AUSTIN: Penfold Theatre Company has named Texas State University senior Morgan Peterson to be its fall 2022 Arts Leadership Apprentice. The apprenticeship program is a partnership with TSU in which one apprentice is chosen and serves to assist and shadow Penfold’s producing artistic director for an academic semester. The apprentice will gain hands-on experience in running a theatrical nonprofit organization.
Peterson, a theatre performance and production and communication studies major, and will begin the apprenticeship in August 2023 at Penfold. As part of the apprenticeship, Peterson will work alongside Penfold’s program marketer, Taylor Flanagan, on the theatre’s accessibility initiatives, and will coordinate panel discussions on mental health that will be held during Penfold’s upcoming production of Vincent, a play about Vincent van Gogh. Some of Peterson’s university credits include In Arabia We’d All Be Kings (assistant director), Cendrillion (assistant director), I Didn’t Know You Could Cook (director), and Suor Angelica (assistant director).
The apprenticeship aims to provide students who have an interest in arts leadership with the experience and skills needed to form a professional career in the theatre. Apprentices develop a 360-degree perspective of running a professional theatre, including season planning, production and event planning, marketing, development, finance, human resources, and general administration. Apprentices are engaged in work for about 200 hours over the course of the academic year and receive up to six course credits and $10 per hour in compensation.
Previous arts leadership apprentice Kylie Gutierrez completed the regular program in addition to commissioning a new-play series, advancing two plays through the early phases of development. In a statement, Gutierrez said that the apprenticeship helped develop her skills, network and the confidence needed to build a career in the theatre. Natalie Blackman, faculty sponsor and Texas State University head of B.F.A. performance and production said in a statement, “I cannot tell you how much this apprenticeship has meant to Kylie and how many invaluable experiences she has had being a part of Penfold’s incredible organization for a semester. Penfold has helped prepare her to truly take a leading role in making the bright future for theatre we are all working toward.”
As of 2020, the Penfold Theatre Company’s budget was approximately $194,000.
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