What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going: This first half of summer was spent developing bold new work for the stage in the barns, theaters and fields of Hunter, NY. The Orchard Project, which convenes every summer in the ridiculously beautiful Catskills Mountains, is a 5-week artistic residency program that invites around 25 different theater and dance artists and companies for overlapping residencies to accelerate their latest creative projects. The artists are joined by group of 12 emerging artists, who stay over the five weeks, apprenticing with resident artists and diving into creative projects of their own. I was a proud one of the twelve young Macgyvers, and oh what an adventure it was. Each day at the Orchard Project was filled with master classes, generative work sessions, readings, composition sharings, creek swims and campfires. The core company is able to intersect with the work of all the artists who pass through, and are exposed to a multitude of art-making ideologies, generative tools, company structures. I was assigned to apprentice individually with Critical Mass Performance Group (LA-based ensemble creating original epics), PeMO (a Seattle-based dance-theater duo), both of which have been incredibly inspiring. I was also able to continue my study of clown, a performance style I had been eager to return to, and began creating a solo-performance through its lens, which would not have happened without the support and rigor of the other core company members and staff. Those five weeks were demanding and at times, terrifying, but filled with possibility and daring and vibrant people, whom I expect to know as collaborators for a long time to come. The number one thing I believe that this unique program gives it young company is ownership over themselves artists and an enhanced awareness in their ability to create opportunities for themselves and command themselves in the professional world, or at least this much has been true for me.
How I heard about my internship: I learned about the Orchard Project through Catharine Slusar, a faculty member of the Theater program. She connected me with the director of the Core Company, from whom I learned more about the apprenticeship program.
Why I applied for my internship: I was looking for an immersive experience in which I could collaborate with individuals with very different backgrounds, aesthetics and skills sets. I wanted a structure that was rigorous enough that it would push me, quickly, into ways I was scared of working, but open enough for me to set my goals and take my own initiatives. I am always trying to answer the question of how one builds a sustainable life in the arts, and I believed that my time at the Orchard Project would give me the greatest, in depth exposure to a variety of models, foster an environment for me to ask many questions, and encourage me to be bold about drawing my own conclusions. And it did.