This theatre that values inclusivity, acceptance, and connection was an absolute dream for me. Growing up in Orlando, FL, I had never been to Seattle, or hardly any of the West Coast so, naturally, I was so excited to get to see what theatre was like on the other side of the country. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic swept through our world. I was terrified that the internship that I had dreamt of would no longer be a possibility. But, thanks to the amazing staff of SCT, Drama School Virtual Classes and a virtual Teaching Artist Internship were still possible. Though this internship has been different than expected, I have still found as much care and intentionality from the staff via a virtual platform, as I would have experienced in person.
Initially, I was nervous about how I could feel connected, since I would be doing the internship from the complete opposite part of the country. However, SCT made me feel so connected, included, and accepted. During the very first week, working alongside Brodrick Ryans (Education Coordinator), we shared experiences of growing up in the Southeast, a desire to share stories on stage of those who have not had a voice, and a love for seeing the growth in students. It was moments like these with teaching artists over the summer that made me feel connected and valued.
One of the most wonderful parts of this internship has been getting to know the eight other interns in the 2020 class. From virtual movie nights to hangouts over Zoom, these other interns have been intentional to keep the community that comes with an internship alive and thriving even in a virtual setting. These individuals have supported, inspired, and accepted me and made the family of SCT feel so real and tangible.
The term “SCT family” had been used before and during my internship experience, and I can honestly say that I have felt that sense of community and family from the moment I accepted this internship. SCT has gone above and beyond to ensure that I have felt accepted and supported, not only as an intern, but as a person. From check-ins with Johamy Morales (Director of Education) and Tiffany Maltos (Associate Education Director), to chats with Liz Cohn (Arts-Based Learning Manager) about our shared Floridian experiences, the staff has made me feel like a part of the family, even though I am 2,500 miles away. This internship experience over the summer has renewed my hope for the future of theatre and arts education in a post COVID world. We may be living in uncertain times, but one thing is for sure: being a part of the internship class of 2020 has changed my life for the better.