Gig&Tell: Playhouse on the Square

  • This Place Gets Into Your Heart and Refuses to Leave 03/08/2014  10:45pm

    You can get two different kinds of gigs at Playhouse: a yearlong Internship, and a Guest Artist contract.

    If you take an internship, you'll work 10am-6pm in your given field unless you are rehearsing or putting together a show (which honestly is pretty much always), in which case you may be working until 10/11pm. You work your ass off. Seriously. Sometimes you get your Monday off, sometimes you don't. It's exhausting. It's also exhilarating, invigorating, fulfilling, supported work.

    The Guest Artist is the easiest job in the world. Rehearsal periods tend to be about 4 weeks long, and you pretty much rehearse afternoon and evenings, without any regularity until tech. Then you perform 4 or 5 shows a week for 4 weeks. So easy.

    Interns and Guests are housed in an apartment building owned by Playhouse about a mile away from the theatre. You get a private room (Guests usually get their own full suite apartment to themselves) although size varies a ton, but share a kitchen and bathroom. The space is shoddy and dirty but decently spacious and in general totally acceptable.

    What makes this place magical is the people and the community of Memphis. You will be welcomed in like family by the locals the day you arrive. These people love theatre, love each other, and are eager to love you. The productions are always good, and the seasons are exciting, varied, and challenging. If you're just out of school and have a great work ethic and a true love of theatre, take the internship. If you are offered a Guest contract, take it.

    And eat a lot of BBQ.

    In response to the earlier message. Interns do not work 10-6. They work 10-10 everyday. Don't even think about Monday's as being a day off. You will only get that day maybe once or twice a month. As an actor you will mostly work in a shop. You will not have rehearsals and shows all years. Sometimes you go a month and a half only doing shop work. You make $100 a week for a year. But no worries you don't have time to go out anyway. You can do food stamps if you can find the time to apply. And if your sick and need to go to the doctor or need any kind of personal time whatsoever you WILL be made to make up the time you missed. By coming in early or staying late after a 12 hour day. There is "no break" while you're an intern. good Luck

    02/26/2015  12:31am

    Yes I agree with the response to the above post. I'm glad I did the internship, but I would never do it again. Acting interns in particular get the shortest end of the stick in terms of work hours. Most days technical and management interns work 10-8, where acting interns usually work 10-10 due to rehearsals. Most rehearsals don't begin until 2 or 6pm though so most of the day for acting interns was spent in an area outside of what the main focus of their internship was supposed to be. There were also some unpleasant suprises along the way such as: rules changing in a way that negatively affected the interns (for no good reason that was presented to us), days-off being taken for load-ins and other events (when the job was offered to me, I was told that Monday's would be my day off... That's a lie), injuries being ignored or brushed off (this happened more than once), etc. Also, the pay is so low that most interns were on food
    stamps. Basically this theatre owned my life for a year and that's about as much as I could take. I would not recommend it to anyone who wished to keep their soul. The friends I made were great though and my resume filled up... But those are really the only positive things I can say about the experience

    The guest contract is a different story.

    Guest contractors only attend rehearsals and obviously, perform. Or, in the case of technical guest contractors, oversee their own projects as it applies to the show they were contracted to work on. I would accept a guest contract if offered in the future.

    09/14/2015  10:27pm

    Im sorry you guys only focused on the negative aspects of your internship. But look at your resume and tell me you did not benefit from this experience both on and off the stage? You knew before accepting the contract about the pay... It's an internship not Broadway.

    I've worked with this amazing company for years and volunteered many days to help in the events that help this theatre stay up and running.

    The opportunities are endless. Not to mention, the connections and networks you build.

    Playhouse is a family. Yes there may be hiccups here and there in a contract... it happens. But how you handle and adjust, makes you that much more of a professional and a better actor in the long run.

    Would I intern for them? Yes. Why? Because they produce amazing productions and amazing actors and technical performers (crew, props etc...)

    Hope to see you at SETC or UPTA!

    03/10/2017  2:01pm