I'm Molly Dougherty, and I had the privilege of being Vintage Theater Collective's very first intern. As the summer after my sophomore year of college approached, I was eager to find a theater internship in Chicago. I was certain I would find one - after all, the city is bursting with theaters of all types and sizes. However, as weeks of fruitless searching passed, my certainty faltered. Not a single company I contacted responded back to me. Then a beautiful thing happened. I found a theater that did modern adaptations of classic works. Four years of Latin had created a penchant for Roman mythology, and that, in addition to an affinity for Shakespeare, made me think I would fit well with this theater. After sending an email and resume off to Vintage Theater Collective, I received a response the very next day, inviting me to see their production of Helen and talk about the possibility of an internship.
I was excited to see Helen. Knowing only that it was an adaptation of the story of Helen of Troy, I didn't know what to expect. But I loved it. I loved the intimate setting of the stage as a hotel room. I loved the use of mirrors to explore beauty and the ever-watching public eye. I loved the concept of celebrity and persona and one's public vs. private self. (I loved that discussing the show made me question the number of times I used the word "love" and the deficit in the English language. Greek, after all, has four or five different words for love. You'd think we could at least have two.) The show itself impressed me; this was the type of work I wanted to be involved in. But what really convinced me I wanted to intern with Vintage were the people. Michael and Katy were so warm and welcoming. They seemed as excited to have me there as I was to be there. So I began attending office hours the very next Wednesday, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Never having had an internship before, I didn't know what to expect. I'd heard that you are supposed to work a lot and learn a lot. I never would have imagined that it would have been so fun. Vintage is a pretty small company, which means I got to be involved in everything, from box office to publicity to reading submitted scripts. I learned how a theater company operates, how all of the behind-the-scenes work gets done so that actors can get out there and inspire and excite and impress their audiences. I created a Twitter account and watched as it grew from 3 to 5 to 26 members. (Hopefully by the time you are reading this, there are many many more!) I spent my summer reading theater, seeing theater, and interacting with people in theater - I couldn't have asked for more.
When you tell people that you're majoring in Acting or that you want to be an actress, they tend to look at you like you're crazy. After all, acting is not a stable, financially secure profession. But working with Vintage has reassured me that I am not crazy, and can in fact do this with my life. All of the actors I have met are real people doing real work. Acting still may not be the most stable profession, but in this economy, what is? Everyone I have met here at Vintage is passionate about what they do, and that is something I would like to be able to say about my own work for the rest of my life.
Oh, and one last time: please follow us on Twitter! @vintage_theater