This summer, like most do, has absolutely flown by. It was my first summer here in NYC, and it has been a truly awesome experience! I’ve been living on campus and commuting to my internship at Roundabout Theatre Company, a full-time internship in the management department working on their current and upcoming Broadway and Off-Broadway shows. It’s the perfect internship for an Arts Admin major like myself who wants to go into theatre management, and it has taught me so much about working in the NYC theatre industry.
Last semester was the busiest I have ever had, and amidst the craziness of all of my commitments, I was applying frantically for summer internship positions. Which was pretty stressful. I think I re-wrote my cover letter about ten times. My resume got a couple of makeovers, too, and I spent hour after hour researching and applying for various internship opportunities. Roundabout was always one of my top choices; it’s the largest non-profit theatre company on Broadway, with three Broadway houses, an Off-Broadway, and a Black Box. Plus, their internship program is pretty established and has been running for years, so I knew I’d be given actual work and not just getting coffee. Oh, and did I mention it’s paid!?
So, for the summer, I work full-time in Roundabout’s administrative offices, a couple of blocks from the heart of Times Square. It’s very fulfilling to get to apply some of the content from my Arts Admin classes to the real world, but it’s even more fulfilling to be learning the stuff they don’t teach at school, and to see what it really takes to run a management department for Broadway. The department is responsible for negotiating with agents, for contracting actors, designers, and crew, for corresponding and complying with the various theatrical unions, for managing the budgets of each production, and so much more. I get to play a small part in each of these tasks, and ask a thousand questions along the way!
One of the best things about Roundabout is how much they value their interns, and the effort the education department puts in to making sure everyone has a fulfilling experience. Every week, the interns — there are 9 of us altogether, all in different departments — have a meeting with the Education Coordinator to check in and learn about what’s going on in the other departments. Then we have a Q+A session with a senior staff member — over the summer we’ve met with the Artistic Director, Managing Director, Executive Director, Director of Finance, Director of Marketing, and Director of Development, and next week we're getting a tour of the archives. It’s always a great opportunity to learn about another side of the business, and means we’re all networking with senior staff from every major department.
We also had the opportunity to attend Roundabout's Tony Awards party, the opening night party for Significant Other (Roundabout’s Off-Broadway play), and to tour two of Roundabout’s theatres, the American Airlines and the Stephen Sondheim. We even got to tour the Met Opera House, which was absolutely amazing; that place is bigger than you can imagine, and we got to see all the props and costumes for ABT’s Sleeping Beauty — one rack of those ballerina dresses could literally pay off my student debt, no joke. One of my favorite experiences of the summer was getting to spend an afternoon shadowing the Company Manager of On the Twentieth Century during one of their matinees. She took me around to meet all the actors and crew as they were preparing for the show, then she answered all my questions in her office while the show played live on the monitor behind us.
As someone who hopes to work for the theatre industry after graduation, this experience has been absolutely invaluable... There’s just nothing quite like working on Broadway. It’s a little slice of the career I hope to have, and it’s absolutely confirmed for me what I always knew — that this is the right path for me. Whether I end up working on Broadway or the West End, I know I’ll have this experience to look back on as a huge rung on the ladder to success. And for any Arts Admin students out there, I 100% recommend that you apply for Roundabout’s summer internship program! There are opportunities in management, marketing, development, artistic, education, finance and more, and you will learn, see, and experience so much!