Monday, September 19, 2011

More On The Life Of An InterAct Intern

Continuing the effort to document a year in the life of InterAct's interns, here is Shannon Fitzsimons' first entry...

Shannon Fitzsimons: 
“I’ve heard it takes at least 6 months to feel settled…”

That was certainly true for me.  Hi, I’m Shannon Fitzsimons, one of the epic trio of ladies who have started the InterAct full-season internship.  Dany, our Audience Services and Company Manager, has affectionately labeled us BSB (as in Brianne, Shannon, and Becky…or the Backstreet Boys).  I moved to Philadelphia officially this past December, but had not been a stranger to the area.  Originally from Red Hook, NY (near Poughkeepsie…yes, that is where Snookie is from…) I graduated from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA  in 2009, with BA’s in Theatre and Music, my concentrations being Directing, Acting, and Vocal Performance.  Between 2009 and this past May, I was blessed with the opportunity to tour nationally with The Enchantment Theatre Company and their production of “The Adventures of Harold and the Purple Crayon”, having all my rehearsals here in Philadelphia.  It was through my rehearsal time that I fell in love with Philly.

After two years of touring, I knew I needed a break, but I wanted to remain involved in the Philly theatre community.  Since choosing to remain stationary, I’ve been dancing the 3-4 job shuffle, a mixture of theatre work, nannying, and catering.  It’s been challenging and stressful, but fulfilling and exciting at the same time.  Even after 9 months of living here, I still wonder if I’m going to make next month’s rent, let alone buy groceries...keeps me on my toes.  That’s not to say that Philly isn’t an affordable city – it definitely is.  I share a great row house with my cousin up in Fishtown, and I absolutely love it.

I was first drawn to InterAct by their mission statement, and secondly after seeing the high caliber of their work.  Myself and several friends from college are highly considering starting our own theatre company in the next couple years, and I very much want to gain knowledge of all the things it takes to run a company.  From the smallest detail, to the big picture.

My first week at InterAct has surpassed my expectations.  Not only was I learning new software and how best to serve our patrons, but I’ve also gotten to read 5 plays I wouldn’t have had access to otherwise.  It’s been pretty exciting.

Here’s to finally feeling settled in Philadelphia, and a great season, full of paperwork and art.  Both of which are necessary to keep a company moving forward.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

InterAct Welcomes Lorel Marketing Group as 2011/2012 Season Sponsor

Since 2006, Lorel Marketing Group has helped InterAct define, refine and generally raise the bar of its public image through eye-catching graphic designs and insightful consulting services. We are thrilled to once again welcome their sponsorship of our upcoming 2011/2012 Season.

Lorel has been invaluable in helping InterAct visually capture the essence of our productions and grab the attention of audiences in Philadelphia and across the country. For the upcoming season, we look forward to working with Lorel on developing a fresh, new look for the company. In the meantime, here are a few examples of the outstanding work Lorel has done over the past five seasons...

Lorel Marketing Group is a full-service, multi-channel marketing agency in its twenty-fifth year of accelerating the measurable success of leading brands within the lifestyle, retail and healthcare industries. Lorel specializes in insight mining, strategy development, branded creative and measurable marketing promotions that embrace integrated online and offline tactics. Lorel¹s client work has been recognized by various organizations and competitions such as the Summit International Awards, The Association of Marketing and Communications Professionals, The Creativity International Awards and the Healthcare Advertising Awards, among others.

Support the businesses that support InterAct by visiting Lorel Marketing Group in King of Prussia, PA, or online at contact Lorel, email or call 610.337.2343.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

InterAct Welcomes 2011/2012 Season Interns

As many long-time fans of InterAct know, our company could not function without the never-ending hard work of our amazing teams of interns. With an office of only four full-time and two part-time employees, they quickly become a integral part of the administrative team (and to those on staff, a real part of the family). This week, we are thrilled to welcome Becky Dennis, Shannon Fitzsimons, and Brianne Shaw as our formidable intern team for the 2011/2012 Season!

This season, the interns are going to be periodically documenting their year-long journey as newly-minted InterAct-ites. To kick things off, here are a few thoughts from the two that are also starting new lives as Philadelphians, as well...

Brianne Shaw: 
I’ve never really written a blog before so I'm not sure where to start, how cliché' right? So, I guess I should introduce myself. My name is Brianne, and I am one of the new interns at InterAct Theatre. I recently graduated from Lycoming College, a small liberal arts school in the middle of nowhere, with a degree in Directing. My long term plan is to return to school and get my Masters degree, and possibly my PhD after that, in hopes of becoming a professor.

