Advisors:

Jack Cirillo Performance 6-2511 colclough@marshall.edu
Nicole Perrone Performance 6-2510 perronen@marshall.edu
Lang Reynolds Production 6-2546 reynoldsh@marshall.edu
Joan St. Germain Production 6-6583 stgermain@marshall.edu
Mike Murphy Production 6-2517 mike.murphy@marshall.edu
Julie Jackson Production 6-5629 jacksonju@marshall.edu

 Course Description, Credit hours:

Catalogue description: Supervised off-campus contractual work-study arrangement with external agencies or theatrical institutions. (1-4 hours)

Declared Theatre majors who have successfully completed THE 295 Sophomore Review and are tracking toward a BFA in Theatre may apply for this course.

Students identify, apply or audition for, and complete an internship or entry level position with a professional entertainment production company, vendor, or contractor. Internship credit hours for professional training programs or workshops may be granted by special permission of the academic advisor and Department Chair.

Prerequisites:

THE 295 Sophomore Review and/or permission of the academic advisor and the Department Chair

Internship Proposal: All internship offers or positions require the approval of an academic advisor prior to registering for course credit. See “Acceptable Internship Sponsors” below for guidelines in selecting an internship.

The proposal package is submitted at the time an offer is made and is evaluated as part of the student’s final internship grade (see “Grading” for details). The Internship Proposal package must include the following items:

  • Completed Internship Advisor Approval Form (PDF)
  • Letter of intent
  • Completed Student’s Learning Objectives and Goals Form (PDF)
  • Professional Resume
  • A copy of the employment contract, agreement or formal offer and any supporting materials
  • Calendar showing your travel dates, contract dates and return date
  • Request for university excused absence (if required. See below for details)
  • Documentation of a focused job search including support materials for a minimum of two additional submissions, applications, auditions, or formal job queries.

Computer Requirements: An active email account and Blackboard access are necessary for the completion of course requirements.

Student Learning Outcomes/Objectives:

Internships provide students with an opportunity to put into practice skills they have learned while in school. In addition, students should have an opportunity to enhance those skills, obtain the perspective of a work environment and benefit from a mentor or supervisor’s experience and advice.

To gain maximum benefit, the work experience must have a supervisor or mentor available to provide coaching and evaluation of the student. Before the internship begins, the student should develop several learning objectives to be met during the work experience. Learning objectives are specific, measurable statements of what the student hopes to accomplish or learn during the internship. Each learning objective should center on developing a specific professional skill, job competency, or a broader knowledge of a specific segment of the entertainment industry.

Program Level Learning Outcomes:

One of the Department of Theatre program goals is to prepare students to present competitive portfolios and a repertory of advanced skills necessary for entry level careers or advanced study in the performing arts and entertainment industry. The internship experience is a synthesis of all program learning outcomes with specific focus on the student’s knowledge of and adherence to professional practice including etiquette and conventions, decorum, protocols, managerial chain of command, legal issues, and ethical standards specific to the performing arts and entertainment industry.

Internship Proposal
Due prior to internship acceptance
30% 10%    Accepted application. Letter of intent, Internship learning Objectives form, professional resume, copy of contract or agreement.20%    Additional internship applications (minimum requirement: 2 additional applications)   job description or posting, application letter, email correspondence, any supporting materials
On site requirements Progress reports are due every two weeks of the internship. The professional journal is maintained throughout the internship and submitted with the personal assessment.  35% 5%    Progress Reports Submitted via email every two weeks during the course of the internship.15%    Journal entries should be of a professional nature and adhere to the Guided Talking Points described below.  The journal is submitted with the final package.15%    Supervisor’s Evaluation submitted by the approved internship supervisor
Self reflection and documentation 35% 15%    Personal assessment of the overall experience and the internship learning objectives and goals.
10%    Company Profile Package  Company operations manuals, rehearsal schedules, souvenir programs, organizational charts and other materials that help define the size, scope, structure and operations of the company
10%    Internship Showcase/Roundtable All students are required to provide a public presentation of their internship experience.  See Internship Guidelines and Handbook below for details and grading rubric.

