Access Theater, New York, NY
This summer I had the privilege of interning remotely for Access Theater, a historic nonprofit arts establishment located in New York City that has strived to expose the community to up-and-coming artists while providing those artists with resources necessary for their success. Through initiatives like the resident artist program and weekly writing groups, Access has paved the way for now-prominent artists like Aasif Mandvi and Stephen Belber, as well as works like Tom McCarthy’s The Killing Act and TAPE. Access Theater was founded by Jacqueline Christy, who is its current executive director. Williams alum Laura Lee ’17 serves as art director. Both Jackie and Laura are filmmakers in stages of development for their first feature films.
During my nine-week internship, I worked with Laura and Jackie on a variety of theater and film tasks. I was specifically tasked with organizing much of the paperwork and scheduling for the recording of ADR, or automated dialogue replacement, for Jackie Christy’s film Magic Hour. I contributed to almost every step of this process, including researching recording studios, communicating with actors’ union representatives, structuring recording schedules, sending schedules and shoot information to actors, navigating Covid-19 protocols, filling out union paperwork, ensuring actors’ payment and calculating budget and expenses. My fellow interns and I also compiled references for the film’s score and marketing, among many other miscellaneous post-production tasks. Additionally, we helped Laura Lee with pre-production on her upcoming feature film.
Alongside my film work, I contributed to helping the theater prepare for reopening. I was primarily assigned to lead the interns through researching and writing applications for foundations and grant programs in order to increase funding. I also helped brainstorm new ideas for the redesigning of the theater’s website and marketing systems. I also attended Zoom meetings with other nonprofit arts organizations, updated outdated information on the website and organized theater rental inquiries.
My time interning at Access Theater was incredibly valuable to me both personally and professionally. Through this experience, I was able to turn my previous hobby for theater and film into a potential career path. Because I was given the opportunity to interact with industry professionals like Laura and Jackie, as well as guests who are also currently working in theater and film, I learned more about each of their unique responsibilities and figured out which specific paths I would like to work toward through my coming academic and professional pursuits. I am now specifically interested in entering the film industry and working either with pre-production or distribution while also screenwriting.
This summer would not have been possible without the incredible resources available at Williams and I am so thankful for the support from the ’68 Center and Martha Williamson ’77 and Peter Martin Nelson ’76 for making this summer a reality, as well as for Jackie and Laura for helping me recognize my own creative talents and put them to use in a tangible way.