Tag Archives: Arts Internship Program

Fountain Theatre intern Annie Barker: Artists are the gatekeepers of truth

Annie at County Intern event June 2017

Annie Barker with fellow interns at LA County Arts Intern Summit.  

by Annie Barker

This past week, I left my desk at the Fountain Theatre to join my fellow interns at the Los Angeles County Arts Commission Summer Intern Summit. During this all-day event, I had the opportunity to meet with the over 130 interns that work at different non-proft arts organizations across Los Angeles county. While we come from different schools, backgrounds, and organizations, we are connected through the love of the arts.  This event brings us together for a day of workshops, conversation, tours, and much more.

I started my morning off with two workshops–Creative Organizing: The Role of Art in Advancing Justice Movements and What Happens Next: Advice from Former Interns. In the first workshop, we had the opportunity to talk about how we can use different art forms to voice political and social concerns. This relates perfectly to the Fountain Theatre and our current production Building the Wall. The quote that really resonated with me during this talk was “Artists are the gatekeepers of truth. We are civilization’s radical voice.” I truly believe that at both the Fountain Theatre and beyond, I have the ability to create change through art.

The second workshop helped me understand the possible paths that my career could follow as I look forward to my senior year. A double major in English and Theatre, I often worry about my future. Through this workshop, my worries were put to ease with simple advice from Center Theatre Group‘s Camille Schenkkan. At the time, her career path seemed aimless. However, this is the time in one’s life that one must do and try everything. It is through the not knowing that you find your path.

After lunch with some of the other LMU interns (they are SIX of us) and some dancing led by CONTRA-TIEMPO, we headed out to tour different arts spaces in Santa Monica. Through the afternoon, we explored City Garage Theatre, Highways Performance Space, and the 18th Street Arts Center. Originally from Portland, I am still learning about all of the different venues around LA. It is so inspiring to see different artists in their element and home, creating work that they are proud of.

While the day was jam-packed with activity, I left The Broad Stage feeling more inspired and excited for the next six weeks of my internship. While the commute can get long sometimes and early mornings are not my thing, my position with Fountain Theatre and the LA County Arts Commission cannot be traded for anything in the world. Not only am I learning the skills needed to work in non-profit theatre, I am working with people who love the work they do. Everyday, I get to go to an office with people who not only love theatre, but they work to create change through this beautiful, crazy art form. Here’s to another six weeks of adventures with my family here at the Fountain Theatre.

This internship is sponsored by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission

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Now Hiring: paid summer internship for college student at the Fountain Theatre

artworxLA 2017 intern group

A peer group of 2016 LA County interns.

Know a college student looking for a paying job this summer? A young person who likes theatre and enjoys working in a crazy, eccentric theatrical environment? Search no further. The Fountain is the place.

The Fountain Theatre is now accepting applications to hire one college student as a Production Intern for 10 consecutive weeks this summer, commencing sometime between June 5, 2017 and ending August 25, 2017.  It is a full-time position (40 hours per week for 10 weeks) with a salary of $480 per week.  

The Production Intern will receive valuable on-the-job training and professional experience by fully engaging in all production facets of the Fountain Theatre. The intern will work alongside the Fountain’s Artistic Directors and professional producers in all elements of event production including administration and planning, artist outreach, vendor support, technical coordination, marketing, publicity, and social media. The intern will serve as production assistant to plays produced on the Fountain main stage and its outdoor flamenco concert.

The intern candidate must have basic computer and word-processing skills (PC, Word, Excel, Internet), good communication skills and pleasant phone manner, organizational skills, be detail oriented, and have the ability to multi-task in an intimate office environment. A sense of humor and a willingness to learn many aspects of production. S/he should be self-motivated and have the ability to take initiative when required. S/he should also have a passion for theater. Excellent writing and editing skills. An ability to work effectively both independently and cooperatively. Creativity, enthusiasm for learning, and an outgoing, friendly demeanor. Looking for an individual who can wear many hats and interested in learning and performing a variety of production duties, often at the same time.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors established the Arts Internship Program to provide undergraduate students with meaningful on-the-job training and experience in working in nonprofit arts organizations, while assisting arts organizations to develop future arts leaders. This is our sixth year participating in the program and we’ve had great luck with our summer interns. Each one has been incredibly helpful, has learned a great deal, and became part of our Fountain Family. We are still in contact with all of them.

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This internship position is open to currently enrolled undergraduate (2- or 4-year) college students who reside or attend college in Los Angeles County. Students must have completed at least one semester of college by June 1, 2017, or will complete their undergraduate degree between May 1 – September 1, 2017 in order to participate.  Students must be able to legally work in the United States. 

