The Juilliard School sponsors a Professional Apprentice Program in Technical Theater and Arts Administration. The program provides a practical, hands-on experience working with professional technicians and administrators in their respective fields.
Technical theater apprenticeships are offered in Costumes, Wig & Makeup, Electrics, Props, Scene Painting, Stage Management, and Technical Direction.
Administrative apprenticeships are offered in Drama, Orchestra, and Vocal Arts.
Benefits of the program
- The opportunity to gain practical experience in your chosen field under the direction of top professionals at the foremost arts conservatory, located in the heart of New York City.
- An apprentice’s performance is monitored; individual meetings are held and evaluations are given in the fall and spring.
- Seminars are held throughout the year with both alumni and non-alumni professionals to hear and discuss working in the fields of technical theater or arts administration.
- An apprenticeship is a wonderful way to find out if a job in theater or arts administration is the career you are seeking.
Things to consider
- The apprentice program does not offer a degree or certificate.
- Apprenticeships are nine months in length, beginning in September and ending in May.
- Apprenticeships are full time – 40 hours per week. Compensation is $11 per hour. Overtime wages are paid starting the 41st hour of work in a given week, at a rate of one-and-a-half times the hourly rate, or $16.50 per hour.
- Apprentices’ weekly schedules may vary with their duties and the requirements of the overall production/administrative schedule.
- Prospective apprentices should carefully evaluate their individual financial situations when applying to the program.
- Living in New York is expensive.
- Being an apprentice is a full-time work commitment. An outside job cannot be relied upon as an income supplement.
- It is suggested that housing be secured prior to beginning an apprenticeship.
- Health insurance is offered.
What can you expect from this Apprentice Program?
You can expect to:
- Develop good habits.
- Refine your interpersonal and technical skills.
- Approach your career realistically.
- Perhaps reconsider your career choice.
- Live and work in New York City.
The Peter Jay Sharp Theater, seating 907 with a 60-foot proscenium stage, houses Juilliard’s opera and dance productions, and some concerts, recitals, and special events.
Stephanie P. McClelland Drama Theater, seating 184, contains a large thrust stage that supports productions ranging from classical Greek to modern avant-garde plays, lectures, drama community meetings, and special events.
Rosemary and Meredith Willson Theater, seating 98 and designed with the latest technological advances available for use by all three divisions at Juilliard. It comprises over 2,000 square feet of performance space in addition to more than 2,000 square feet of production support space, including a state-of-the-art grid, a permanently installed sound system, a removable dance floor, and video projection capabilities. Juilliard’s Music Technology Center is also wired to the Rosemary and Meredith Willson Theater, allowing students to make use of the advanced sound capabilities of the theater as departments collaborate to create new work for electronic instruments.
Harold and Mimi Steinberg Drama Studio, seating 70, is a black box space which serves as a performance studio for third-year drama productions. Technical support is provided on a smaller scale.
Chancie Ferris Booth Memorial Studio, in which seating and technical support are similar to the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Drama Studio. This space serves as a performance studio for Vocal Arts productions.
Brief descriptions of the apprenticeships:
This apprenticeship allows early career costumers to develop their skills while working with top designers and a professional technical staff. We look for candidates who are willing to jump into a fast-paced, nine-month season. The Costume Shop produces upwards of 20 full-scale productions in the disciplines of dance, theater, and opera. We set a high standard of quality and look for apprentices interested in contributing to the process in this fast-paced environment. Collaboration and team building are emphasized. Participants will function as design assistants supporting designers and the Costume Shop with duties including research, swatching, pulling and shopping, rental coordination, calendar management, coordinating and attending fittings, budget management, and costume tracking. Costume apprentices are expected to participate in wardrobe stock maintenance and may run Wardrobe Crew. They may also get hands-on experience with stitching, alterations, craft work, and millinery. Applicants must be self-motivated, responsible, and creative. Computer proficiency required, including Microsoft Office: Outlook, Excel, and Word. One to two years of professional or collegiate costume experience is expected. Theatrical costume design assistant and sewing experience required.
