Over the summer of 2017, I had the privilege of spending my favorite months of the year interning at the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, New York. I have a personal connection to Ithaca, as my father and I would visit any chance we could and wander the Commons until the sun went down and all the shop lights went up. I actually spent a lot of my free time reading on the benches and exploring their very pedestrian friendly city. (though the Hangar is a bit out there, I walked to work on many occasions.)
Hangar was my first internship and I could not have asked for a more pleasant application process. They asked for very standard paperwork (a resume with references and a reference letter) and the phone interview wasn’t nearly as intimidating as I thought it would be. It was when I met my to-be boss, Liz. She was funny and open to my questions, encouraging them and answering as honestly and completely as she could at the time. In our follow-up e-mails, she even came back with information I had asked about that she had to confirm. I really appreciate how thorough she was with my application and interview process.
Over the summer, the interns were eased into working the ticketing system by working a few slower daytime shifts before we worked a show. We got to work closely with Patti, the House Manager, and Ben, the Concessions Manager, each taking turns serving as assistant to them. With Patti, we were in charge on monitoring time, helping train volunteer ushers, and maintaining general patron content. We would also deal with seating issues and help hand out programs if there were not enough volunteers. With Ben, we would be in charge of making sure all the baskets of snacks were set up, coffee was full, and the garbage bins were taken care of.
Front of House interns also got to work on KIDDSTUFF, the family-oriented shows Hangar held on certain afternoons. That was awesome because we got to watch families come in and the kids were always excited. There were often activities set up like coloring or matching to play with until doors opened. Kids would even dress up for shows! We had one play, Aesop’s Fables, that used drawings that kids had made pre-show in their set and that went over really well. It was nice see kids interact with the arts and get to see their work onstage.
I loved everything about the Hangar, from the opening night galas to working the box office. I had fun emptying coffee grounds. It was the friendships and working relationships I had that made it fun. We all genuinely enjoyed what we were doing and that made the ‘work’ worth it.