Preparing Theatre for the Future

by Mazie Starratt

When I first began my search for an internship in the theatre field, specifically related to my dream fields of playwriting and dramaturgy, I was not expecting an unprecedented and unforeseen pandemic to shut down theatre as we know it for the better part of the year. However, at the end of a long email thread with my academic advisor, Charlotte Meehan, I was offered an internship with her company, Sleeping Weazel. Luckily for us, Sleeping Weazel did not have much planned for the 2020 theatre season. We had no performances to cancel and no money to be lost, so we were able to focus all of our energy on preparing for the future.

As an intern, I did a lot of organizational work (creating a database of our donors and press contacts), helped set the groundwork for Charlotte’s upcoming play Everyday Life and Other Odds and Ends (I have been lucky to be able to continue this work as part of an academic research position this semester), created marketing and COVID-19 protocols for a show called Representation and How to Get It, and started drafting an anti-racism action plan for the company.

 Despite all of the setbacks that the summer of 2020 created, I am still thankful in many ways for the experience I had. I still had a busy summer and gained skills in arts administration, marketing, and outreach that I will be able to take with me wherever I go next, theatre-related or otherwise. In addition, 2020’s many extenuating circumstances forced me to be creative on the fly in ways that I would not have even imagined otherwise. When the world finally returns to some semblance of normalcy, I will enter it with problem-solving and decision-making skills that were developed during a global crisis, as many of my peers will. In my case, these skills were developed doing something that I love, something I have devoted years of academic and extracurricular time to, and something that I am ready and eager to keep doing after graduation, and I am delighted to be able to say that.