Summer Independent Internships
Summer Independent interns are part of a unique program focused on providing an environment for young aspiring theatre professionals to collaborate and produce a musical. Together, the Summer Independent interns produce a full-length musical that is completely directed, designed, managed, performed, and crewed by high school and college aged students. Interns are paired with professional Seattle theatre artists working in their respective disciplines who provide guidance and mentorship. The Summer Independent internships provide access to all Village Theatre facilities and resources for the duration of the summer.
Applications for summer 2023 are now open! All applications for Summer Independent Design and Assistant positions are due by or before January 13, 2023.
The Summer Independent Internship program includes:
- A customized learning plan
- 20-40 hours per week of hands-on experiential learning
- Direct mentorship by a theatre professional
- A progressive learning experience that can potentially lead to paid positions
- Theatre skills applicable to career opportunities
- The promotion of positive values through art
Internships are available in a variety of design, management, and crew positions. View the full list of positions below.
Assistant positions are available for all internships, as well as Directing, Music Directing, and Choreography Assistants. All students interested in assistant positions should apply using the Internship Application.
- All applications for Summer Independent Design and Assistant positions are due by or before January 13, 2023.
- Production meetings and design deadlines begin in April, with rehearsals starting in June and performances late July 2023.
The Director is responsible for the artistic rendering of the show within the KIDSTAGE mission. In this capacity, they work with the Choreographer and Music Director to present a program that encourages young artists to develop their potential and foster their appreciation of live theatre. The Director will work with the creative team to satisfy the artistic vision within the approved budget.
The Director is responsible for ensuring a unified production is realized. They collaborate with the artistic team and designers to tell a cohesive story, create stage pictures, do dramaturgical research, communicate their concept to visual designers, and coach actors in scenes.
Directors are creative, patient, team players, skilled compromisers, and natural leaders.
The Choreographer is responsible for the dance execution within the production, in line with the KIDSTAGE Mission and Philosophy. They work with the Director and Music Director to present a program that encourages young artists to develop their potential and foster their appreciation of live theatre. They create original choreography, teach and notate dance steps and formations, clean dance combinations, teach students techniques and dance steps, and run daily fitness conditioning warm-ups with actors.
Choreographers are experienced dancers, patient teachers, clear communicators, and able to visualize stage pictures and movement.
The Music Director oversees the musical aspects of the Summer Independent Production. The Music Director is responsible for teaching all the music involved in the show, leading all orchestra rehearsals, and conducting all performances. The Music Director, along with the Production Manager, will be responsible for all communications involving hiring of Musicians, and Musician performance/rehearsal schedules. The Music Director coordinates of all orchestra equipment including rentals, pit setup and teardown and transportation of equipment. The Music Director may also be called upon to arrange vocal parts and orchestrations of their show.
Music directors are patient, team players, skilled compromisers, and natural leaders who have a strong background in music working with both vocalists and instrumentalists. It is highly encouraged that music directors are skilled piano players.
The Dramaturg is responsible for providing research and support to production staff. In this capacity, they work with the entire production team to present a production that accurately represents the history, themes, topics, and content of the production. The Dramaturg is tasked to research the production to its fullest extent (the structure, the themes, the history, etc.) and the context surrounding its creation, then share that information with all show participants (production team, cast, and crew) whenever and however it is useful. They will connect the themes or topics present within the script to current-day social and political topics–which includes connecting with local organizations that specialize in said subjects–and present those topics to the cast and team.
The Dramaturg also works to enrich the audience by developing supplemental materials to enhance the audience’s experience of the production, including lobby display and a dramaturgical program note.
The Scenic Designer fulfills the vision or concept of the production both conceptually and physically. They create an exciting, safe, and visually interesting performance space for the show. They generate a floor plan, front and rear elevations, color renderings, a 3-D model, and collaborate with the Technical Director to produce the final set. They assist with the build, paint, load-in and strike of the production.
Scenic Designers are visual communicators, good at spatial relationships, collaborative, and enjoy interpreting the director’s concept visually.
The Costume Designer creates costumes befitting the characters, story, and actor needs. They work collaboratively with the Director/designers to fulfill the vision and concept of the production. They produce sketches and color renderings of designs, as well as choose appropriate fabrics for actor movement and research about the time period of the production. They build, pull, or requisition costume pieces, including shoes and accessories.
The Costume Designer is responsible for planning, development, budgeting and control of costumes for the Summer Independent Production. The Costume Designer is also responsible for supervising the design and execution of the hair and make-up design as it pertains to the overall costume design. A Hair and Make-up Designer may also be hired on a show-by-show basis to design and execute the hair and make-up design and reports to the Costume Designer to collaborate and fulfill the design.