To apply, please email Stephen Sachs at: stephen@fountaintheatre.com

Deadline to apply is Friday, April 28.

A powerful performance and a heartfelt goodbye for now

Victoria last day Aug 2016

Last day as the Fountain 2016 summer intern 

by Victoria Montecillo

Last week, I got to see the Fountain’s current production: a new Tennessee Williams piece called Baby Doll. The circumstances of how this piece came to the stage were a bit unorthodox for a Williams play. It started out as a screenplay adaptation of an older Williams one-act play called 27 Wagons Full of Cotton. Williams adapted it for film in 1956, and it wasn’t until recently that Emily Mann and Pierre Laville re-adapted the film for the stage. I was very curious to see this piece that had started out as a one-act before going to film and then back to the stage. There must have been something truly powerful about the story itself to go back and forth between those mediums.

babydoll

“Baby Doll” movie (1956)

I certainly wasn’t wrong about that. Baby Doll is a powerful, immersive story. The events that unfold keep you on edge throughout the show. On top of that, watching this piece in the Fountain’s intimate house made it even more impactful. I felt like I was directly in the story with these characters, with a direct stake in what happened to them. After the show, I watched the 1956 film version of Baby Doll, and it felt like the biggest thing missing was the immediacy and urgency that the staged version, particularly in the Fountain, provided the audience. Other than that main difference, however, the play stayed very true to Williams’ original screenplay – the original dialogue was mostly preserved, and the details of the story were almost identical. In comparing the two, it was clear that this particular story was even more powerful when it was right in your face, up close and personal. 

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‘Baby Doll’ at the Fountain

The Fountain’s production takes a physically and emotionally abusive and manipulative marriage between Baby Doll, a young and impressionable woman, and Archie Lee Meighan, an angry and lonely older man, and pushes it into the audience’s faces, forcing them to confront the uncomfortable dynamics of domestic violence and abuse. The audience is confronted with the uncomfortably predatory nature of their marriage, before we are met with Silva Vacarro, a handsome younger man who seems to be Archie Lee’s opposite in every way. He’s charming, mysterious, and Baby Doll clearly finds him intriguing. He is clearly Baby Doll’s true romantic interest, as well as the foil to Archie Lee’s unpredictable anger and abuse.

BABY DOLL LullabyJust when I thought the story was leading in a predictable direction, though, it became clear that Silva had ulterior motives for flirting with Baby Doll. We spend the majority of the rest of the show watching him alternate between seducing her and emotionally manipulating her for information. I felt a strange discomfort watching them, because I wasn’t sure whether or not I was rooting for them to be together. They clearly had chemistry, so much so that watching their characters together in such a small theatre felt like I was invading their privacy somehow. At the same time, there were moments where he was clearly prodding her for information by pushing her boundaries, or by making her feel special and tended to in a way that he knew she wasn’t getting with Archie Lee. By this time, I was quite literally on the edge of my seat, watching with bated breath to see what would happen next. There were moments where I was sure Silva would get rid of Archie Lee somehow and he and Baby Doll would run off together into the sunset. But then there were other moments where I really couldn’t tell if he truly cared for Baby Doll at all, or if he was just a master manipulator.

This kind of theatre is of a special type: the kind that makes you think and confront difficult, uncomfortable issues, and provokes thought and visceral emotions from its audiences. Theatre is such a special way to present and portray relationships between people, in a way that makes you feel and think about the nature of human connection. The power of the story, as well as the amazing talent and chemistry between the actors in this company, reminded me that theatre can do so much; it is meant to confront and provoke, and to tell stories that audiences can connect to in some way.

Victoria Montecillo at desk June 2016 cropped

Victoria Montecillo

I felt very lucky to get to see not just one but three Fountain productions in my time here. My Mañana Comes, Forever Flamenco at the Ford, and Baby Doll were certainly all incredibly different from one another, but they all had an impact on me: they brought forth an important message or story, or provided an outlet for a vibrant but underexposed community to celebrate beautiful art. All of them presented a piece of art, with performers and creators that had a clear passion and message.

Victoria Twiiter pic

Signing off!

These shows have made me proud to be a part of the Fountain family, and to get to work at such an organization. This blog post is bittersweet for a lot of reasons, the biggest of which is that today is my last day working at the Fountain. I’m moving up to San Francisco the day after tomorrow, and I’m going to miss the Fountain family so so much. I am so thankful to everyone here at the Fountain, and at the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, that made these past ten weeks possible! I know that I have people rooting for me here, and I’m so grateful for that.

