design and production internship program

In 2010 Des Moines Metro Opera launched a pilot internship program in technical theatre by restructuring six existing positions on the staff in an effort to expand its educational programming, to mitigate rising costs to produce opera and to increase sustainability in the production department. Now 8 years old and growing, the Design & Production Internship Program at DMMO is comprised of eighteen positions in every field of Theatrical Production from Stage Management to Wigs and Makeup Design. The mission of the Des Moines Metro Opera Design and the Production Internship is to provide students in the theatre arts, who wish to expand on their academic studies, an environment to hone theatrical skill sets, gain valuable professional experiences, and expand their theatrical connections needed for a successful start in a career in the arts.

Members of the 2016 Design and Production Internship Program
  • In 2016 seventeen interns came from 13 different states picked from over 225 applications (Acceptance rate of 7%)
  • In 2016 94% came from universities and colleges working on a B.A or B.F.A in some aspect of theatre design or production
  • Interns are picked from all different backgrounds: Technical Production, Technical Theatre, Theatre Arts, Stage Management, & all design degrees
  • Average age of applicant varies from year to year but most applicants are between 18 and 21

Members of the Internship Program get to work alongside and learn from
  • 30 Production Staff, 8 Designers, and 4 Directors from 22 different states
  • Production Staff and Designers who work at a variety of opera companies, theatre companies and production companies during the year.

At Des Moines Metro Opera the Design & Production Internship is a concentrated nine-week training and work program. Over the nine weeks interns participate in eight talkbacks with directors, designers, and production staff; attend several classroom workshops covering refining a resume and portfolio, networking, websites, freelancing, and production contracts; and receive hands-on instruction in skill-based workshops which include: rigging for the stage, welding, and stage painting. Interns also receive instruction in how to work safely in a theatrical environment - taking workshops on stage safety, personal protection equipment, respirators, and basic first aid. All the while interns are working alongside 38 staff and design members from professional theatre and production companies around the United States, helping interns expand their professional network of contacts.

Design and Production Internship
Interns receive a daily stipend, free housing, and a travel stipend.

Early response is encouraged; notifications for phone and in person interviews will start to go out end of January. All applicants must be over the age of 18.

Design And Production Internship:

Stage Department: Technical and dress rehearsals, work notes, repertory changeovers and run crew.

Carpentry Department: Work in the shop in the production of two shows. No run crew.

Paint Department: Work with the paint crew in the painting of all set pieces, drops and paint notes. No run crew.

Properties Department: Construct, alter, and fabricate all props. Run Crew Chief and Interns run shows and assist properties artisans in notes and repairs.

Wardrobe Department: Fittings and alterations for seasonal costume rental. Some costume construction. Run crew.

Electrics Department: Hang, circuit and focusing of the season plot; perform daily changeovers; run special effects during productions; assist with the setup of audio/visual equipment.

Stage Management Department: 3.5 weeks of rehearsal, technical rehearsals, running shows.

Hair & Makeup Department: Daily maintenance and setting of wigs, pre-performance application of wigs and makeup and assist with chorus quick changes.