Summer Internship: Lillian Moffatt '22

August 31, 2021

Name: Lillian Moffatt
Class Year: 2022
Major: Theater
Hometown: Indianapolis, Ind.

Internship Organization: The Phoenix Theatre Indianapolis
Job Title: Intern
Location: Indianapolis, Ind.

What’s happening at your internship?

The Phoenix Theatere has given me the opportunity to see multiple sides of the theatrical world that you can’t see from a classroom. Here are a few things I’ve been working on:

  • I’ve just finished tabulating and analyzing audience survey results from a survey I designed earlier this summer. These results will help The Phoenix improve its operations based on audience experiences, and the demographic information collected is essential for receiving funding from foundations and government agencies.
  • The second half of July, I spent my hours preparing for a major fundraiser event (see the photo of me with the inflatable pool!).
  • I have spent time throughout my internship conducting dramaturgical research for two new plays.
  • This week, I will assist with the logistics of two auditions sessions.



There are always new goals each week, and it might surprise one how much preparation it takes to operate a theater!

Why did you apply for this internship?

This spring, I set out to find an internship that would help me approach three main objectives:
1. to address pertinent social issues with a local community through art,
2. make connections with professionals in my career field,
3. see firsthand what goes into nonprofit artistic work.

I wanted an organization that produces exciting, 21st-century theater, and The Phoenix is known in Indianapolis for dedicating itself to contemporary theatrical experiences that encourage the exploration of pertinent social issues. I was drawn to the way The Phoenix nurtures the city with important stories, and importantly, my supervisors were insistent that I would conduct hands-on, experiential work.

Can you talk about the skills you are learning and why they are important to you?

The most interesting skill I’m learning is dramaturgy, an underappreciated field. If you are directing, acting in, or designing a show, it’s essential to work with a dramaturg (or conduct your own research yourself). These dramaturgy packets that I am writing up will contain several pages meant to educate the production members about the background of the play, including its setting, history surrounding it, references made within it, and other information that will inform their acting process.

Was there anything special about how you found this internship?

At first, I thought I would need to go through extensive application processes to find a theater who would want me working for them. Before the shutdown last summer, I was Googling “theater internships Philadelphia” and desperately filling out the very few applications I could find. This summer, I didn’t do any searching. I am lucky to have been raised in an artistic household, so I was familiar with the great work The Phoenix has produced. I sent a quick email to the managing director, she responded, we chatted briefly, and she offered me the position right then. This taught me that just asking can be so much more helpful than doing work on your own, and just because an organization does not advertise an internship program doesn’t mean they couldn’t use some extra help!

Visit the Summer Internship Stories page to read more about student internship experiences.

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