Grading Policy:

A 90-100%
B 80-99%
C 70-89%
D 69-79%

Grading rubrics for each element are included in the descriptions furnished by the student’s advisor and are summarized in the Internship Handbook and Guidelines below.

Internship termination dates vary widely. Therefore, the final grade posting for all summer internships is deferred to the beginning of the fall semester. In most instances the fall semester shall be the semester of record for students enrolled in THE 490 Theatre Internship. However, students may enroll for credit in the spring or summer semesters depending on schedule demands and internship opportunities. Students will NOT receive an internship grade until all required documents are filed with the teacher of record.

Acceptable Internship Sponsors

The internship sponsor or employer must be an established organization with practices, policies and production qualities in line with prevailing industry standards and internship policies consistent with federal guidelines. Internship duties and activities should support and advance the student’s career objectives. The following sources may be used as a guide in identifying companies with a history of maintaining professional standards in their operations:

Students who wish to earn internship credit through enrollment in specialized training leading to certification, extended workshop participation with recognized regional, national or international specialists, or other activities must discuss such options with the faculty advisor prior to applying for THE 490 credit hours.

Plagiarism Policy/Academic Honesty

(http://www.marshall.edu/library/plagiarism/plagiarism.asp) The university defines plagiarism as “Submitting as one’s own work or creation any material or an idea wholly or in part created by another.” Academic honesty includes all journal entries and the description of duties performed or completed within the internship. Any deviation from this standard will result in a lowered or possibly a failing grade.

Attendance Policy:

Students completing a professional internship represent Marshall University. Successful students will create opportunities other students. Consequently, all students are expected to maintain a high professional standard throughout the pre and post internship process as well as on the job. Any unexcused absence or failure to complete assignments accepted in the course of the internship will result in a failing grade.

Excused Absence for Off-Campus Internships

If it is necessary to miss classes in order to fulfill the terms of an internship contract or commitment, a request for an excused absence should be included in the internship proposal package. Once the proposal is approved, it is the student’s responsibility to request an excused absence from the department chair. Requests must be emailed to the chair prior to the start date of the internship and must include the following information:

  • Student’s name
  • Advisor’s name
  • Name of employer
  • List of all missed classes including class title, date and time
  • Name and email of each instructor

The chair will forward a digital copy (PDF) of the signed college sponsored excuse (COFA dean and chair signatures are require) to the student’s MU email address. It the student’s responsibility to forward this excuse to all teachers prior to any missed classes. Be aware that instructors have the right to refuse a college sponsored excused absence received after the scheduled absence. Students are responsible for making up all missed assignments and work.

Statement for Disabled Students

Marshall University is committed to equal opportunity in education for all students, including those with physical, learning and psychological disabilities. University policy states that it is the responsibility of students with disabilities to contact the Office of Disabled Student Services (DSS) in Prichard Hall 117, phone 304 696-2271 to provide documentation of their disability. Following this, the DSS Coordinator will send a letter to each of the student’s instructors outlining the academic accommodation he/she will need to ensure equality in classroom experiences, outside assignment, testing and grading. The instructor and student will meet to discuss how the accommodation(s) requested will be provided.

If discrimination or accessibility is denied by an internship employer, please alert your academic advisor and visit http://www.marshall.edu/disabled or contact Disabled Student Services Office at Prichard Hall 11, phone 304-696-2271.

Financial Agreements

Most internship positions are unpaid or receive a small stipend. Any financial agreements are solely between the student and the sponsoring company. The MU Department of Theatre cannot accept responsibility for financial arrangements for this project. However, students are advised to review the Federal Internship Guidelines (see link below) and consult a faculty advisor before finalizing a financial agreement with an employer.

Theatre Internship Handbook and Guidelines

 

Resume Preparation The professional resume is often the first exposure a candidate has for consideration at the “Next Level”. Resume’ formats in theatre vary from those one might see in other professions. They should be tailored to meet specific goals. Students have developed a general resume for Sophomore Review. They will be expected to develop a resume’ specific to the position they are seeking as a member of a production company. A copy of the resume’ the student used during the audition/interview process must accompany the application.

