
- Live and work together in a vibrant artistic community. On-site housing includes shared bath, common area, and kitchen.
- Take advantage of the Washington, D.C. theatre scene, the nation’s second largest theatre market.
- Live on campus for a full season, either from June to June or September to September, depending on your department.
- Develop marketable skills and create contacts for future employment.
- Benefit from working directly with the resident staff, in addition to over 300 visiting professional artists.
- Receive complimentary tickets to Olney Theatre Center productions and many other D.C. area shows.
- Earn $150 weekly stipend.
- Have shared use of company vehicles.
The Artistic Apprentice works with the Artistic Director and visiting directors to help cast each Mainstage production. He or she schedules and attends all local auditions and also works with New York casting agencies to prepare for out-of-town auditions. The apprentice maintains casting files while assisting the Company Manager with actor contracts and guest artist logistics.
The apprentice also has the opportunity to work with the Artistic Director on various other responsibilities, including season planning and assistant directing. By the end of the season, the apprentice will be familiar with the Actors’ Equity Association rulebook as well as day-to-day and season-to-season theater operations.
Candidates should be able to work independently and be prepared to take a large amount of responsibility. Strong communication and interpersonal skills are a must. This position allows the apprentice to direct his or her experience to suit one’s individual interests and is appropriate for those working toward careers as Casting Directors, Casting Agents, or Directors.
Carpentry Apprentices work as members of the scene shop staff to construct and install scenic elements for all productions. They also serve as run crew for several productions.
Using essential carpentry and construction skills, apprentices learn daily shop operations while observing how to maintain a full-season scene shop. They will gain hands-on backstage experience in a professional environment.
Applicants should be able to use power tools and lift at least 50 pounds. Experience working with metal and having a valid driver’s license is a plus. This apprenticeship will hone new and resourceful methods of stagecraft and is suitable for those working towards careers as Master Carpenters, Technical Directors, and General Theater Technicians.
Working directly with the Costume Shop Manager and visiting designers, Costume Shop Apprentices assist in the construction of costumes. They also serve as wardrobe crew, which includes maintaining and repairing costumes and wigs during the run of each show.
The Costume Shop Apprentices handle some projects from inception to completion. Through participating in daily shop operations, apprentices strengthen sewing, construction, draping, and patterning skills, as well as wardrobe management. They also have the opportunity to shadow visiting designers and learn about design budgeting and planning.
Applicants should have at least basic sewing skills. This apprenticeship is suitable for those working toward careers as First Hands, Cutters, Drapers, Costume Shop Managers, and Wardrobe Supervisors.
The Dramaturgy Apprentice assists the Director of Education in the creation, preparation, and implementation of unique Dramaturgical Context Plans for all productions at Olney Theatre Center. She or he creates original dramaturgical materials, including program notes, study guides, talk-backs and afterwords, and lobby materials.
Additionally, as part of a developing Education Department, the Dramaturgy Apprentice has opportunities to develop and conduct workshops, classes, and interviews with local students. She or he will work directly with local schools to coordinate and host student matinees. Additional responsibilities include company management coverage and run crew assignments.
Candidates should exhibit excellent writing, research, and communication skills, and be able to multi-task and establish priorities. Graphic design skills are a plus. This position is appropriate for those working toward careers as Dramaturgs, Education Directors, and Literary Managers.
The Education Administration Apprentice assists in the planning, implementation, and daily operations of National Players, the country’s longest-running touring company. Working closely with National Players General Manager, she or he maintains budgets and calendars, tracks expenses, archives materials, and promotes National Players.
Additionally, as part of a developing Education Department, the apprentice develops and conducts workshops, classes, and interviews with local students. She or he works directly with local schools to coordinate and host student matinees. Additional responsibilities include company management coverage and run crew assignments.
Candidates should be able to multi-task and establish priorities. They should also be detail-oriented and familiar with various social-media platforms, as well as Microsoft Word and Excel. An understanding of Microsoft Access is preferred. This position is appropriate for those working toward careers as Production Managers, Producing Directors, Education Directors, and General Managers.