Wig & Makeup (2)
The Juilliard Wig and Makeup Shop builds and styles custom wigs and facial hair and facilitates specialty makeup looks for 10+ opera, dance, and drama productions per season. This apprenticeship is for individuals serious about pursuing a professional career in theatrical wigs, hair, and makeup. Candidates must have their cosmetology license or makeup accreditation, and previous theatrical experience is required. An ideal candidate must be self-motivated, organized, detail-oriented, and work well under pressure. Apprentice duties center largely on wig construction, styling, and running shows. Apprentices participate intensively in every step of the build process, from the initial head measurement all the way through the application and maintenance of the wig during a run. Apprentices also take a 15-week makeup course and are responsible for executing principal and specialty makeup looks. Other duties include sourcing and shopping for materials, research of period hair and makeup, hairstyling and cutting, shop and stock organization, and maintenance.
The successful apprentice candidate will have a practical knowledge of electrics and basic understanding of electricity and stage craft. Many aspects of theatrical lighting will be experienced, including reading and updating light plots and the use of VectorWorks and LightWright for paperwork. The apprentice will also participate in hanging, focusing, and general maintenance of our inventory and spaces. All apprentices will act as an assistant master electrician during the season, and will have the opportunity to fill the role of master electrician. Additionally, assignments will include light board operator and spotlight operator. This apprenticeship will also incorporate aspects of video support for productions by working with the staff electrician. Experience working in a theatrical atmosphere, computer literacy, and awareness of current lighting consoles and equipment is ideal.
Work in the props department encompasses many facets of prop design, procurement, and construction. Apprentices will complete carpentry, soft goods, sculpture, assemblage, and graphics projects, as well as interpret designs through research and shopping in and around New York City and beyond. Budgeting, bookkeeping, and management skills will be addressed, as will interdepartmental communications and cooperation. Other duties include assisting with the maintenance of our exquisite prop inventory, along with running crew assignments. Applicants should be familiar with basic shop tools and a little curious. Opportunities abound to develop skills in multiple craft areas.
Scene Painting (2)
The apprentices in the scenic art department work on all productions under the supervision of the charge artist and assistant charge artist. While working on roughly two dozen productions of differing sizes over the course of the year, apprentices will learn sample processes, layout, and typical scenic techniques. This includes hard scenery, textures, soft goods and drops, faux finishes, and some sculpting. The responsibilities of apprentices also include day to day shop maintenance, and completed independent drawing and painting projects, in order to hone their skills. Safety training and portfolio development will also be addressed. All applicants must show examples of their practical scene painting experience and drawing abilities with a portfolio, and they should be self-motivated individuals who pride themselves on cooperation and quality work.
Stage Management (9)
Starting with pre-production meetings, then on through rehearsals and into performance, stage management apprentices assist a variety of production stage managers on opera, drama, and dance productions. Stage management assignments might also include the opportunity to stage manage second-year drama projects. The work requires great organizational skills and close contact with students, directors, and choreographers. It is essential that the apprentice be able to interact with a wide variety of personalities and adapt to various working styles. This includes being able to receive evaluations of his/her work. Additionally, the apprentice must stay focused, take initiative, and maintain a professional demeanor in the work place. Rehearsals occur late afternoons and evenings. Promptness is mandatory. Tardiness is not tolerated. Applicants must possess strong writing and computer skills. There is an emphasis on producing quality paperwork. The ability to read music is desirable, and prior stage management experience is required. Include a few samples of paperwork with application.
Technical Direction (1)
The technical direction apprenticeship is designed for the young professional who is looking to pursue a management role in the implementation of drama, opera, and dance productions. The apprenticeship will focus on computer aided drafting (CAD), labor and material estimation, analysis of structural and aesthetic requirements for construction, rigging, shop management, safe practices for scenery creation, installation, and strike. The apprenticeship will also allow for the continued practice of theatrical construction and the development of new skills in metalworking, finish carpentry, and computer aided manufacturing (CAM). The ideal candidate will have an undergraduate degree and/or equivalent professional experience in technical theater. By the end of the apprenticeship, the apprentice will have the opportunity to fully manage a small-scale production from estimation through strike.
