One of the joys of working in a summer company is sharing time with young professionals. Georgia Shakespeare is one of many companies across the country that hires summer interns, apprentices, and young pros.
I’ve always loved being part of the mix of generations at Georgia Shakes. This summer I’m celebrating twenty seasons with the company, and sharing the stage with an actress who is twenty years old. We are equals in the theater. Carpenters, stage hands, and lighting technicians from Oglethorpe University and many other colleges have helped create our beautiful production of “Metamorphoses”.
And then there are the kids next door.
Throughout our rehearsal process, we had neighbors: the acting intern company, rehearsing their own magical show, “Mighty Myths and Legends”, which opens tonight on the same stage we use.
Adapted for the stage by Richard Garner and Allen O’Reilly, this show gives life to myths from all over the world, in a family-friendly production with mostly daytime shows for the next several weeks. Families, day camps, and child-care centers will take over the theater, bringing children on their own journeys of discovery.
The actors and production team are all young, and their youthful energy serves them well: they eat, sleep and breathe theater this summer, living in dorms, working front-of-house and concessions, rehearsing, performing, understudying multiple roles in “Metamorphoses”, and generally being indispensable.
I was an intern once (long, long ago), so I know how it feels to work alongside the professionals you admire, hoping to have a career as exciting as theirs. I realize now how much those older professionals were rooting for me and all my fellow interns, how happy they must have been to see our love and enthusiasm for the craft. It does my heart good to know that young people are still falling in love with the theater.
Tonight, it’s their turn to shine.