High School: Providence High School
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
Activities: Honor Board, Self Governance Association, drinking coffee
Interests: Direct trade coffee, biking, running, cat naps, international commerce, food justice
Internship: Marketing Internship with Pig Iron Theatre Company.
This past summer, I was a marketing intern under the supervision of John Frisbee. This internship was held at Pig Iron Theatre Company, a progressive and nationally recognized theatre company located right in Philadelphia.
To first discuss the theatre company itself, Pig Iron’s main mission is to create non-traditional, dynamic theatre that stems organically from no one else but their own company. In other words, the whole process for a Pig Iron show is completely organic–their company of actors will improv and workshop their way into creating a play instead of selecting a script from a playwright or adapting a already famous play. By doing so, the actors are no longer limited to only interpreting other people’s words and have a more complete license over the creative process.
To continue with their mission, Pig Iron very recently opened up their Advanced Performance Training program (APT for short). The purpose of this two-year program is to push actors into developing the sense of agency, creativity, and risk that Pig Iron stands for and supports. Some of the many ways APT does so is by encouraging the students to work and collaborate together within ensembles, better observe and then utilize movement as a major tool for expression, and as always, take ownership of their own bodies and voice as instruments of theatre.
In my internship, I worked with John Frisbee and Enid Whyte in trying to recruit the second class of APT-ers. The majority of my time there was spent researching ways to access potential interested students and also tapping into Pig Iron’s own network and allies as a resource for recruiting. Research included finding spaces where actors frequent in major cities, seeing whether there were other potential ways to access actors who’d be looking for training online, and looking into schools with theatre programs whose students may be looking for additional training. Other tasks included collaborating and editing marketing videos, attending staff meetings, and updating mailing lists.
While I went into this internship not expecting to go into the field of Theatre, I know that I still picked up useful tools and lessons that will cater to my future career plans that will more likely involve marketing and non-profit work. Pig Iron, a non-profit organization, gave me a better idea of how non-profit functions more generally, and what’s more, I have a more general idea of what type of research is entailed when trying to do outreach for a niche market. Perhaps the more unexpected lessons I learned is how often plans may fail and how to bounce back from such hurdles. Often times, I would put time and effort into researching how to access student-actors that may end up to a dead end. At that point, I would have to devise an altogether new plan of attack, and perhaps even a new goal altogether.