Internship Stories

There are many internship opportunities for Luther theatre students. Visit the Find Internships page or contact a faculty member to apply for an internship.

Other internship stories from students in dance and art are on the VPA website.

Matthew Espey

Matthew and the rest of the cast of Footloose pose for a group photo.When: Summer 2017
Where: Clinton Area Showboat Theatre, Clinton, Iowa
Major: Theatre

Matthew has interned with the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre since high school. While interning, he performed in mainstage productions each summer. Another duty was working in the costume shop, scene shop, and box office. Matthew and other interns also attended workshops about acting, dancing, and singing which were led by professional performers. At the end of the season, the interns put on their own show showcasing what they learned.

Once Matthew began his studies at Luther, he was promoted to administrative and secretarial duties for the company. This allowed him to gain even more professional experience. Matthew loved having a voice in running the theatre. Even with these extra jobs, Matthew was still able to perform in the mainstage productions as an actor. These experiences and the connections he made were very rewarding. Matthew is most grateful for the influential and professional artists he met at the Showboat. After all, in theatre, connections mean everything.

Laura Thoms

Laura Thoms '16When: January 2016
Where: Dry Run Studio, Decorah, IA
Major: Theatre

For her internship with Dry Run Studio, Laura participated in meditation and daily discussions with her supervisor. Each day, Laura meditated in a different location on Luther’s campus or around the Decorah area. While at these sites, she would reflect on how ordinary life can be beneficial for creativity. These meditative observations helped her develop a deeper understanding of her own learning process. Through this, Laura was able to refine her creative discussions and process. She also kept a blog, where she was able to track how her ideas grew and became polished. The most rewarding part of the internship was learning how meditation and reflection can heighten creativity. In relation to her theatre major, Laura plans to uses these new tools to further her artistic development.

Maggie Mae Sulentic

Maggie Mae SulenticWhen: Summer 2015
Where: St. Croix Festival Theatre
Major: Theatre

Maggie spent her summer playing the role of Ronette in Little Shop of Horrors at the St. Croix Festival Theatre in Wisconsin. Outside of her work onstage, Maggie taught performance classes to children in kindergarten through high school. She gained many new skills during her internship, including tips for rapid memorization and how to keep her body healthy and performance ready. From her classes, she learned new teaching methods and classroom-management skills. The most rewarding part of Maggie’s work with the Festival Theatre was inspiring her students through her performances. As a child, Maggie was given the gift of the arts by a role model in her life, and being able to return this gift to others was an amazing experience. Maggie’s internship helped her to discover what being a theatre professional entails. She also realized she can handle the difficulties of working in theatre and is more determined to make her dreams a reality.

Elaena Hoekstra

Elaena HoekstraWhen: Summer 2015
Where: SummerStage at Lapham Peak
Major: Theatre

Elaena spent her summer working as the marketing and publicity intern for SummerStage at Lapham Peak in Delafield, Wisconsin. She was responsible for developing weekly press releases, emails, and daily social media posts. Many of these responsibilities were new to Elaena, so she was able to develop and refine her skills in marketing and publicity. On the weekends, Elaena also worked as a house manager for SummerStage which helped her realize that she prefers working on the artistic side of theatre. She worked with volunteers, caterers, and performers to ensure each performance went smoothly. The most rewarding part of her internship was working with people older than her as she was able to practice voicing her opinions in a new setting. Working independently gave Elaena confidence in her abilities, but she ultimately discovered that she loves working with others.

Becca Chapin

Becca Chapin

When: Summer, 2014
Where: Des Moines Metro Opera

Celebrating its 42nd festival season this summer, Des Moines Metro Opera is the largest performing arts organization in Iowa. The organization offers three main stage operatic works, produced by over 200 people, including well-accomplished singers, apprenticeship artists, designers, a production crew, and interns. As a wig and makeup intern, Becca washed, blocked, styled, and applied wigs to the singers heads, as well as hats and head pieces. She also helped with makeup and any miscellaneous tasks that needed to be done during the run of the shows. A highlight for Becca was researching, making stencils, and applying temporary prison tattoos to singers using acrylic paint. As a theatre major wanting to go into costume, hair, and makeup design, Becca’s internship gave her a better idea for the industry and made her excited for the career ahead!

Kajsa Jones

Kajsa Jones head shot.When: January, 2015
Where: Springboard for the Arts and Nautilus Music-Theater
Major: Management

Kajsa spent her January assisting Springboard for the Arts, an artist resources organization that connects artists with communities, and Nautilus Music-Theater, a small music-theater company in the Twin Cities that creates original music, theater, and opera pieces, as well as innovative productions of existing work. Her involvement with Nautilus included observing an artistic team and filling the role of production assistant for a local performing arts production of “Fugitive Songs,” where she was a part of the rehearsals and performance. Putting up a production in three weeks was complex and difficult, but Kajsa found it very rewarding to be a part of the process. At Springboard, Kajsa helped monitor the Artist Resource Center, attended a resource fair, and worked with the company’s online Artists Services Directory to build a more efficient process for the community. The staff at both organizations helped Kajsa understand what possibilities are available for her as a future artist and administrator. She admires the people she worked with and feels many of the connections she made will continue to be strengthened in the future.

Tim Komatsu

Internship - Tim Komatsu

When: Summer, 2014
Where: Steppenwolf Theatre

Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, IL is one of the largest regional theatres in America and is known nationwide for developing and premiering new plays. Tim spent his summer as their literary intern, which dealt with agent correspondence, reading and reviewing plays, and an in-depth research of theatre history. One of his proudest accomplishments was establishing a process for cataloging Steppenwolf's commission history, which spans almost 30 years and includes plays that have won Tony and Pulitzer prizes. Tim says it was fascinating to be able to dig through documents and contracts, discover several world famous plays that had been commissioned by the theatre, and now hopes to move to Chicago after graduation to continue working in their vibrant theatre scene.