Costume Designers are experienced sewers, attentive to detail, visual communicators, collaborative, enjoy working with and leading a team, and enjoy interpreting the Director’s concept in clothing.
The Lighting Designer uses different lighting instruments, light, and colors to appropriately illuminate the performance space. They mimic different lighting conditions (daylight, night-time, indoors, outdoors, etc.), as well as enhance the mood of a scene. They also create all relevant lighting paperwork, hang and focus instruments, and program cues.
Lighting Designers are collaborators, understand appropriate use of color and angles of light, and are adept at programming a light board.
In collaboration with the Scenic Designer and production team, the Properties Designer works as a creative problem solver in the creation or acquisition of all hand prop, furniture, and set dressing needs for the Summer Independent Production. The Properties Designer must ensure timely progress of projects while setting high standards of professionalism and quality.
Properties Designers are collaborative, inventive, proactive, able to process opinions and feedback from multiple listeners, and multi-taskers. Strong properties designers have skills in a multitude of artistic mediums including painting, sewing, crafting, photoshop or similar digital art program, woodworking, and more.
The Sound Designer works collaboratively with the Director, Music Director and other designers to create the way the show sounds. They oversee the audio dynamics of the performance space, microphone and speaker placement, balancing levels of all sound sources for all areas of the audience, cabling, and pulling/creating environmental sound effects. They run the soundboard during sound checks and performances.
The Sound Designer designs the environmental sound cues for this production through collaborative conversations with the Director and Music Director and plans for the amplification needs of the production. The Sound Designer will provide cue sheets, hookups, speaker placement and all other pertinent information.
Sound Designers are collaborative, inventive, proactive, able to process opinions and feedback from multiple listeners, multi-taskers, and have a good ear.
The Stage Manager is responsible for coordinating all aspects of rehearsals and performances. They organize people and paperwork, take general, blocking and line notes during rehearsals, help organize costume fittings, prop lists, and other pertinent show data and run both rehearsals and performances.
Once the show transitions to the stage, the Stage Manager is responsible for the performance space during tech rehearsals and performances. They facilitate between the direction team, designers, and onstage and backstage crew. Once the show opens, the Stage manager has the ultimate responsibility to run the show and maintain the artistic integrity of the performances.
Stage Managers are highly organized, leaders, detail oriented, proficient with Microsoft Office, and calm under pressure.
Assistant Stage Manager
The Assistant Stage Manager is responsible for coordinating all aspects of rehearsals and performances, in conjunction with the Stage Manager. They organize people and paperwork, take general and line notes during rehearsals, help organize costume fittings, prop lists, and other pertinent show data and run both rehearsals and performances.
Once the show transitions to the stage, the Assistant Stage Manager is responsible for all activities onstage and backstage. They coordinate all scene changes, assist the head wardrobe with coordinating costume changes, and are responsible for the health and safety of all actors and crew backstage.
Assistant Stage Managers are highly organized, leaders, detail oriented, proficient with Microsoft Office, and calm under pressure.
The Technical Director is responsible for achieving the production’s artistic goals with the Production Manager and Summer Independent Artistic Team. The Technical Director approves preliminary set designs based on Village Theatre’s technical capabilities and cost factors. The Technical Director supervises, maintains, monitors, and reports detailed schedules of design, set construction, and props. The Technical Director works closely with the Production Manager to ensure that expenses are in line with the budget for the production.
Technical Directors are highly organized, leaders, detail oriented, proficient with AutoCAD, and calm under pressure.
The Production Manager oversees the entire production, from hiring of the production team to striking the show. They collect and gather important paperwork, run production meetings, coordinate parent and student volunteers, organize and distribute marketing materials, and assist with flow of communication between production team members.
The Production Manager is expected to be on-site during many but not all rehearsals, all production meetings, auditions and casting, all tech and dress rehearsals. Remote work during the rehearsal process is necessary and acceptable from time to time.
Hair and Make-up Coordinator
The Hair and Make-up Coordinator works with the costume designer and director to help enhance the costume design through hair and make-up. They coordinate with the costume designer to design and implement any make-up, hairstyles, prosthetics and/or wigs to help bring characters to life onstage. The hair and make-up coordinator teaches performers how to correctly apply and style hair and make-up and may assist backstage during performances as necessary.