Electrics Apprentices work directly under the supervision of the Master Electrician to implement lighting design for each production. Apprentices also work alongside local and visiting lighting designers and theater electricians.
Responsibilities include assisting with load-in, hanging and focusing lights, troubleshooting problems during tech rehearsals, maintaining electrics equipment during production runs, and participating in all lighting strikes and changeovers. During show runs, they share the responsibility of maintenance and running the light board and follow spot.
Experience working on electrics crews and awareness of current lighting consoles and equipment is preferred. This apprenticeship is suitable for those working towards careers as Master Electricians and Lighting Designers.
The Marketing & Development Apprentice works with both the marketing and development departments to provide support for all campaigns, special events, and daily activities.
While working in the administrative offices, the apprentice learns the daily operations and responsibilities of both departments while assisting in all activities. She or he develops skills through communication with patrons, donors, foundations, and corporate sponsors.
Candidates should be highly organized, have strong communication and interpersonal skills, and be able to multi-task and establish priorities. This apprenticeship is suitable for those working towards a career in Marketing, Development, or General Arts Administration.
The Production Apprentices work directly with the Associate Production Manager & Company Manager to ensure that all Production and Company Management needs are met in an efficient, timely, and professional manner. This pair of Apprentices assist in the daily operations of the Production Office, including contracting, receiving and processing purchase orders and check request forms, as well as managing production calendars, contact sheets, databases, and policies. They also serve as the frontline of visiting artists, including assisting with guest artist travel and accommodations, greeting out-of-town artists upon arrival, attending the needs of artists, drafting contracts, corresponding with agents, arranging complimentary tickets, and maintaining production files.
These apprentices may also assist and shadow the Associate Production Manager in meetings with production and creative personnel. Additional responsibilities include run crew assignments and serving as an emergency contact during their stay on campus.
Candidates should be able to multi-task and establish priorities, be detail-oriented, have a valid driver's license, and be familiar with Microsoft Word, Excel, and Quickbooks. Excellent organization and interpersonal skills are a must. This position is appropriate for those working toward careers as Production Managers, Company Managers, and General Managers.
The Properties Apprentice assists the Properties Master in creating, building, and/ or sourcing all props for the mainstage season and will have the opportunity to work closely with guest designers. She or he has the opportunity to talk through designer visions and assists in shopping and decorating.
Duties may include creating prop lists, attending design meetings, pulling rehearsal props, and research. Additional responsibilities include coordinating props rentals and maintaining inventory and running crew for several shows.
The ideal candidate should be comfortable with power tools, painting techniques, and working with fabric. Excellent email communication skills are required, and a valid driver’s license is a plus. This apprenticeship is suitable for those working toward careers as Properties Masters or designers.
The Sound Apprentice works directly under the supervision of the Sound Engineer to implement sound design for each Mainstage production. The apprentice also works alongside local and visiting sound designers.
Responsibilities include assisting with load-in, troubleshooting problems during tech rehearsals, maintenance of audio equipment during the run of productions, and participation in all strikes and changeovers. During production runs, the apprentice works with the Sound Engineer to maintain the show, while serving as audio assistant on musicals and front-of-house engineer on straight plays.
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.
Stage Management Apprentices work as assistant stage managers and run crew alongside Equity stage managers and actors. Apprentices begin productions during the stage manager’s prep week, assist in daily rehearsals, and run shows through closing performances.
For each production, apprentices are assigned responsibilities such as tracking props, costumes, or sets, or making script revisions. When not assigned to a show, stage management apprentices assist with office work and other areas of production.
Candidates should have excellent organizational and communication skills. This position is best suited for those working towards careers as professional stage managers. Apprentices are eligible to join the Equity Membership Candidacy Program, potentially leading to full membership at the end of their term.
Please note: Olney Theatre Center is strongly committed to affirmative action throughout its Apprenticeship and Apprentice programs. In particular, the company recognizes a critical need to offer training opportunities to minority students and aspiring professionals who wish to enter the field of theater arts. As part of this commitment, Olney Theatre Center strongly encourages women and men who reflect the diversity of the Washington-metropolitan area to apply.