Summer in the spotlight

Many students in Henderson State’s theatre department are getting exciting jobs all across the United States thanks to the connections and encouragement of their professors. This semester, the department announced on Instagram six students getting work in four states.
“Our professors really encourage the theatre department to get internships or summer jobs working somewhere in the theatre world,” said Kylee Hancock, who landed a summer job as a scenic carpenter for the Texas Shakespeare Festival in Kilgore, Texas. ”So we can make connections early on.”
Sophie Burke, a Patron Services intern also at Texas Shakespeare Festival and star of the department’s last production of “The Revolutionists,” attributed her internship-seeking success specifically to Professor and Department Director Lacy Klinger as well as the work she has already been doing as a student. At the festival, she says she will be selling tickets, gifts, and concessions.
“It’s basically what I do now in the HSU box office,” said Burke. “But with a bit more added on.”
Hancock also thanked Klinger specifically, saying she “informed the theatre majors of potential job opportunities early last semester.”
The department currently only has four professors, and students like Burke do not worry much about their roles on the performing side, but with Henderson’s increasing financial grief, they are concerned for upcoming students passionate about becoming backstage craftspeople, which requires equipment and work that Henderson may not be able to afford going forward. Between the school’s debt and shrinking class sizes in the department, there is a lot of uncertainty.
Other students with new jobs and internships this semester include Natalie Gray and Zandora Chinwah—the latter also starring in “The Revolutionists”—at Lyric Repertory Company in Logan, Utah, Savannah Price at the Berkshire Theatre Group in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and Jessica Smith in the Disney College Program at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.