An internship through the looking glass
There is a lot more to developing excellence in theatre than meets the eye.
Learning your lines and interplay with your fellow actors is one skill set, but there is so much more — like understanding how to give and take direction, how to adapt new ideas for the stage, and then there’s the entire administrative end. To really be successful in theatre, it’s important to have a foundation across a wide range of abilities.
Which is why a 2019 summer internship with Lookingglass Theatre has been such a powerful experience for Theatre and Black Studies major Destiny Mack ‘21.
Working at Lookingglass Theatre Company, an ensemble-based theatre company in Chicago that produces original and inspiring plays, has been a dream of Mack’s — ever since she saw its acrobatic, circus-style adaptation of Lewis Caroll’s Alice Through the Looking Glass in her sophomore year of high school. “I was instantly intrigued. It was truly amazing and since that moment, I knew that I wanted to work there one day,” she says.
The Knowlton Career Center gave Mack a big advantage when applying for the internship. “They helped me find the internship and to sell myself — brand myself,” she says.
“And maybe less significant, but still super awesome, I learned how to have fun in an office/administrative space, while also continuing to be productive and get lots of work done.”
Professional development is important to Mack, who set goals to build her skills and experiences in different areas and aspects of theatre. She wanted to learn more about the administrative side of theatre and how to manage budgeting, education, and community engagement.
“I learned so much,” she says. “I learned how to take initiative and make executive decisions in quick and complex circumstances. And maybe less significant, but still super awesome, I learned how to have fun in an office/administrative space, while also continuing to be productive and get lots of work done.”
Denison experiences helped ground her internship. “From Denison, I was able to bring in my work with theatre classes on creating and adapting new pieces and incorporating ideas of the voices within an ensemble. I was also able to bring in a lot of my work with the Admissions Office regarding administrative and detail-oriented work, “ Mack says.
“On the flip side, I have noticed that I have been able to bring a lot of my experiences with Lookingglass back to Denison, as I learned more about engaging and addressing an audience before a show, and artistically I have learned different styles of directing and how that shifts depending on the play and the meaning behind the production,” she adds.
“I had the time of my life.”