First Person: Rachel Beecher

First Person: Rachel Beecher

Dec 22 2014

The Rehearsal Room invited senior Rachel Beecher to write about her new internship at the Arden Theatre Company.

So, I just started at the Arden Theatre Company a couple of weeks ago, and it’s been totally insane and great.

I got the internship through Amanda Morton, who music directed Brigadoon here in the fall.  She’s the Head of the Drama School at the Arden and I am very interested in education in theater. (I’m staying for the Theater Education 4+1 Masters of English and Theater Ed.) So I reached out to her and asked to get coffee sometime to talk about possible opportunities.  Well, we never got coffee, but I did get this internship.

I’m the first strictly Education Intern the Arden has had, at least since Amanda has started. While the Arden has a ton of interns, the Education Department is in a state of reconfiguration. Amanda herself just started a few months ago in this position, so she jumped at the chance for some free help.  People will always say yes to free help.

I’m working with both Amanda, as Head of Arden Drama School, and her co-worker Jose Aviles, who is the Head of Educational Outreach.  Since Amanda knows me as a stage manager, she and Jose utilize my paperwork-oriented brain to make checklists, sign-in sheets, contracts, and schedules for upcoming events. I’m essentially there as an extra set of hands in their small department.

[caption id="attachment_1018" align="aligncenter" width="585"]Rachel, upper right, with members of Arden Theater Company's Teen group Rachel, upper right, and actors from Beauty and the Beast with members of Arden Theater Company's teen group[/caption]

The Arden Theatre Company also has an Apprentice Program, so there’s seven recent college grads who work there full time. They all are all assigned to a specific department, but help out generally. So sometimes Amanda will have two apprentices and me to help with Arden Drama School set-up or other events.  However, it’s nice that she and Jose always have me in addition to the help from the apprentices (who are all super awesome).

The Arden has a great vibe. It’s wonderful being around these warm and positive people every day. I really think that’s something about the Arden that stands out compared to a lot of other theaters I’ve worked at.  Everyone cares and puts in their all one hundred percent of the time. It’s a true collaboration. There are also dogs in and out of the office so I’m a happy camper.

Amanda is also not going to be around a lot of January and February because she’s music directing a show, so I’m going to be a little bit of a substitute for her at some Arden Drama School stuff. She’s been showing me the behind the scenes stuff on how to run a drama school. You don’t really know how much there is to do until you have to do it yourself, so it’s a wonderful learning experience. What I’ve really loved is actually being there with the kids. The Arden Drama School has 6-week classes, workshops, and summer camps ranging in contents for ages 5 to 18.

I've been able to work on a ton of different events. I got to participate in Girl Scout Day a few weeks ago and hang out with wonderful little girls and sing “Let It Go” all day. Last Friday, I helped out with Teen Night with Teen Arden, where we played Improv games, saw Beauty and the Beast, and had a talkback with the actors. This past Monday, I was there all day to help with their Cabaret of Duets, where six teens sang duets with six professionals.  Yes, I was there for twelve hours lifting tables and cleaning up hot cocoa, but I got a lot of free hot cider and see some amazing talented teenagers and working professionals. It’s a pretty sweet gig.

Since classes ended, I’m there whenever my schedule allows, so pretty much all the time. For the spring, I arranged my class schedule so I’m available Tuesdays and Thursdays to administrative stuff and Saturdays for Drama School sessions. It’s been a really great environment to just be thrown into, and I can’t wait for the rest of the semester.

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