Each week we’ll go behind the scenes to learn more about the Actors Theatre Interns, twenty-two emerging professionals honing their skills during intensive season-long residencies. Find out what they do, who they are, and why they make theatre.
Introducing: LeShawn Darnell Holcomb and Lori Pitts: Education Interns
Hometown: LDH: Fresno, California and LP: Midland, Texas
What are you working on now?
LDH: In addition to classroom workshops and study guides, I am developing my play Boo’s Curiosity with members of the Apprentice/Intern Company.
LP: We are getting hundreds of ten-minute play submissions by middle and high school students for the New Voices contest (a playwriting competition for young playwrights in Kentucky). It’s really mind-blowing to read them and realize that the playwright could be 11 or 18 and is already doing such great work. It’s inspiring for me to be constantly reminded that age has nothing to do with greatness.
How did you get here?
LDH: Last summer, I participated in a ten-day writing intensive at The Kennedy Center, where I had a chance to work with Amy Attaway (Associate Director of the A/I Company). She encouraged me to look at Actors Theatre as a next step. Needless to say, I listened – I AM HERE!
LP: I have known I wanted to work with youth since I was four, and unlike my hope to be a professional soccer player, this dream stuck. In college, I took a class on Theatre for Social Justice and was completely enthralled with the idea of being more of a facilitator than a traditional artist. I thought it would be perfect to combine my interests by working with youth through theatre.
What is something you love about Actors Theatre?
LDH: When I first arrived, I was terrified. All I could think about was being so far away from my family. However, the community quickly accepted me as one of their own. Everyone here supports and challenges me to be the best artist and person I can be.
LP: I truly get to be a part of the Actors Theatre team. It isn’t just a “come here, watch this, get me coffee” type of internship. I am out in schools teaching every week and am given a lot of responsibility. It’s nice to know that Actors Theatre trusts and believes in me.
Your Actors Theatre is:
LDH: Located somewhere behind my sternum and ribcage. (My heart!)
If you could change one thing about theatre, what would it be?
LDH: More positive and leading roles for actors of color.
LP: I would have theatre be more of an out-of-the-box experience by letting the audience be part of the creation in some way, whether that be through the inspiration, writing of, acting in, or some other new idea unthought-of so far.
What advice do you have for someone just starting out?
LDH: Write your story.
LP: Do what you love. You will be much more successful at it than any other job.
Coming Up! Check back next week to learn why Hannah Barnes and Jacob Halpern Weitzman are stage management interns.