Letter of Intent A letter of intent will be expected of intern applicants. This letter, addressed to the theatre faculty, shall detail the reasons the student has for selecting a particular experience as being worthy of THE 490 Theatre Internship credit. The letter will describe the career opportunities perceived by the applicant for considering a particular production company or workshop. It will also identify how specific responsibilities with the organization can be assessed by the student, immediate supervisors and the faculty.

Employment/Internship Contract and Support Material The student shall present documentation supporting the extent of their activities with the sponsoring organization. Support should include copies of their contract, contract dates, company policies, operations manuals, season/company brochures and other documentation relating to their internship activities. Those students attending workshops, training programs or certification sessions should include admission letters, contracts, brochures and additional information as determined by their academic advisor. Information contained within these documents will serve as a basis to justify THE 490 Internship credit.

Identification of Immediate Supervisor Prior to applying for THE 490 Internship credit the student will identify a supervising professional within the organization who is willing to serve as their internship evaluator. The identified person will be the contact person for all communication between the faculty and company with regard to the student’s activity within the organization. Students will be expected to complete the Internship Supervisor Information Form

Intern Journal Students participating in this activity shall keep a journal of their experiences, insights, observations and learning opportunities. The journal should have regular entries. Journal entries should include descriptive accounts of operations and techniques; assessments of how activities may impact their training and experience; and/or personal comments concerning the total internship. A few simple, descriptive paragraphs per entry should be sufficient to describe your impressions. It is expected that journal entries will be made on a regular basis throughout the internship period. While daily entries are not required, the student should understand that 3-4 entries a week would minimally suffice. The journal should be submitted with the student’s package upon returning to campus.

Progress Reports All students are required to submit, via email using their Marshall accounts, a brief synopsis of their activities EVERY TWO WEEKS. The progress reports can reference the rehearsal/building process, practices used to maintain production standards, professional interactions with co-workers and staff among others. NOTE: Students may elect to simple send excerpts of their Journal (Item #6 above) to fulfill this requirement. Communication should be sent to both the Internship Monitor and the student’s academic advisor. Students are reminded that it is their responsibility to secure access to the internet.

Supervisor’s Evaluation Letter Upon completion of their contract period student shall request a letter of Evaluation from their immediate supervisor (identified above). The letter should be written on company letterhead by a resident professional associated with the company who had opportunity to work in a supervisory capacity with the intern. (Ex: Director, Designer, Technical Director, Box Office Manager, Producer, etc.) This letter may serve also as a portfolio inclusion for students, a reference entry on their resume, or a letter of introduction to future companies.

Personal Evaluation Students will submit an evaluation of the overall internship experience to their faculty advisor. The evaluation will examine both sides of the project. Positive observations may include goals that were met, surpassed expectations, new techniques utilized, contacts made, etc. Comments unfavorable to the experience are also encouraged. Appropriate comments may include a description of challenging working conditions, personality differences, organizational shortcomings, unfulfilled promises, etc. A statement of how both good and bad experiences can be used in future contractual situations would be appropriate.

Company Profile Package Students shall assemble a package of materials relating to their employment and activities with the participating company. The package may include company operations manuals, rehearsal schedules, souvenir programs, organizational charts and other materials that help define the organizational structure and operations of the company.

Internship Showcase and Roundtable All students are required to provide a public presentation of their internship experience. The primary forum for this activity will be student participation in an internship showcase and roundtable discussion at the beginning of the fall semester immediately following their summer experience. Students will be expected to present an informed discussion of their experience in concert with students who have had recent internship exposure. The basis for discussion topics will be centered on materials submitted as part of their internship dossier. Students may reference the audition/interview process, contract negotiations, the selection process, company profiles, practices, procedures and expectations, creative opportunities, similarities and differences between academic and professional approaches, and a critical evaluation of the overall experience. In addition to a verbal presentation students must be able to exhibit, via performance, static or visual displays, examples of their contributions to the overall creative effort. This can be accomplished by performing selections of roles, images of scenes performed, and/or detailed images of production/performance techniques utilized.

Students who graduate at the end of the summer or have not completed their contract obligations before Labor Day may be given an option to present via video, Skye, conference call, lobby display, PowerPoint presentation, or other media formats approved by the faculty. Arraignments must be made through the teacher of record or faculty advisor prior to Labor Day.

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