The Plaza Theatre, on Monterey Square in Wharton, is celebrating a successful summer internship program that offered hands-on learning and work experiences to local students. Cole Skinner is a senior enrolled at Stephen F. Austin State University majoring in Theatre with a minor in Creative Writing, and Kodi James is currently at the D’Youville Kavinoky Theatre in Buffalo, NY.

Internships are comparable to work experience and designed to give students a better understanding of the day-to-day tasks in preparation for a career in theatre, art, or marketing and communications. Tasks are assigned based on educational focus or interest. This could include projects in costume design and construction, set design and technical theater, or marketing and theater management.

The program aims to provide a balance theory with practical, hands-on experience. For example, a student may be a performance major, but has always wanted to learn more about the technical side of theater for a deeper understanding of the entirety of production.

“It is amazing to watch these young people apply concepts that they have studied in school, read about or have seen in another’s production, but may not have had the opportunity to experiment with themselves,” the Plaza Theatre’s VP of Productions Sarah Wilkins shared. “We are constantly learning new techniques for set construction, costume building, or projection design from our interns. We give them the opportunity to use the information they have learned and ‘reimagine’ those concepts to create their own unique costume, set piece, or prop.”

Wilkins continued “Internships are particularly important for theater students because of the nature of the field. It demystifies the real day-to-day work world of theater and exposes them to costume design and construction; set design and building; marketing for theater, technical theater design in the areas of lighting, sound and special effects; and production management. The list goes on.”

As the Plaza season moves into the 2022-2023 season of shows, they hope to offer more internships. Local businesses and community partners are encouraged to contact The Plaza Theatre at 979-282-2226 for program underwriting opportunities. The funds will be used to expand the program and provide young people with the opportunity to build their resumes and experiment with their ideas.

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About The Plaza Theatre, Inc.

The Plaza Theatre maintains a regional, iconic performance space as a home for live plays, concerts, special events as well as a gathering place to build stronger communities connected by the inspiration found in the performing arts. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, they are committed to ensuring easy, affordable access to cultural and artistic events. The Plaza Theatre bridges Wharton and its surrounding communities by celebrating the region’s rich, diverse history and welcoming everyone across the region to their unique family of individuals who find inspiration in artistic endeavors.