Fight Choreographers are responsible for planning, choreographing and overseeing all staged combat within the show. They work with the director and choreographer to make sure any stage combat within the show fit the shows vision while also using correct techniques to keep the actors safe during rehearsals and performances. Fight choreography can include anything from sword and knife play to gun fights to hand-to-hand combat.
The Assistant Director assists the Director in ensuring a unified production. They learn from and observe the Director throughout the rehearsal process while supporting the Director’s vision and provide another viewpoint on the production. They assist the Director in taking notes during rehearsals and runs, being on book and taking line notes. As requested by the Director, Assistant Directors may be asked to give notes to actors, work/clean staging, or stage a scene.
The Assistant Choreographer assists the choreographer with dance execution within the production. They learn from and observe the Choreographer throughout the rehearsal process while supporting the Choreographer’s vision and provide another viewpoint on the production. They observe and take notes for the choreographer, clean dance combinations, teach students techniques and dance steps, and run daily fitness conditioning warm-ups with actors.
As requested by the Choreographer, the Assistant Choreographer also may be asked to create choreography and teach dance steps and formations for a dance number.
Assistant Music Director
The Assistant Music Director assists the Music Director with the musical aspects of the Summer Independent Production. They learn from and observe the Music Director throughout the rehearsal process while supporting the Director’s vision and provide another viewpoint on the production. They observe and take notes for the Music Director, clean music numbers and vocal parts, and may teach musical numbers as requested by the Music Director.
The Assistant Music Director also acts as the rehearsal accompanist throughout the process, and transitions to a musician role during tech and performances.
The Assistant Music Director should have a strong background in music, preferably with both vocalists and instrumentalists. It is highly encouraged that the Assistant Music Director are experienced piano players.
Assistant Scenic Designer
The Assistant Scenic Designer assists the Scenic Designer with the vision or concept of the production both conceptually and physically. They assist with the creation and maintenance of any scenic paperwork including renderings, scenic models, and more. They assist with the build, paint, load-in and strike of the production. As requested, the Assistant Scenic Designer may also transition to backstage crew during the run of the production.
Assistant Costume Designer/Wardrobe Head
The Assistant Costume Designer assist the costume designer with research, planning, and design of the costumes for the production. They assist with purchases, building and sewing, load-in and strike, and creation of paperwork as requested by the costume designer.
Once the show transitions to the stage, the Assistant Costume Designer also acts as the wardrobe head for the duration of the show’s run. They work with the costume designer and assistant stage manager to coordinate all costume changes during tech, and address costume notes and do laundry during the run of the production, as well as support dry-cleaning and return of costumes after strike.
Assistant Lighting Designer/Light Board Operator
The Assistant Lighting Designer assist the lighting designer with research, planning, and design of the lights for the production, and well as light and focus. Once the show transitions to the stage, the Assistant Lighting Designer assists the lighting designer in programming light cues for the show, design spotlight cues, and acts as the light board operator during performances.
Assistant Sound Designer
The Assistant Sound Designer assists the sound designer with research, planning, and design of the sound for the production. They assist with sound cue creation, mic and orchestra plot, load-in and strike, and paperwork as requested by the sound designer.
Once the show transitions to the stage, the Assistant Sound Designer works backstage to assist actors with putting mics on, cleaning and maintaining mic packs, and assisting with mic swaps as needed to support the performance.
Assistant Technical Director (ATD)
The Assistant Technical Director assists the Technical Direction in all duties, including research, budget tracking, procurement of materials, schedules, database entries, drafting, and building of scenic elements.
Production/Stage Management Assistant (PA)
Production Assistants or Stage Management Assistants assist the management team in all duties, including rehearsal set up, drafting, and managing show paperwork, and tracking all production elements for designers and directors.
Once the show transitions to the stage, the Production Assistant/Stage Management Assistant works backstage to support the Assistant Stage Manager and crew in all backstage work.
Directing/Choreography/Music Direction Assistant
Directing team assistants are student volunteers who wish to learn about directing, choreography or music direction. They attend all rehearsals and technical rehearsals to observe and learn about their chosen discipline. Directing team assistants may take notes during rehearsal or other tasks as requested.
Design Assistants assist the designer with research, planning, and acquisition of all discipline-specific elements; they attend load-in and strike for their discipline, as well as all technical rehearsals, work calls, and production meetings. Design Assistants may be asked to work backstage for the show based on show needs.
Design Assistant positions are available for Lighting, Costumes, Hair and Makeup, Scenic, Props, and Sound.
Costume Shop Crew/Dresser
Costume Shop Crew assist the costume designer with pulling, sewing, altering clothing and accessories for the actors. During technical rehearsals, they assist with quick changes, show laundry, pressing, or steaming and assist with mending and repairs necessary, as directed by the wardrobe head.
