Access Theater, New York, NY
Working remotely as a film production and theater administration intern at Access Theater this past summer has been an immense privilege. Along with two other student interns from Williams, I spent eight weeks diving head first into countless amazing projects we were lucky enough to be guided through and trusted with. It was a pleasure to not only be mentored by, but get to know two incredible people at Access: Laura Lee ’17, the artistic director, and Jackie Christy, the executive director and all-around powerhouse of the organization. I have learned so much in what feels like such a short amount of time, and I’m so grateful to have been able to witness and contribute to the inner workings of a nonprofit recovering after a pandemic.
We began the summer by retrieving information about every single show done at the theater since it opened twenty-eight years ago. We searched through files, emails, and contracts dating from last year until the 1990s, collecting data and organizing it into spreadsheets. This task helped me hone my research skills and showed me how data analysis is used in the context of a theater company.
My next project was to construct a theater education curriculum for an afterschool program in the city. Drawing from my experience with learning and performing theater, my history of working with and teaching kids, as well as researching course design and drama syllabi, I started to design plans for teachers to use. These outlines included games divided by age group, lesson plans like the Laban Technique, and checkpoints to be met as the class works towards a final show. As someone who found performing at a hard time in my life, I feel proud to have helped create a program that may be able to help another kid like me.
My favorite part of the whole summer was reading a movie written by Jackie and helping her write a treatment from the script to be pitched and presented to a film production company. As someone who loves reading, writing, and using my imagination, getting to immerse myself in the truly phenomenal world created by Jackie was an experience that truly did not feel like work, but something that I now realize I wouldn’t mind doing for the rest of my life. This exemplifies how thankful I am to the ’68 Center for Career Exploration for helping me to find this opportunity and to Martha Williamson ’77 and Peter Martin Nelson ’76 who made this all possible in the first place.
This internship uncovered my irrevocable need for creation in whatever career I find myself drawn to. The process of taking something and using the broadness of wonder and a fine lens to hold it in my hand, understand what it is, and yet still see it another way that it doesn’t know about itself yet is the process that I find myself searching for in everything I do. Thank you again for this unforgettable summer.