Aspiring production manager Olivia Kernekin ’15 interns at New York’s Chautauqua Theater Company
Centre College’s dramatic arts program prepares its students for promising careers not only by regularly producing highly regarded shows but also by connecting students to internships with leading theaters across the country. After attending a theater convention with the drama department, rising senior Olivia Kernekin landed an internship this summer with the Chautauqua Theater Company (CTC) in New York as a production management intern.
“Last March, I attended the Southeastern Theatre Conference with classmates and professors from Centre and discovered the CTC internship through a job contact fair,” explains Kernekin. “Centre’s drama department has a long-standing relationship with CTC because of alumni who have worked there in years past.”
Kernekin primarily shadows the theater’s production manager, so her duties have varied this summer.
“Production managers do a little bit of everything,” she says. “Before the season officially started, I assisted in preparing our facilities—washing yoga mats, setting up parking areas, etc.”
Once productions were underway, however, Kernekin began attending to a new set of tasks.
“I attend all technical rehearsals, and generally make sure all departments have everything in order, including anything from grabbing granola bars to driving people around in golf carts.”
According to Kernekin, the most difficult part of her internship is the strenuous physical activity it demands. “All of my duties require a certain level of stamina that I definitely did not have at the start of the season. Now, I am hulk woman.”
Kernekin says the College’s Center for Career and Professional Development, as well as her professors, played a crucial role in helping her apply for the internship.
“Mindy [Wilson] in the career center is my number one lady. She has listened and been there for me with advice and suggestions for every conversation,” says Kernekin. “My theatre professors are also a huge support. They reviewed my resume, doled out interview advice and kindly served as references for all my job applications this year.”
In addition, Kernekin points to her experience with Centre’s dramatic arts program for helping prepare her for this internship.
“The end of the school year marks my eighth year being involved in semi-professional and professional theatre,” Kernekin says. “My experience in all of the shows at Centre have definitely helped me refine my work as an artist and develop more focus as a theatre professional.
“The unwavering support from my professors and fellow students has been the best way for me to weed through what I do and do not want to pursue in this field,” she adds.
Learn more about Centre’s dramatic arts program.
by John Ross Wyatt ’15