This is me signing off – thank you to all that followed my internship saga and read my musings on theatre and arts. And thank you to everyone in the Fountain family for this journey. I wouldn’t feel at all prepared to jump into my next adventure if it had not been for all of you, and all I learned from you!

Our thanks to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the LA County Arts Commission for the support of their LA  County Arts Intern program. 

Creative Community: The arts in LA is an inspiring world unto itself

1by Victoria Montecillo

On June 29, I, along with 131 other LA County Arts Commission interns, attended an arts summit held in Pasadena. Having never before attended a professional-type conference before, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. It seemed like a great opportunity to meet other people in the intern program at different organizations, and learn more about the arts world in LA. I was excited, mainly, to attend my first conference! It all felt very grown-up and professional, and I was excited to learn. 

After checking in at the Pasadena Playhouse and picking which workshops I wanted to attend, I spent the first part of my morning nibbling at a blueberry mini muffin and avoiding small talk. As a naturally introverted person, I’m not one to comfortably strike up casual conversation with strangers; it takes me a little bit to warm up the gears of my social side. Eventually, we all migrated inside the Playhouse for a lovely welcome from the Playhouse’s artistic director, as well as some from the LA County Arts Commission and the mayor of Pasadena. It was certainly very inspiring to be so warmly welcomed and encouraged by people who had found fulfilling work in the arts; they spent the morning encouraging us to follow our passions, and work to create real change. 

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Pasadena Playhouse Artistic Director Sheldon Epps welcomes the interns.

Afterwards, we split into smaller groups and headed to separate locations. My group headed to the Pasadena Museum of California Art, where we got a private welcome and got to explore the work of California artists. We then got a backstage tour of the Pasadena Playhouse, where Playhouse volunteers told us all about the green room, the costume shop, the scene shop, and the library. As someone who absolutely loves seeing the backstage areas of any theatre, I was absolutely thrilled. After that, we walked over to First United Methodist Church, where we saw a beautiful site specific piece by the Jacob Jonas Dance Company. Essentially, we spent the morning being exposed to the different corners of the LA arts world, where we got to meet and talk with artists that were working towards their passions and were excited to share it.

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Victoria Montecillo

For lunch, we got together with our peer groups, a group of other LA County interns from the same geographic area. I got to meet some wonderful people working at a lot of different organizations. Some were working at theaters like me, while others were working for music non-profits or arts-based community outreach organizations. Even though we were in a crowded, noisy room, it was interesting to go around and hear everyone’s stories and where they came from, and how they ended up in this intern program. Some of the people I met were not necessarily interested in working in the arts world, but they were incredibly passionate about working in social justice and reaching out to Los Angeles neighborhoods. Everyone had a different perspective to bring, and different stories about their experiences to share. It was nice to hear about everyone’s experiences as interns, and the kinds of work they were doing. A few people were interested in pursuing graphic design, some were interested in music and arts education, and others were interested in theatre. I liked that we were a good mix among our group of various interests, because it gave us a wide range of perspectives. Alma Villegas, our wonderful Peer Group Leader from artworxLA, led us along our discussion and made sure to check in with all of us on whether or not we were enjoying our internships so far. It was comforting to feel that (other than my Fountain family of course) I had another community to fall back on, that would offer me help and support if I needed it. 

3After lunch, we split up from our peer groups to attend a workshop of our choosing. I attended a workshop on Public Engagement in the Arts, led by some truly inspirational people from Cornerstone Theatre Company and the Ford Theatres. They started off by keeping us on our feet, moving to different corners of the room for different things (e.g. “Move to this corner if you’re the youngest in your family, this corner if you’re the oldest,”), gradually picking more thought-provoking topics before ending with creating a line with one end being “art for art’s sake”, and the other end being “art for social justice”. This made us all think about why we were there, and what drives us. 

We then got to hear from Cornerstone and the Ford Theatres, and more specifically, the kind of work that they do in community engagement. My experience with community engagement from theaters is still quite limited, so it was certainly very educational to hear about the new and original ways other theatres were working to stay engaged with the communities around them. It was amazing to hear about Cornerstone, actually casting and creating shows with members of their community, and going out to neighborhoods and to the people to collaborate on creating a piece of art. And to hear from the Ford Theatres, and their work in spreading cultural awareness through free interactive workshops on dance and song. It was beautiful to see and hear about people in the community excited about the arts, and sharing it with the younger and older generations. 

