ABT and the Roundabout Theatre Company

3 Jun

Being a part of American Ballet Theatre’s Internship program is truly a learning experience, an inclusive one of camaraderie and support rather than an isolated one of “fetch me my morning coffee” or “stuff these envelopes.” Interns here are not simply plotted within their specialty to perform one-track tasks, but are invited to experience ABT as a whole, through company-wide intern meetings, seminars, and events. Through this, interns are able to experience extra opportunities than one would first imagine.

One of the opportunities for us interns this semester is the collaboration that ABT’s Internship program has established with Roundabout Theatre Company’s Apprentice program. After a couple of different interactions between ABT’s interns and Roundabout’s apprentices, we have been exposed to opportunities that we never would have known of if we had remained only within ABT. Through a talk-back with both ABT’s and Roundabout’s Company Managers, as well as a group outing to one of Roundabout’s hit musical revivals, Violet, we have been able to cross-reference and learn about how running a ballet organization differs (and aligns) with running other arts organizations, such as a musical theatre company. For someone like me who comes from a musical theatre background, I have been fortunate enough to be able to learn about running an organization whose product isn’t music theatre, but I have also been grateful for the partnership with Roundabout, which has only further enhanced my experience in ABT’s Internship program.

Roundabout Theatre Company very recently opened a revival of Jeanine Tesori’s Violet, starring Broadway princess, Sutton Foster. As the entire company readied the American Airlines Theater for its opening, Roundabout was kind enough to invite ABT’s interns to a preview of the show, preceded by a meeting and dinner with the Roundabout apprentices. As we entered the American Airlines Theater, we were shown to the VIP lounge, located above the house. Here, we were able to have conversations and learn more about how Roundabout runs their apprentice program. Being able to talk with other Performing Arts Administration professionals and also with young professionals who are just starting their careers–like many of us interns at ABT–was an eye-opening experience. Being able to cultivate relationships within and beyond ABT is a huge advantage to those who want to make Arts Administration their career. Through networking programs, in addition to all ABT has to offer within their offices, I believe ABT wants us to see that “knowledge is power.” ABT’s reputation and connections only enhance the intern experience and truly pushes the interns to absorb as much as possible, in order to jumpstart an intricate and multi-faceted career. For these experiences, I am grateful.

Violet on Broadway at the Roundabout Theatre Company

Violet on Broadway at the Roundabout Theatre Company

Jenna Jacobs

Majors Gifts Intern

Spring 2014

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