Officially kicking off in 2015, The Naples Players’ Internship Program is one of the few of its kind in Southwest Florida. Every year, we receive several hundred applications from universities around the world to this highly competitive program.
A majority of theater-goers may not realize how many moving parts exist to get a production to the stage. We all see the incredible actors, costumes, and lighting – but we might not realize the many other behind-the-scenes departments that have to work as a team to bring our shows to life.
TNP has a professional staff of over 30 including: artistic, costume, lighting, education, marketing, development, production, bookkeeping, and front of house departments. All of these professional staff are responsible for coordinating with each other for best results. On top of completing their everyday functions, most departments are in charge of teaching and training their respective interns and volunteers.
Cole Butcher is TNP’s Production Stage Manager and Internship Director. Emphasizing the importance of the technical training and unique opportunities TNP provides to their interns, Cole says, “ Like any business or industry, there’s so much that goes into one product. Students going into theater need to understand how much goes into their product. (For example) The lighting designer can’t just talk about lighting. They need to understand scenic, costumes, and stage management (i.e. how the light hits the costumes). One department interacts with every other department so you need to know all aspects of theater to create that symbiotic relationship.”
High School and Transition (Ages 14-17+).
During the summer, Junior Interns are expected to dedicate 15 hours per week in addition to participating as backstage crew for a show. This way, the interns get their technical training during the day before heading into the performance space to be backstage crew and see their work in action.
During the school year, Junior Interns dedicate approximately 6-8 hours per week plus the first or last week of a performance.
Must be enrolled in a theater or applicable program (i.e. business administration major can be an intern for TNP in the administrative offices. Same goes for education majors!).
Housing Provided for out of state interns.
Minimum of 30 hours per week but most interns average 42-45 hours of work per week.
Lighthouses of Collier
This year, TNP is delighted to partner with Lighthouses of Collier to include their students in our Junior Intern program. The mission of Lighthouses of Collier, Inc. (LOC) is to foster independence and enhance the quality of life for the blind, visually impaired, and their caregivers. We are so happy to have LOC students join our internship team!
When discussing the college internship program, Cole says that “being paid and housed is a rarity in the (theater) industry.” Additionally, the program offers design opportunities that not too many organizations nationwide offer. “Full season interns get to design our main stage shows – they have a hand in the art they produce. They’re never just coffee-getters here. These interns have the opportunity to see their art realized on stage.” College interns also get the chance to mentor the junior interns and help introduce them to the professional way of doing things.
Providing high quality education and a real support system assists the college interns in their journey from academic experience to the rest of their career. Cole goes on to say that TNP is “a stepping stone between collegiate theater and post collegiate theater. If you mess up, we will support you to improve. In the real world, you won’t always have that – you are solely responsible for your art.”
Even for the younger students, the focus is to give them the skills they need to succeed in life in general. “We hope they end up in theater but we do give the junior interns practical and technical life skills such as using excel, staying organized, working with a group, and being adaptable. The lessons they learn here should be applied to the rest of their lives.”
Looking into the future, Cole’s ultimate goal is to make sure there’s a college intern and a junior intern in every single department in the theater and to be able to increase the pay for all interns.
TNP’s summer internship is currently underway but we’re always looking for eager students. To find out more about the Junior or College Internships contact Cole Butcher at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239 434 7340 ext. 125.