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Technical Direction Internship

Chicago Shakespeare Theater is currently accepting Technical Direction Intern applications for Fall 2018. Applications must be received by July 1, 2018.

As an intern in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Production department, you will be joining a world-class group of artisans, craftspeople, carpenters, and technicians. Together, the Production Management, Stage Management, Scenic, Props, Costumes, Lighting, Sound and Wigs departments execute the visions of the many directors and designers who come through Chicago Shakespeare’s doors. With the opening of The Yard in 2017, the Production department looks forward to further innovation in our new flexible performance space.

CST’s Technical Direction internship offers professional experience for qualified college students and recent graduates who are actively pursuing careers in technical direction and construction for the stage.  Working in conjunction with the Scenic team, interns are entrusted with a great deal of responsibility and are given challenging, hands-on work that directly furthers the build of upcoming productions. 

The Technical Direction Internship may begin as early as September.  The exact start and end dates of the internship are negotiable.  Though the intern’s hours can be fairly flexible ranging from part to full time, all internship candidates must be available to work a minimum of 24 hours per week for 6 weeks in order for this experience to be a worthwhile educational endeavor. Chicago Shakespeare is committed to building diversity and inclusion onstage and throughout the organization. We especially encourage candidates from underrepresented groups to apply.

Desired Skills and Experience:

  • Minimum two years undergraduate education or equivalent experience as a carpenter/stagehand/technician.
  • Basic knowledge of hand and power tools.
  • Basic knowledge of counterweight systems and spot rigging techniques.
  • Basic knowledge of CAD software and technical drafting for the theater.
  • Effective written and verbal communication skills.
  • Flexibility and ability to work within tight deadlines.
  • Detail-oriented and organized.
  • Willingness to learn and work as part of a team.
  • Self-starter, willing to take ownership of a specific project or task.

Internship Responsibilities May Include:

  • Working directly with the Scenic Supervisors and Technical Coordinator to understand the overall scope of scenery construction including changeover, strikes, and load-ins.
  • Working closely with staff to coordinate equipment inventory, repair, and maintenance in the Courtyard Theater, Upstairs Theater, and various rehearsal spaces.
  • Assisting with notes, inspection, and daily maintenance tasks.
  • Assisting with researching, locating, building, crafting, and purchasing scenic elements and accessories.
  • Contributing to friendly, clean, and safe working practices in the shop.
  • Working closely with other technical departments and visiting theater professionals.
  • Assisting on special projects as needed.

Benefits Include:

  • A modest travel stipend
  • College credit as available through a student’s academic institution
  • Educational and career-coaching opportunities, including an intern seminar series that illuminates the workings of a large arts organization
  • An in-depth review of the intern’s resume/portfolio with CST staff members
  • Complimentary tickets to CST performances
  • Invitations to company-wide events with actors, designers and other artists
  • Free and reduced-price tickets to other Chicago theaters through "industry" offers
  • Unfortunately we are not able to provide housing

Who should apply for this Internship:
Applicants interested in learning about the day-to-day functions of a professional theatre's scenic department should apply. This position is specifically catered to those interested in the technical and administrative aspects of the trade. Design opportunities are not available as a part of this internship.

Application Process:
To be considered for a Technical Direction Internship with Chicago Shakespeare, please prepare the following to upload through our portal below:

  • A cover letter stating: 1) your specific interest/s in this particular internship, 2) your available start and end dates, 3) hourly time commitment each week, 4) how you hope this internship will support your future goals
  • A current CV or resume describing relevant experience
  • Two letters of academic and/or professional reference (Please note that if your references would like to submit their letters to Chicago Shakespeare directly, they may do so through the submission form on this page.)
  • If you wish to receive college credit for this internship, please include an outline of your school's requirements.

Questions? Contact Chicago Shakespeare’s Production Department at productionintern@chicagoshakes.com. Applications sent to this email address will not be accepted. Please use the portal below.

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