Various Apprenticeships, Studio Theatre — Washington, DC

Posted: January 8, 2015 at 12:30 pm, Last Updated: January 8, 2015 at 3:55 pm


Studio Theatre’s apprenticeships provide on-the-job training for early-career artists and administrators at one of the country’s most exciting and well-respected midsized theatres. This 50-week program introduces motivated young professionals to the rigors and rewards of working at a fast-paced theatre in Washington DC’s rich and extensive theatre community.

Studio Theatre gives apprentices real responsibilities, putting them to work alongside an accomplished company of artists, administrators, and designers. In addition to working in their designated department, apprentices learn about other departments and areas of the theatre through educational seminars.

In the heart of Washington DC’s Logan Circle neighborhood, Studio Theatre, under the artistic direction of David Muse, provides audiences with intimate performances of the best contemporary theatre. Studio’s apprenticeships offer rigorous, hands-on learning, designed to help transition apprentices from an academic environment into the professional theatre world.

Studio Theatre offers apprenticeships in the following areas: Artistic, Business, Carpentry, Communications, Company Management, Development, Education, Electrics Facilities, Graphic Design, Sound & Projections, Stage Management. Read more about each apprenticeship below.


The artistic apprenticeship is an immersive experience, giving the apprentice first-hand experience of the artistic activities of one of the country’s most respected midsized theatres as it expands its new play and international programming. Through daily interaction with members of Studio Theatre’s artistic staff and direct mentorship by the artistic and literary directors, the position provides a chance to see established directors and dramaturgs at work.

The apprentice serves as an assistant director on the five Subscription Series shows and participates in planning the following season. Other responsibilities include reading play submissions, writing support materials, and assisting in the day-to-day needs of the artistic and literary directors. Applicants must have directing experience and excellent writing and research skills.

In addition to the other application materials, candidates should submit up to five pages of critical writing (if you provide multiple samples, at least one must be about a play).


The business apprenticeship provides a unique opportunity to gain a firsthand look into all aspects of the Theatre through interaction with its finances and administration.

The apprentice will participate in key decision-making meetings and all aspects of theatre operations, including involvement in theatre activities, outside the business department.

Responsibilities include processing cash receipts and accounts payable, working with all departments on ledgering, overseeing monthly reconciliation of income and expenses, assisting with the budgeting process for the Theatre, aiding in the preparation and performance of the Theatre’s annual audit, and other day-to-day needs of the department and the Theatre. Additional projects assigned based on interest and skill level.

The ideal candidate has a passion for theatre and financial management, is detail oriented, has an interest in learning, and poses a good interpersonal demeanor with top-notch data entry skills.


The carpentry apprenticeship affords professional set construction experience through working on 11 productions alongside seasoned professionals. The apprentice reports to the technical director and works and trains with the master carpenter, resident carpenter, and contracted employees. Work opportunities include wood construction, metalwork, rigging, and automation.

Applicants must have carpentry experience, be organized and detail oriented, and be able to successfully complete projects independently. MIG (metal inert gas) welding knowledge and experience is preferred. Ability to build from designer and shop drawings required.


The communications apprenticeship gives a first-hand look at marketing and public relations for a theatre, working closely with all members of the marketing and communications department.

This position focuses on season public relations and marketing planning and implementation, including: assistance with press and media relations, advertising, playbills, social media, publications, signage and posters, distribution of promotional materials, archiving of all media, managing the departments expense budgets, and research of new marketing opportunities.

Applicants should be detail oriented, highly personable, and able to work well under deadlines. Working knowledge of Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite is a plus.


Through the company management and production apprenticeship, the apprentice serves as the primary point of contact for all visiting theatre artists as well as an integral part of the production management team.

Company management duties include working with the producing director to schedule and facilitate guest artist travel, manage artist housing in units owned by the theatre, and respond to visiting artists’ day-to-day needs. In addition, the apprentice will maintain the housing and travel calendar as well as manage the housing and travel budget lines.

Production management duties include assisting with all production meetings, closing night events, and the annual gala. The company management and production apprentice provides administrative support to the production department and will also work with various shops during the rehearsal and tech process. This position provides the opportunity to play an integral role in casting an 11-show season; managing a production budget of nearly $1 million, and contracting actors, directors, and designers.

This is an ideal position for an enthusiastic, personable candidate who loves working in a fast-paced theatre environment. Applicants should have a high degree of personal organization, self-motivation, and strong interest in company and production management. This position requires facility with Microsoft Excel, a valid driver’s license, and the ability to drive a seven-passenger van.


The development apprenticeship provides a broad exposure to Studio Theatre’s fundraising program, which provides 40 percent of the operating income for the Theatre. The apprentice will receive hands-on training in event planning and execution, direct mail and publication writing, grant writing, cultivating and stewarding relationships with Studio’s donors, as well as working with corporate and foundation sources.

This position works closely with the manager of major gifts, development officer, and development associate of individuals and events. Specific responsibilities include: writing acknowledgments and correspondence, processing all contributions, managing the department income and expense budgets, assisting with record keeping, conducting research, coordinating and assisting with fundraising events, and assisting in the day-to-day needs of the development department.

Applicants should be detail oriented and highly personable, have excellent writing and computer skills, work well under deadlines, and have the desire to be part of a great development team.


The education apprenticeship grants the apprentice an opportunity to learn the inner workings of a multi-faceted theatre education program. The apprentice assists in the management of the Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory, a renowned training institution in Washington DC, now in its 40th year.