Afterwards, I went to a session on Equity & Inclusion in the Arts, where we were told about the LA County Cultural Equity and Inclusivity Initiative. It was essentially a “town hall” meeting, where we were invited to share our comments, stories, and suggestions in order to help make change in policies. While it was not exactly what I expected, I learned a lot simply from listening to my peers discuss the challenges and obstacles they had all faced as people of color pursuing the arts. One suggestion that I found incredibly valuable (and, seemingly, somewhat intuitive) was the suggestion to offer opportunities to regularly have open discussions like the one we were having, where people had the chance to express their feelings in a safe environment. Sometimes, the first step to making change is creating the opportunity to discuss these issues openly, where people can feel they are being heard. 

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I want to thank the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and their wonderful internship program, as well as the Fountain Theatre, for giving me such a unique opportunity to meet other inspiring people pursuing fulfilling and meaningful careers in the arts world. I am learning so much more this summer than I ever anticipated.

Victoria Montecillo is our 2016 arts intern this summer at the Fountain Theatre, made possible through the support of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the Los Angeles County Arts Commission Internship Program.  

Now Hiring: paid summer internship at the Fountain Theatre

 

ft-intern-group-hugKnow a college student looking for a paying job this summer? A young person who likes theatre and enjoys working in a crazy, eccentric theatrical environment? Search no further. The Fountain is the place.

The Fountain Theatre is now accepting applications to hire one Development Intern for 10 weeks this summer between  June 6 – August 26. It is a full-time position (40 hours per week for 10 weeks) that pays $420 per week.   

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors established the Arts Internship Program to provide undergraduate students with meaningful on-the-job training and experience in working in nonprofit arts organizations, while assisting arts organizations to develop future arts leaders. This is our fifth year participating in the program and we’ve had great luck with our summer interns. Each one has been incredibly helpful, has learned a great deal, and became part of our Fountain Family. We are still in contact with all of them.

lowes-final-party 2013

2013 intern Lowes Moore and Fountain Family.

 Student eligibility for internship positions is limited to currently enrolled undergraduate college students who reside or attend college in Los Angeles County. Students must have completed at least one semester of college by June 1, 2016 or will complete their undergraduate degree between May 1 – September 1, 2016 in order to be eligible to participate. Students who have already earned a BA, BS or a higher degree are not eligible.

The Development Intern will receive valuable on-the-job training and professional experience in researching, writing, and submitting grant proposals to foundations and other funding organizations. The intern will assist in targeting and contacting new funding sources, creating and implementing new fundraising materials, and facilitate special events for donors and community partners.

The intern candidate must have basic computer and word-processing skills (PC, Word, Excel, Internet), good communications skills and pleasant phone manner, organizational skills, be detailed oriented, and have the ability to multi-task in an intimate office environment. A sense of humor and a willingness to learn many aspects of theatre management. She/he should be self-motivated and have the ability to take initiative when required. She/he should also have a passion for theatre. Excellent writing and editing skills. An ability to work effectively both independently and cooperatively. Creativity, enthusiasm for learning, and an outgoing friendly demeanor. 

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To apply, please email cover letter and resume to Stephen Sachs at stephen@fountaintheatre.com

This internship is sponsored by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.  132 undergraduate interns will participate in the program this year at more than 100 performing, presenting, and literary nonprofit arts organizations and municipal arts agencies throughout LA County.  In addition to their full-time 10 week paid internship, interns will participate in educational events as part of the program, which is funded by the Getty Foundation.  The educational events are designed to provide interns with a broader perspective of the vibrant arts and cultural landscape of the County.  For additional information on the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the Arts Internship Program, and for a complete list of all the internships offered this summer, visit the Arts Commission website at www.lacountyarts.org.

Isa’s Intern Journal: Utopia

FT archives Aug 2015by Isa Espy

One of my favorite things about theatre is that, when in it, you are free to create worlds that don’t have to abide by the rules of reality. In the last several weeks I have spent many an hour sifting though The Fountain’s archives. Looking through old playbills feels strangely akin to walking though the Museum of Natural History— each one is like a peek at the remnants of a different world. Every play has its own texture, its own rhythm, its own particular flavor.

Last semester, I took an amazing architecture class that felt more like a philosophy lecture. In it we delved into the true meaning of Utopia. Thomas More wrote a book in the early 1500s about the fictional island of Utopia, the home of a society whose religious, social and political customs were harmonious. More fashioned the name of his island from the Greek ou (‘not’) and topos (‘place’). By its very appellation, a Utopia cannot exist in the real world. It cannot be created or completely realized within reality; it is a non place. The purpose of a Utopia is to be a platform from which we may view and critique our own world.