I moved to Philadelphia about a month ago. Before my move to Philly I lived in Altoona, PA, where on my daily commute to work I would expect to have to slow down for and pass multiple horse and buggies. Needless to say it was vastly different from my life now in Philadelphia. I can say that most of the changes were expected, moving to the city and easy to become used to; not driving everywhere or doing laundry in a Laundromat as opposed to the laundry room that was conveniently a few rooms away from my bedroom. There are also a few things that have become harder to get used to, one of those being financial responsibility and of course not having my dogs around. Being as I just graduated college worrying about financials were never really a stressor, everything I needed was included in my tuition, my room, my food... everything. Getting used to making sure I have the money for all my bills has become stressful. Although most people would assume worrying about money would be the most stressful and difficult thing to get used to when moving into the city, I have found the cockroaches to be much more stressful. One of the first nights after moving to Philly, I was laying peacefully in my bed when a cockroach was spotted crawling all over myself and my bed. Consequently, it has become a nightly ritual to shake all of my sheets and pillows before getting into bed, a ritual I am not sure I will ever get used to. Regardless of the cockroaches, my move to Philly has been a great transition. I have always looked forward to this time in my life, when I would be on my own and fending for myself. As a result, I think the move and the changes have been easier for me than most would expect.

While in Philadelphia I will be interning at InterAct Theatre. I'm pretty excited to get started, especially since I will be doing things I haven’t done before; House and Box Office managing. I have only been a graduate for a few months now and, in that time, haven’t done much in theatre so I am itching to get back in and get started. I think being at InterAct will put me in my element because I have always been interested in theatre that is socially relevant and thought-provoking. I am also excited to see how the shows change and evolve from beginning to end since InterAct only produces new plays.

Stay classy, Philadelphia!

- Brianne

Becky Dennis:

Earthquakes, Hurricanes, and Floods! Oh My!

Hello everyone,

My name is Becky Dennis and I am going to be one of the lovely interns at the InterAct Theatre Company for the next year. I just moved here from the great state of Michigan! I grew up in a suburb northeast of Detroit called Grosse Pointe and I just graduated from Kalamazoo College, a very small liberal arts college in Kalamazoo, MI (about halfway between Detroit and Chicago). There, I majored in Theatre Arts and got to do everything from acting to lighting design, but I enjoy stage management and directing the most.
Main Street promoting their kayaking tours
 Eventful Weather: 
Since moving here I’ve been through some interesting weather. In Michigan we get the occasional tornado and blizzard so hurricanes and earthquakes were something very new. As I awaited the arrival of Hurricane Irene, my new roommates and I stocked up on candles, flashlights, food and water. I was a little worried about flooding at first, but because we’re on a fairly large hill in Manayunk I was almost positive we wouldn’t float away. To pass the time during our lockdown, my roommate Kate and I started several different projects around our new house. The most intense project involved painting a mural of the Philadelphia skyline. Since she’s painted murals before, she did about 90%. I was given the positionsof supervisor and relief pitcher when her hand got too tired. The mural turned out great! 
 A Tale of Two Sisters:
When my family came to move me out here my twin sister, Stephanie, came too. While we were out here she just so happened to schedule an interview at a PR firm in Center City. My family moved me in, Stephanie had the interview, and they went home. A few days later Stephanie finds out she got the job and has to start in 10 days. She packs up her stuff and my parents are back in their car driving the 10 hours from Detroit to Philadelphia. So, 40 hours of driving and 4 trips to IKEA later, both Dennis sisters are living in Philadelphia and starting work at the very same time.

Detroit vs. Philly:

Since moving to Philadelphia I’ve been taking a mental list of things that are different in Detroit.

-Canada: On a clear day I can see Canada from my house (Ok, not as good as Russia but it is another country). In Detroit most people will accept Canadian currency just like American currency.

-Hills: You have a lot of hills here. Gives me an extra challenge when driving in the snow.

- Public Transportation: You need a car to get anywhere in Detroit. Public Transportation is a nice change.

-Small, Small Roads: Your roads are so small! I’m used to big highways and big streets. Got to get used to that.

-Water: Yes, you have beautiful rivers here but I’ll miss being so close to the Great Lakes. If you haven’t been to Michigan you should definitely take a vacation there. It’s a beautiful place (shameless plug for Michigan completed).

Thanks for listening to my thoughts. I’m very excited to start my internship with the InterAct!

Bye for now...