Career Day Hartford Stage Career Day 2017 By Erin Rose, Education Enrollment & Marketing Coordinator Participate in Career Day For more information on how your school can participate in Career Day on May 15, 2017, please email email@example.com or call 860-520-7244. For information on apprenticeships and internships at Hartford Stage, visit www.hartfordstage.org/apprenticeships. Many young people have big dreams of growing up to become a famous actor or actress. They see their favorite performers and fantasize about working in the exciting world of theatre. However, sometimes those dreams are dashed as they grow up and realize that perhaps they get stage fright, or someone at their school is a better actor, or they’re afraid of the uncertainty of a performer’s job prospects. And so they put their Broadway dreams away in favor of a different career, even if the theatre is truly where they thrive. What many young people don’t know, however, is that there is a wide variety of career opportunities available in theatre besides performing. For example, audiences will only see one actor onstage for this production of The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey. However, there are 62 full-time and over 75 part-time staff also working on this Hartford Stage production season. These professionals have made successful theatre careers for themselves outside of performing directly onstage. To help inform young people about the wide variety of job opportunities in the field, Hartford Stage invites hundreds of high schools students to join us each year for our annual Career Day event. Students from our Education Program. Photo by the Defining Photo. At Career Day, students potentially interested in a career in theatre are invited to attend a series of workshops and panels with Hartford Stage staff and industry professionals in a variety of disciplines. Among other things, they might learn how to advertise a show to a target audience with the marketing department, focus lights with our Master Electrician, create fake onstage food with the Props Manager, use theatre games to explore literacy with the education department, or figure out housing and transportation for a full out-of-town cast and crew with our Company Manager. They’ll also learn how each of these Hartford Stage employees went from being starry-eyed high school students to working theatre professionals – what training they received, what obstacles they had to overcome, and any invaluable advice they learned along the way. Through these workshops, students are able to better understand the variety of careers available in the arts, and how they might go about pursuing such a career themselves. After the workshops, students take an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of Hartford Stage – from the costume shop to the dressing rooms, to the trap door room hidden underneath the stage. Education students enjoying a matinee performance. Photo by The Defining Photo It is Hartford Stage’s hope that the students attending Career Day may be inspired to pursue a career in the arts – particularly those students who love the theatre but don’t see themselves performing onstage. Teacher Chris Perkins of Terryville High School, who brought his students to Career Day 2015, said of the experience, “My students got a lot out of the event and came away excited and with a lot of new ideas about what their future could look like. I am especially happy that two students who previously said that they were not sure what they would do after high school now have said they want to know more about some of the behind-the-scenes work in theatre. Also one who has always said theatre was a hobby and wanted to go to business school, [now] says she may want to do the business end of theatre work.” Theatre only exists as long as there are passionate performers, designers, teachers, and administrators dedicated to creating art. By hopefully inspiring students through Career Day and providing apprentice and internship opportunities to young theatre professionals, Hartford Stage looks forward to a bright future of outstanding theatrical work in the years to come.