I believe theatre to be a type of Utopia. When a set designer and a lighting designer and a writer come together, they do not just create a story, they fashion a world. As soon as you step into a theatre, time no longer abides by worldly conventions. Sunlight can become rose or pale purple, shining ethereally from a fresnel light. The ocean can seep from the corners of a deep blue blanket. A leopard can sing a child a lullaby. An entire universe is contained within a play.

Utopia.

Utopia.

When an audience goes to see a play, we spend and hour or two in a different world. Yet, after the actors take their last bow and the house lights flick on, that world dissolves into a Non Place, and you find yourself back in the reality you had left behind. Theatre is the ultimate Utopia. We do not live in West Side Story‘s New York or the Paris of Les Miz. We can’t break into song whenever we feel like it. Nor can we be so raw as we are on stage, we cannot bear our soul on a day-­to-­day basis. No one wants to break down every time they buy a smoothie at Whole Foods, or fall passionately and dangerously in love with the person behind the desk at the DMV. Human emotion in its rawest form, stripped of its binding of everyday convention, is powerful but ever so delicate.

We need the armor we carry every day to protect us. But if we can take it off for an hour or two at the theatre, it seems a little lighter when we have to put it back on.

CITIZEN: An American Lyric at the Fountain Theatre

CITIZEN: An American Lyric at the Fountain Theatre

Our current production, Citizen: An American Lyric, is about race in America. Like all good theatre, once audiences and actors are in the world of Citizen, different rules apply. We can talk about problems that go unnoticed or unaddressed. We can use words we would never say. We can look directly at issues under the forgiving light of a fresnel that would hurt our eyes in the harsh light of our unforgiving sun.

After we applaud Citizen and exit The Fountain’s cozy walls, we go back to our world. It is no longer safe. But we carry a little bit of that truth with us, that thing we just glimpsed. We do not live in the Utopia of the theatre, but we have stood on that placeless island for an hour or two and looked from a distance at our little moving planet, our flawed country, our damaged city, our fissured neighborhoods, our dysfunctional homes, our imperfect selves … and we have gotten to know them a little better. The world might be the same as when we entered the theatre and hour and a half earlier, but we are not.

Isabel Espy is the Fountain Theatre’s summer intern from UCLA. We are grateful for the support of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and its Arts Internship program.  

 

Isa’s Intern Journal: Morning Coffee, Rupert & Rasberry Birthday Cake

blue coffe cup

by Isa Espy

For the last two weeks I have been arriving at around 10 a.m. each morning, and unlocking the Fountain’s second floor side door. Sometimes I am greeted by Maria, the Fountain’s lovely housekeeper. Other times, the first thing to hit me as I walk though the door is the whiff of brewing coffee (one of the world’s best smells, in my opinion). Occasionally, though, I am the first one to arrive, and the Fountain’s sunny cafe welcomes me with a sleepy quiet that is quickly dispelled as people begin to trickle in.

Last Thursday, however, was not such a day. The Fountain regularly rents out its space to other theatre artists within the community, and last week we were hosting a haunting immersive theatre project called Alone which describes itself as “an ongoing, site-specific, fully-immersive and existential experience that explores the range of human emotions.”  Alone had transformed our space, covering all the windows with foil, and draping our walls with black fabric. I was the first person to arrive Thursday morning, and I opened the side door into pitch blackness. I fumbled around for the light switch, all the while hearing the eerie rustle of tinfoil. 

Audiences enter Alone: An Existential Haunting

It was a little unsettling sitting alone in the dark when it was actually morning. Making photocopies suddenly became an adventure as I had to navigate myself through cloth tunnels to get to the printer.

About an hour later The Fountain was abuzz with activity. James Bennett was holding rehearsals for his Rapid Dev show — Leland Frankel’s new play Better Part of Forever. The Alone team was putting the last touches on their show before it opened that night, and Citizen: An American Lyric was rehearsing in the theatre. A full and busy house!

Happy Birthday, Deborah!

Happy Birthday, Deborah!

Rupert

Rupert

While everyone was lovely, one new face in particular stole my heart. That face happened to be covered in fur. Deborah’s dog, Rupert, made a guest appearance at our staff meeting, and I fell in love. Our meeting was extra special because we were also celebrating Deborah Lawlor’s birthday. Book keeper Licia Jaccard made a delicious flowerless chocolate cake with raspberries in celebration. And, while our staff meeting to­ do list was ever-­growing, chocolate cake made it so much better.

Isa Espy is our summer intern from UCLA. Our thanks to the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the support of its Arts Internship Program.