Lighting Technician/Spotlight Operator
Lighting Technicians assist with setup and execution of the lighting design for productions. They assist the lighting designer and Village Theatre Master electrician with light hang and lighting focus and may transition to spotlight operator for the duration of the run.
The Dance Captain is a member of the cast who ensures all members of the cast are doing choreography correctly and are in sync. During the rehearsal process, they assist the choreography team with leading warm-ups and teaching choreography as necessary, as well as cleaning choreography or answering questions for the cast. The dance captain is responsible for knowing all choreography in the show for all roles, regardless of whether they are in the number.
Once the show has opened, the dance captain works with the stage manager to ensure the vision of the choreographer for the duration of the run.
Backstage Crew (also referred to as stagehands, stage technicians or deck crew) help backstage to prepare the show with any scenic or props needs. This may include operating a fly rail, moving scenic elements, or handing props off to actors. All stage crew report directly to the assistant stage manager.
Summer Independent interviews take place starting in January, after the Summer Independent show and team has been selected. Intern applicants are interviewed by the student director, music director, choreographer and/or production manager who were selected to produce the current Summer Independent show, as well as the KIDSTAGE production manager.
This process is designed to teach students how to lead interviews and build skills on hiring team members to build the team they want to work with.
Summer Independent artistic and design interns receive a weekly stipend, which are designed to reimburse interns for travel to and from the theater. Stipend amounts are determined by position and hours required. Assistant positions are not eligible for a stipend.
KIDSTAGE productions include opportunities for student musicians. KIDSTAGE orchestras contain a combination of student and professional musicians. This program allows students to build relationships and learn from professional musicians who work in local orchestras and at theaters across the Seattle area. To apply for the orchestra, please check out our musician opportunities page.
We’ve compiled a list of the most common questions that prospective interns often ask. If you can’t find an answer here, feel free to contact us at email@example.com
Does KIDSTAGE offer paid internships?
KIDSTAGE offers both paid and unpaid internships. Our Summer Independent designers and directors receive a small cost-reimbursement stipend, designed to reimburse gas and food costs while at the theater; however, assistant positions do not receive compensation. All interns and assistant positions qualify as summer internships if your college or university accepts outside internships for credit. Please talk to your intern supervisor if you will require supervisor signatures to qualify for your school’s internship credits.
How competitive is the selection process?
KIDSTAGE receives many applications from highly qualified individuals from around the Pacific Northwest. We have limited internship opportunities and receive hundreds of applications every year. If you are not selected, please consider applying again in the future.
How does the selection process work?
Summer Internship applications are reviewed after the date of the submission deadline. A round of candidates will be interviewed in person, virtually, or over the phone. Some departments will request a second round of interviews.
Does KIDSTAGE offer housing?
At this time, KIDSTAGE is unable to offer housing. If housing is a concern about accepting an internship with KIDSTAGE, please let us know – we can provide resources to help find temporary housing for the summer in the Seattle area.
Does KIDSTAGE offer short–term or part–time internships?
All of KIDSTAGE’s internships are structured around our production and class schedule. If you are interested in short-term internships, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for volunteer opportunities.
Can an applicant apply to more than one internship?
Yes. Applicants can apply for as many internships as they are qualified for.
Are high school students or adults exploring new career paths eligible to apply for an internship?
KIDSTAGE internships are designed for undergraduate-aged students, 18-25. Students under the age of 18 who are interested in design and/or stage experience should apply for the Technical Training Program. At this time, we do not offer internships for adults or graduate students.
Will I be able to hold a job during the program?
Interns work 20-40 hours per week depending on department. Please see the individual internship descriptions for more specifics regarding hours and schedule. Many of our past participants have been able to find morning, weekend, and/or freelance work around our production, classroom, or rehearsal schedules. We recommend you discuss during your interview if/how a part time job would fit around your internship(s) of choice.
If I am not offered an internship, can I apply again?
Yes. We receive a great number of qualified applicants each year and have limited internship spots available, so if you feel the program would still be beneficial to you or you have gained a little more experience, please re–apply.
Skills for Theatre… Skills for Life
To provide a personal development program for young people which uses theatre arts:
- To teach creativity and responsibility
- To encourage teamwork and personal integrity
- To foster self-esteem and appreciation for live theatre
Everyone benefits from an inclusive, multi-cultural environment of students, staff and programming. We welcome people of every ethnicity, race, faith, sexual orientation, gender identity, income and ability.