Theater students secure summer jobs in industry
May 4, 2018
This spring, a group of five Palo Alto College theatre arts students traveled to Mobile, Alabama to attend the Southeastern Theatre Conference Convention (STCC). The convention's job fair and professional workshops help young, up-and-coming theatre artisans to find work at summer theaters across the country—providing them the opportunity to learn new skills, work with professionals, and gain experience while still finishing their degrees.
"It's important they understand theater as a wider art form across the country and why it's important no matter where they're at. They can bring that knowledge back to our community, so that we can keep growing San Antonio as an up-and-coming art community," said Mandy Goynes, adjunct instructor and technical director for Teatro Palo Alto, who accompanied the students to STCC. "For them to bring that knowledge back here, I don't think you can even put a price on how important that is for them individually and for our program."
The five students hit the ground running on day one of the conference, attending the job fair and workshops. They went through a mock-interview assessment and learned resume building and proper etiquette, which prepared them to apply for jobs with the theater companies in attendance. Within a week of the convention, four of the five students received and accepted job offers—an 80 percent success rate:
- Rebecca Milligan, Theatre Scenic Painter at Stagedoor Manor in Sheldrake, New York
- Daneja Delgado, Stage Manager and Camp Counselor at Stagedoor Manor in Sheldrake, New York
- Jasmin Garcia, Audio/Visual/Special Effects Technician at Texas Pioneer Amphitheatre in Canyon, Texas
- Sergio Gutierrez, Theatre Scenic Carpenter at Monomoy Theatre in Chatham, Massachusetts
"The benefit of attending the conference is the chance to talk to different companies to learn what they do and what they want," said Delgado, a Palo Alto College theater arts and business administration student. "To have this job opportunity in New York is amazing. I'm excited for it because it's going to help me with the skillset that I need and help me prepare for other jobs in the professional world."
Teatro Palo Alto is growing in size and skill, and Goynes said sending students to STCC and to work at theaters across the country will help the program grow even more.
"The theater program at Palo Alto College is really opening doors. We're a newer program, and it's so exciting to keep growing," said Goynes. "Sending these students out into the real world and taking them to the conference is one way of showing just how much we've grown as a program."
Those interested in joining or supporting Teatro Palo Alto can contact Hector Garza, drama instructor, at 210-486-3209.