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Olney Theatre Center believes that arts education plays an essential role in our nation’s cultural health. That’s why in addition to our arts integration program, we offer apprenticeships. The apprenticeship program is a year long experience intended to offer emerging theater artists a bridge between university and the profession. For one year, 16 apprentices live and work on OTC’s campus in every facet of the organization. Meet one of our Electrics apprentices, Michelle Cooman!

  • A photo of Michelle on the stage

    Michelle Cooman

    Electrics Apprentice

    Hometown: Webster, NY

    Pronouns: she/her/hers

What is the path that brought you to OTC?

I've been looking into moving to the DC area to start my career in theatre since I was a Sophomore in college and saw how successful my big was after she completed her apprenticeship at Imagination Stage.

What are you working on right now?

Currently, I am helping Tyler, the Master Electrician, figure out how we are going to start the hang and focus for Once in the upcoming month.

What is something you are looking forward to?

I look forward to starting a new production and the puzzle of making it all come together for Once. It's always a satisfying feeling when a show comes together during tech and is revealed on opening night.

What are you planning to do for your Capstone?

For my capstone project, I hope to be the Master Electrician for a show in the Lab and possibly program for a designer.

What's special about Olney Theatre Center?

Olney Theatre is the perfect place for people right out of college who are trying to build their resume and make a footing in the DC area. We offer a wide variety of shows in both spaces so they're many opportunities to learn and practice the skills we already know while meeting many individuals currently working and designing in the DC area.

Was technical theatre your first love?

Unlike most apprentices here I have only ever performed on stage twice in my life. I've always been drawn to the more technical side of theatre.

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