Drama Division (1)
The Drama Division apprentice will directly assist the administrative director and all members of the Drama Division staff in the daily administrative and production operations associated with the division’s professional actor training program and the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program. There is a high volume of interaction with faculty, students, alumni, guest artists, donors, prospective students, and many administrative staff of the School – diplomacy, discretion, and excellent communication skills are required. The Drama Division apprentice should be an extremely organized, enthusiastic, curious, and positive individual who is eager to immerse him/herself in the wide range of opportunities that exist for observation and experience. The ability to multitask, work in a busy and high pressure environment, and work as a member of a team are essential to the position. Familiarity with MS Word, Excel, and Outlook is extremely helpful in addition to experience working with social media applications. A strong interest in arts administration and background in theater is preferred.
Orchestra Management (1)
The orchestra management apprentice will work closely with members of the orchestral administration in managing all aspects of the day-to-day operations of the Juilliard Orchestra, Wind Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Lab Orchestra, and repertory class. Throughout the year, the apprentice will have exposure to key elements of orchestra management, including personnel management, orchestra auditions, orchestra library, concert production, and artist management. The apprentice communicates regularly with Juilliard students, faculty, guest conductors, and other administrative departments throughout Juilliard. A professional demeanor, strong computer and communication skills, an ability to juggle multiple projects, and a thorough knowledge of orchestral repertoire is essential. Experience as an orchestral musician is a plus.
Vocal Arts (1)
The Vocal Arts apprentice will work closely with all members of the Vocal Arts staff in the daily administrative and production operations within the department. The apprentice’s tasks are tailored to the department’s needs as well as the apprentice’s own interests and career goals. Past tasks have included assisting with recitals, master classes, and concert productions. This involves everything from creating and implementing preparation schedules with the artists to gathering and editing program materials to day-of management of events like dress rehearsals and performances. Additionally, the apprentice assists in the administration of opera productions, serves as editor of the monthly department newsletter, and provides general office and scheduling support. The apprentice will interact with students, faculty, guest artists, directors, and conductors throughout the year — discretion, tact, and excellent communication skills are required. The Vocal Arts apprentice should be enthusiastic, open-minded, curious, and eager to take on new projects and initiatives. Extreme organization and the ability to multi-task are essential to the success of the apprentice. Familiarity with MS Word, Excel, Publisher, and Outlook is extremely helpful, in addition to a strong interest in arts administration. A working knowledge of opera, stage management, or theater is a plus.
The Juilliard School does not sponsor visas for the Apprentice program nor do we consider applicants with J-1 sponsorship (J-1 intern, trainee, short-term scholar etc.) from third-party cultural exchange providers. At this time, the Juilliard School Professional Apprentice Program will only consider international applicants who work in the U.S. with an Employment Authorization Card. Examples of such visa categories include international applicants who have received an Employment Authorization Card as an F1 student on OPT, a J-2 spouse, or an Adjustment of Status applicant.
Should you have any questions about your eligibility based on visa status, please contact the Juilliard Office of International Advisement at (212) 799-5000, ext. 358, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following items must be submitted in one package.
- A completed application form. Download a PDF copy of the application. (Adobe Acrobat Reader required).
- Three (3) reference letters.
- A $15 nonrefundable application fee (check or money order made payable to The Juilliard School).
- A current résumé including educational experience.
- A personal statement of at least 250 words describing the candidate’s expectations of the apprentice program and how it relates to his or her career goals.
Applications are accepted throughout the year.
Deadline is May 1, with notification of acceptance by the end of May.
Candidates will be contacted for interviews.
Send Application To:
Helen Taynton, Director
Professional Apprentice Program
The Juilliard School
60 Lincoln Center Plaza
New York, NY 10023-6588
You can contact Ms. Taynton by mail at the above address; by telephone at (212) 799-5000, ext. 7102, or email: email@example.com.
What happens after the apprenticeship?
The Juilliard Apprentice Program, formerly known as the Professional Intern Program, has more than 750 alumni. Many have continued their careers in New York City, working in either a technical or administrative capacity at the Metropolitan Opera, Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, American Ballet Theatre, Cambridge in America, and numerous Broadway and Off-Broadway shows. There are alumni who have decided to change their direction. Among them, you will find a lawyer, doctor, architect, urban planner, business owner, preservationist, assistant film director, playwright, conductor, facilities manager, technical theater consultant, and teacher.
Throughout the United States and abroad, alumni have stayed connected and provide support for the program. Many of those residing nearby participate in our monthly meetings and offer guidance and support to apprentices who are just beginning their careers. In some instances, they have provided job opportunities.