Charleston Stage Company is one of my favorite contracts I've ever worked on. I did their 10-month Resident Acting Internship program, and boy am I glad I did!
First, the company really takes care of its actors. The housing is AWESOME, with each actor having his or her own private room and bathroom in a two-bedroom apartment, with full kitchen, living room, etc. all included.
Second, Charleston is the most gorgeous city in the world. You will live 10 minutes from the beach, 15 minutes from historic downtown, and have access to all the most amazing restaurants, shopping, and entertainment imaginable! And the Dock Street Theatre, where all of the CSC performances are held, is America's first theater, and one of the most gorgeous theaters I've seen.
Charleston has a really cool theater scene, with around 10 or 12 professional companies, so you will get to know the community fast. During the contract, you will work with lots of local actors, directors, and choreographers, who are quite talented.
The production values are good, with talented actors, and beautiful sets and lighting. The costuming can be hit or miss, depending on who is designing. Great directors, and always stellar music direction.
As a resident actor, you will perform in 6-9 of the shows, especially the three shows in the youth series. Most resident actors get hired to play one particular role in the season, and at the beginning of the contract, everyone auditions again for the remaining roles in the season. I had a lot of great opportunities, including 2 lead roles, 2 supporting, 2 featured ensemble.
Another big part of the contract is teaching theater classes, both in the Charleston County School system, and after-school classes at the Charleston Stage Theatre School. For me, it seemed like a daunting task at first to plan and teach 3 theater classes per week, but they train you for the first month, and you always have a teaching partner, so at least you're in it together! Once I started teaching, I adored it! The classes range from K5-middle school and the kids are oh-so-cute!
When you're not acting or teaching, you will work one shift in the box office each week, and have the opportunity to work with the fab office staff at CSC. As the shows get closer, you may be asked to help paint in the shop for three hours or assist with move-in to the theater. Aside from that, you will likely have tons of free time to get to know Charleston! It's definitely not the type of internship to work you to the bone.
Lastly, the people are what really sold it for me. You will work most closely with the Associate Artistic Director, Marybeth, and Music Director, Sam. They are super sarcastic, creative, focused, and tons of fun! The company's founding artistic director Julian is sometimes distant and a little hard to read, but he's a great head of the company. The rest of the staff is super loving, and they will become a family to you! SAY YES if they ever call you!
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