Responsibilities include assisting with registration for adult classes and the Young Actors Program; assisting with marketing for the conservatory; managing the school’s space and equipment; assisting with student relations; and administering the Arts Motivating Youth and Youth On-Stage programs, the apprenticeship and internship program, and Studio in Play: the Student Matinee Program. The education apprentice also helps with the day-to-day needs of the department, including managing the department expense budgets.

While this position includes a minimal amount of classroom teaching, it is primarily administrative.

The ideal candidate is highly motivated, detail-oriented, and interested in exposure to the institutional needs of an active conservatory and theatre education program.


Through the electrics apprenticeship, the apprentice works backstage with theatre professionals during the Theatre’s 11-show season.

Responsibilities for this position include programming ETC (Electronic Theatre Controls) Element consoles in coordination with professional regional designers; support of the master electrician during light hang, focus, and strike of all productions; and performing general equipment maintenance. The apprentice serves as light board operator for a minimum of seven productions and for special projects as required.

Applicant should be detail-oriented and personable, with the ability to work effectively with many different personalities. Electrics experience required, as well as comfort with heights on ladders and catwalks. Experience programming light boards required. Familiarity with Clearcom and QLab a plus.


Through the facilities and operations management apprenticeship, the apprentice gains knowledge about the management and operation of the Theatre’s building and equipment. The position gives a qualified candidate exposure to the workings of a multi-faceted theatre, whose physical campus includes a three building, four-theatre complex, a 14-unit apprentice house, and apartments that house visiting artists.

This position will assist the facilities manager with the maintenance, repair, and operation of Studio Theatre’s buildings and equipment as well as planning and executing longer-term capital improvements. The apprentice also assists in setting up and facilitating the use of the Theatre’s space by outside groups. Other responsibilities include assisting with accounting records, contractor scheduling, and facility inspections, as well as project management and researching and ordering materials.

Applicants should be detail oriented, personable, resourceful, and have the ability to learn quickly and work autonomously. Additionally, applicants should possess strong time and project management skills and the flexibility to respond to changing circumstances. Carpentry, electrical, plumbing, and other construction or building repair skills are a plus.


The graphic design apprenticeship provides a unique, creative opportunity for a budding graphic designer to work closely with all members of the marketing and communications department.

This position focuses on graphic design for programs, advertisements, posters, flyers, invitations, emails, and online. The apprentice assists with digital marketing, including social media, promotional video, Studio’s website, blog, and email marketing.

Applicants should have advanced competency with Adobe Creative Suite, especially Photoshop and InDesign.

If selected for an interview, applicants should be prepared to submit a digital portfolio of their design work.


The sound and projections apprenticeship allows the apprentice to work on a myriad of projects and assignments during the theatre’s 11-show season.

Responsibilities for this position include programming QLab and Isadora with professional regional designers; participating in all sound system and projection setups, installation, and strikes; and performing general maintenance of sound and projection equipment. The apprentice also participates in lighting work calls as needed with the electrics apprentice and master electrician. The apprentice serves as soundboard and projections operator for a minimum of seven productions and for special projects as required.

Applicant should be detail-oriented and personable with the ability to work effectively with many different personalities. Experience programming QLab is required. Familiarity with projectors, Isadora, and sound mixing experience a plus, as well as comfort with heights on ladders and catwalks.


The stage management apprenticeship provides a unique opportunity to learn all aspects of the work of Actors Equity Association (AEA) stage managers. This position reports to the resident stage manager and works closely with the technical director, properties master, costume shop manager, and other production staff. The apprentice will receive professional rehearsal and performance experience and training with resident and non-resident Equity stage managers in Studio Theatre’s four-theatre, state-of-the-art complex. Studio Theatre produces 11 projects annually and operates under an Equity Small Professional Theatre contract (Level 10).

In rehearsal, the apprentice’s responsibilities include preparation of prompt books and rehearsal paperwork, coordinating rehearsal properties and costumes, and tracking line notes. The apprentice acts as the floor manager during performances, and is responsible for all backstage show operations. The apprentice participates in a career-building curriculum while gaining exposure to all areas of theatre operations and is eligible to receive EMC (Equity Membership Candidate) points through the program.

Candidates must have stage management experience, be extremely organized and eager to learn on the job, and possess the discretion and flexibility to thrive in a busy theatre environment.


As a respected midsized theatre, Studio is both ambitious enough to provide invigorating programming and small enough to allow its apprentices unique access to the Theatre’s artistic and administrative leadership. The work is rigorous and rewarding; apprentices have a full schedule, and work together with the staff to meet the demanding deadlines of the field. Night and weekend hours are sometimes required.


Studio Theatre provides the following for all members of our apprentice classes:

  • Studio Theatre provides brand new, state of the art housing for all apprentices. Butler House, located in the bustling Columbia Heights neighborhood in Washington DC, is just a short walk from the Theatre. The complex provides each apprentice with his or her own private bedroom, completely furnished with paid utilities. This 14-bedroom, six-bathroom row house affords Studio apprentices a place to call home during their year in Washington DC.
  • A modest stipend to assist with daily expenses. The stipend is $6,250 total, disbursed bi-weekly over the 50 weeks of the apprenticeship.
  • Half-price tuition for classes and workshops at the Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory.
  • Tickets to Studio Theatre productions, as well as tickets to many Washington DC area theatre productions.
  • Two complimentary tickets for guests to each Studio Theatre production.
  • Seminars with Studio Theatre leadership, including Artistic Director David Muse.


Learn more about Studio Theatre’s Apprentice Program and click here to apply.