Monday, November 8, 2010

Inside ATRU: Casey Crail on his fall internship experience

As the fall 2010 operations intern, it has been quite an experience working at the Auditorium Theatre. Getting the chance to work at such an important and historic theatre has been a dream come true. I have always loved theatre and been interested in architecture—especially Chicago architecture. The Auditorium has offered me the chance to combine my two passions into a semester long program that will help me greatly as I move forward pursuing a career in performing arts management.

The first time I stepped out onto the Auditorium’s stage I looked out at the nearly 4,000 seats, from the orchestra level all the way up to the gallery six stories above the stage. I knew that I was finally where I wanted to be. Many people spend years studying something and then, when getting out into the real world, realize they have no desire to practice what they’ve studied. I’ve been studying performing arts management at Columbia College for the past three and a half years. It was an incredibly validating feeling to finally be able to put the skills I’ve learned in the classroom to use in a practical setting here at the Auditorium (and realize that I really do love working at a theatre).

Being the operations intern, I’m usually over in my little cubby (at least I don’t have to sit in the hole*) over at the theatre off  aisle 1—which is across the street and a few blocks away from the administrative offices where most of the staff is located. I was worried at first that I wouldn’t get to interact much with the rest of the theatre staff. Luckily, I have worked on many projects here that have allowed me to collaborate with different departments and gain a better understanding of how all the areas work together. I have learned so much from working with all of the incredibly talented individuals who make up the Auditorium Theatre.

From being teased mercilessly as the “newbie” by the patron services coordinator to attending a Rotary Club luncheon with the executive director, my time at the Auditorium has been incredibly fun, fulfilling, and above all eye opening. It has been a great experience and environment that I will be sad to leave at the end of the semester.

* The hole is the back section of the Patron Services Office. It was affectionately named “the hole” by the Auditorium staff for its low-ceiling, dark, claustrophobic feel. Pretty awesome of the Auditorium staff to not make the interns sit back there.

Casey Crail is a senior at Columbia College where he is studying Performing Arts Management and is the fall Operations Intern.


Our internship program offers students the opportunity for hands-on learning alongside professionals working in the performing arts industry.

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