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The deadline for apprentice applications for the 2016/2017 Season is Friday, March 25, 2016.

The Purple Rose apprentice program is an experience like no other. Gain knowledge and experience that you will use for the rest of your career. At your fingertips will be daily opportunities to learn, grow and challenge yourself. There are countless doors here waiting to be opened: your drive, initiative and ambition are the keys to opening them.

All apprenticeships are general in nature and provide well-rounded administration, production and artistic experience. Each apprenticeship is a full-time position, requiring an exclusive commitment for the duration of four productions (approximately 12 months) due to the demanding work schedule. Because outside employment is not permitted, apprentices receive a modest living stipend; however, housing is not provided.

Most apprentice positions begin in August and December. Application deadlines for each year are posted on this webpage. All applications should be accompanied by a resume (including professional work history as well as theatrical experience), three letters of reference, and a cover letter stating how a Purple Rose apprenticeship relates to your career goals.

Submit application material in hard copy to:

The Purple Rose Theatre Company
ATTN: Guy Sanville
137 Park Street
Chelsea, MI  48118

Supporting materials may be sent separately from your application, but incomplete applications will not be considered.

Interested? Email our apprentice chief with a postal address, and we would be happy to mail an application to you.

Need to know more? Read on, or contact apprentice chief Michelle Mountain with questions.

A Well-Rounded Experience

The program is designed to give each apprentice the opportunity to perform different assignments for each show. Rotating production duties include: production/rehearsal assistant to the stage manager, assistant to the properties designer, scene shop assistant, assistant master electrician, assistant to the sound designer, production run crew, evening box office staff and house manager. Crew assignments are tailored, whenever possible, to the specific interests of each apprentice.

Apprentices are able to apply for Equity membership candidacy and earn points toward Equity membership. Points can be earned by either serving as production/rehearsal assistant to the stage manager or by acting in or understudying for a main stage production. Opportunities for acting and understudying are occasionally offered to exceptional apprentices, but are not guaranteed.

All apprentices also gain experience in the business of running a small nonprofit professional theatre company. Apprentices assist with development projects, compile production research, answer phones, provide customer service, maintain our patron database, and are responsible for the cleaning and upkeep of the theatre building. Special projects can be arranged to help develop applicable software skills or learn more about important aspects of nonprofit and theatre management.

Our mission is to produce new plays, and apprentices play a key role in our script review process. Apprentices participate in general auditions, attend table readings, rehearsals and production meetings, and assist the designers and production staff in every stage of the play development process.

Regular apprentice workshops are taught by members of the Purple Rose company. Topics are designed around apprentice interests and have included monologues, mask work, stage combat, grant writing, improvisation, theatre budgeting, script analysis, yoga, sewing and more. Apprentices also receive scholarships to participate in several of the theatre’s very popular classes, including our well-regarded Actor/Director Lab and Voice & Movement.

Apprentices also present their own performance on the Purple Rose stage for an invited audience. Known as “Dark Night,” this production is the culmination of months of preparation. From writing to design, from marketing to production, the apprentices manage every aspect of this special showcase.