We Are Knox...
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Theatre and Creative Writing Double Major
Andrew Purvis completed a five-week internship in theatre administration
last summer at the Ko Festival of Performance in Amherst, Massachusetts,
where he worked on a series of productions reflecting the theme of courage. He received hands-on experience in set design and stage lighting.
Describe your day-to-day experiences.
I did a lot of hanging lights and light-focusing. We all had box office shifts. We were in charge of selling tickets, advertising the festival, taking calls when people wanted to buy tickets. We would clean the space or help set up the next show. Every week was a different show; we would bring in their sets and set up whatever they had.
The artists would arrive on Monday or Tuesday. And then throughout the week we would set up their show and they would be rehearsing during this time as well. Thursday, (or) hopefully by Wednesday, we'd be running full dress rehearsals, and Friday night we'd do a show.
How did you learn about this opportunity?
(Smith V. Brand Endowed Chair in Theatre Arts) Liz Metz sent an e-mail about an internship. It's one that's been done before by Knox students. Last year Allie Diamond did it, then Kathleen Gullion interviewed just before I did and she got a position. From Liz's e-mail and talking to Kathleen, I decided to apply.
What inspired you to pursue the internship?
I was particularly drawn to the opportunity to see another part of the country that I've never been, farther northeast than New York. And along with that, (to see how) every region has its own theatre mentality and how many different theatres were drawn to this small theatre fest.
What was the best part of your internship?
Definitely (working on) Spaceman. Their set was this large, essentially, space module. It stood maybe four feet off the ground. It was this large, boxy, cage-like thing, and there were wires all over the place, computer modules, and screens. The lighting designers were great because they had already done the show and had already set up everything, but they took some of us and showed us their tools and technology. We learned a lot from them. It was amazing to see the type of professionalism and respect for their work and theatre that they brought from the show. (At right, Andrew Purvis models a costume from the Spaceman production.)
What did you learn from your experience?
I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do with my life as far as theatre is concerned -- I know I want to go into theatre. I was mostly interested in theatre and costume design. (This also) opened my eyes to lighting design and a broader spectrum of theatre. Rather than narrowing my lens, it widened it. Now I have more to consider and more to look for and try, and to expand myself as a theatre artist.