What you can expect:
- The hours are full time and the schedule will likely fluctuate from week to week.
- Housing, utilities, and a stipend will be provided; this helps make the internship relatively cost neutral.
- There will be physical tasks that require repeated lifting and bending, as well as possibly being on ladders, lifts, or catwalks.
- Everyone will be on run crew at least twice. Some internships have more run crew expectations than others. Some run crew positions might require that you appear onstage in a costume.
- College credit can be arranged.
- The minimum commitment is from late August through May; Production Interns could start as early as mid-July and Education Interns may be invited to stay as late as early August.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Is housing provided?
A: Yes. Interns are housed in furnished, 3-bedroom apartments 4 blocks from the theater and across the street from Deering Oaks Park, a large municipal green space. Each intern has their own bedroom and shares a kitchen, bathroom, and living space. The apartment comes with heat, electricity, water, and wifi. Apartments range from first floor to third floor apartments; there are no elevators in the apartment building. There is street parking available around the apartment building for those that wish to bring vehicles, but pay attention to winter/snow parking bans announced by the city. We expect interns to be able to walk to work from these apartments; parking spots are not provided at Portland Stage for everyday intern use.
Q: Can I live on the stipend provided?
A: The majority of interns find it possible to live off the $100/week stipend, but we recognize that each individual is coming from a different background and has different needs. There are a number of former interns currently working at Portland Stage that can give suggestions for those that are finding it difficult.
Q: What can I expect to do beyond my internship area?
A: There are certain tasks that get assigned to all interns throughout the season. Interns can expect to go on postering routes, spend time assisting the costume shop, help strike a show, work an electrics changeover and focus, set-up a company meal or party (and eat too!), be on book for tech or preview performances, ushering for an occasional performance, and other various tasks as assigned. All interns should be prepared to bend, lift, carry, move, etc.; interns should be physically able to lift 40 lbs (the weight of a stage weight) on their own. The vast majority of your time will be spent in your field; however, as in all internships, your time will be scheduled in an attempt to give each intern a well rounded theatrical education.
Q: Do you offer any summer internships?
A: Yes, we offer a Summer Education Internship that runs from June through mid-August. Applications for the Summer Education Internship are due February 15. We typically do not have summer internships in other areas.
Q: Can I have a part-time job during my internship?
A: The program should be regarded as a full-time and primary commitment of 40 hours per week. The schedule varies based on the needs of the show and the needs of the theater. Additional employment to supplement income (an outside job) is not usually possible or practical given the fluctuating nature of the schedule. That being said, we have had past interns who found other jobs that were able to work around our schedule.
Q: What do you mean by fluctuating schedule?
A: The schedule will have ebbs and flows from week to week. When on run crew the schedule will have a lot of nights and weekends, but otherwise it might be a lot of time spent during the weekday. We’ve added a Swing Run Crew position that will be in and out of performances during the run; while the schedule will fluctuate it will also help us provide shows off to those on run crew. As of the fall of 2020 we have stopped having “10 out of 12’s” as tech days so we will be avoiding the practice of working multiple long days in a row. Interns are encouraged to discuss schedule conflicts with their supervisor and with the Intern Coordinator in advance so we can make schedules work around them whenever possible.
Q: How many interns do you select?
A: We select ten to twelve (10-12) interns per season. The summer generally has two or three (2-3) interns.
Q: How large is your pool of applicants?
A: Typically between 110 and 130 per season.
Q: Do you accept International applicants?
A: Portland Stage can only accept applications from non-U.S. citizens if they have already secured a greencard or other permission to be in the United States for the period of the internship. Foreign citizens must include documentation that they have this status in order for their application to be considered.
Q: When are final selections made?
A: The decisions are made in late April or May. Summer Education Internships will likely be decided by early March.
Q: What about COVID?
A: Like many theaters we are trying to stay open and to keep producing content safely. We may not know our exact plans for next season but we do know that we’re going to do our best to keep going and to adapt to the limits set forth by CDC and the Governor. That may mean in person shows with a streaming option, or zoom readings and discussions, or other options we haven’t tried as of yet. Flexibility will be key.
Portland Stage upgraded the HVAC system in the building to include bi-polar ionization technology to keep the air clean and breakdown particles; but everyone is encouraged to do as much work from home as possible. At the start of the season, start of rehearsal, and before tech there is a meeting to review the safety plan to ensure everyone is informed of the plan as well as expectations for their actions and those of others. Everyone is encouraged to speak up and help remind others of the safety plan.
If you are accepted into the internship program you will be guaranteed housing for the duration of the normal internship (late August through late May), whether we are able to produce theater or not. As long as we continue to provide you with educational experiences and tasks for you to do, you will still receive your stipend. We may start the season a little later or end a little earlier, but we will keep interns and staff informed as decisions are being made.
As of August 2021, those who have shown their completed vaccine card to HR are allowed to be in the building unmasked but they must keep a mask available in case they interact with a school age child or the public. Staff who interact with children and the public must be masked; patrons and children must be masked. A lot of meetings are still happening virtually and distancing is still encouraged along with proper hand hygiene. We are continuing to watch for updates from CDC and the State of Maine. We are planning on a relatively normal schedule for the 2021-2022 season.