By: Lauren Speirs
Here at The Naples Players (TNP) we have amazing volunteers who work with our staff, but did you know we also have an internship program? Jillian Feigenblat is our prop department intern and works closely with volunteers and staff to make all of TNP’s 2021-2022 productions come to life.
Jillian is originally from Connecticut but moved to Palm City, Florida in high school. In her junior year, she was looking to get involved in after school activities when she decided that “theatre seemed like a fun thing to be a part of! I asked if I could be backstage because the thought of being onstage horrifies me. It just happened naturally for me with props and I fell in love with it. I’m glad I learned about it because I have a really great job!”
After receiving her BFA in theatre production and design, Jillian wanted to do props and scenic design somewhere and found TNP’s internship program on OffstageJobs.com. After investigating The Naples Players’ website to find out more, she decided that “it looked like a great place to be.”
You may be wondering what a day looks like for a prop designer. Jillian says, “I make all the prop lists for the shows and source everything we need here. I also help Mike build and paint the sets with the volunteers. There’s a lot of overlap with scenic and if something needs to be found or purchased, I find it and figure out a way to get it to us. Sometimes I also go up to the costume shop to use their sewing machines if needed.”
Jillian working in the Scene Shop
It certainly gets busy for the staff, interns, and volunteers at TNP. “The biggest challenge is time. We make it work but there’s a lot to get done and ready for the shows, especially when you have three shows going on in tandem. Tech week is when I get to see my work with everything else happening on stage and ask the director what they think of it and if they like it. By the time it gets on stage, everything is in good shape!”
Luckily, all of The Naples Players’ interns get along! They share an apartment downtown and Jillian says, “we’re all super happy to be living together still (after starting way back in the summer of 2021). TNP is definitely a unique place and I’ve genuinely enjoyed being here. I don’t have a volunteer who stays with me all the time but there is one who comes in and asks what we need, which is great – we paint or use the machinery together.”
Up next for Jillian is going to Wisconsin to work for the American Players. She will continue to work in the props department for this equity theater and will be reporting to someone as a ‘props artisan.’ “My focus will be different there and I will get the opportunity to learn even more in addition to what I have already collected from my experience here in Naples. It’s been so fun here and my portfolio looks awesome. The Wedding Singer was my first show and my experience here has been super educational. Even just learning all the basics about hand tools and sewing. Or, how different glues work! I’ll go to use something and Chase or Mike will say ‘no’ and explain why. It’s great to be a part of and seeing the shows come to fruition is amazing.”
Cake designed by Jillian for The Cake
The biggest challenge for Jillian from this season was The Cake. “There were a lot of food props and set decorations. We needed fifteen fake cakes and one of them needed to have a real piece of cake in it. I learned a lot on the show. The director wanted a certain amount of cakes for display and I would do some research on them and send it back to them to see if they liked it. Other things (like the cupcakes) I just came up with!”
All of us at TNP wish Jillian luck with her next steps! To find out more about internship opportunities at The Naples Players, contact Cole Butcher, Production Stage Manager/Internship Director, at (239) 434-7340, ext. 125 or email@example.com.