INTERVIEW WITH AN INTERN
Regards from Broadway Rose
Nathan Thrasher, veteran intern at Broadway Rose
Broadway Rose’s technical internship program for high school and college students offers students a fantastic chance to learn theatre skills on the job. The theater has provided a technical internship program for students since the organization’s inception in 1992. These paid internships feature a variety of roles, including assistant stage manager, deckhand, spotlight operator, electrician, carpenter, lighting and props design, and costume prep and construction, to name a few!
Broadway Rose will have up to 93 intern positions available this year. The number of interns assigned to a show ranges widely, with larger productions like Rodger + Hammerstein’s Cinderella requiring 23 interns, while Ain’t Misbehavin’, a much smaller production, will only list 6 interns.
Liz Carlson, assistant production manager at Broadway Rose, has worked extensively with our technical internship program, managing many of the intern interviews and assignments. “Theatre is wonderful and joyful work, but it’s also very hard work and time-consuming,” said Liz. “I feel like our internship program really gives a good idea of what it is like to be a professional in the industry.”
Meet Nathan Thrasher, Veteran Intern
Nathan Thrasher finished two internships with Broadway Rose in 2022, first serving as an assistant lighting designer for You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and then as lighting designer for the teen production Disney’s Newsies.
Nathan was in his senior year of high school when he heard about the Broadway Rose technical internship program. While Nathan had originally planned on majoring in biology at Oregon State University, his work in theatre throughout high school caused him to reconsider. He decided to apply for an internship as a way to assess theatre as a career. Nathan was accepted as an assistant lighting designer on You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and spent three weeks on assignment, attending each dress rehearsal and all designer runs while working with lighting designer Kristeen Willis.
Working with Kristeen was a wonderful experience for Nathan. “She’s been in the industry for a really long time and had a lot of valuable information,” said Nathan. “Kristeen was a great first contact with working in more of a professional environment, and getting that connection.”
Nathan is currently specializing in lighting design and architecture at PCC
Nathan then took the concepts he had learned on his first production and applied them to his second internship experience, taking on the role of lighting designer for teen production Disney’s Newsies. Nathan studied the script intensively to create the lighting design for the show, relying on Liz Carlson and technical director Phil McBeth for mentorship throughout the experience. Working as a lighting designer on a production was a fulfilling experience for Nathan, giving him experience in creative work while helping him to answer additional questions on the pursuit of theatre as a career.
After Nathan’s experiences as an intern at Broadway Rose, he decided to switch directions, and is currently specializing in lighting design and architecture at Portland Community College, and planning to transfer to an arts school in the future.
When asked what his advice would be for others considering an internship, Nathan was quick to respond. “Definitely do it, it’s great to get your foot in the door and see if it’s even something that you like,” said Nathan. “Be open to learning as many different things as possible.”
In addition to providing experience on the job, internships open doors to many participants, giving them connections within the industry. “It’s a great way of providing opportunities for them to be seen,” said Liz Carlson. “When they get out of college and step out into the world they already have some contacts that they can start out their career with.”
Nathan agreed, noting that internships gave him and others so many opportunities to meet new people, make connections, and secure future work. “Now I’m working at places like Portland Center Stage, all because of these internships,” said Nathan.