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Internship Program

CLIMB Theatre internships are available for current college students who are interested in taking a semester off from classes to gain experience in the field. Internships are available only in the Teaching Company, run from August-December or January-May, and are full-time, paid positions.

Table of Contents:
I. Introduction
II. General Objectives of the Internship Program
III. Phases of Internship
IV. Qualifications/How To Apply
V. Working With University Partners
CLIMB Theatre’s Team Member internship program pays college students as they acquire thorough training and extensive hands-on experience in interactive theatre for young audiences.  Before stepping into the classroom, Team Members are trained in CLIMB’s style of classroom-based theatre and the arts of facilitation and classroom management.  They practice our standardized lesson plans and learn our lesson plan structures so they can create new lessons.  They even learn about the inner workings of a nationally prominent theatre company.  After training comes an apprenticeship with an experienced Team Lead.  The Team Member and Team Lead choose, rehearse, and conduct interactive theatre classes in K-12 classrooms in the Upper Midwest. 
General Objectives of the Internship Program:

  • To provide practical training in aspects of interactive theatre for young audiences, including:  classroom management, questioning techniques, direction-giving, facilitation persona, characterization and lesson plan structures
  • To provide extensive on-the-job experience in interactive theatre techniques on a broad array of topic for a wide range of students
  • To allow interns to experience the life of a touring theatre artist
  • To provide an apprenticeship with a Team Lead who will present classes with the intern and who will provide ongoing training
  • To strengthen interns’ performing resumes through their employment with a nationally prominent theatre

Phases of Internship
Intern Training Phase 1--Orientation

During this phase, interns train for two weeks with their Team Leads as both learn the basic skills required to conduct CLIMB Theatre’s interactive programming.  The principal trainer for Phase 1 is Julie Janus, the Teaching Company Director.  Julie uses interactive theatre techniques to reach the educational objectives for Phase 1, noted below:

  • To teach CLIMB’s unique form of theatre for the classroom
  • To train interns in classroom facilitation strategies in the following key areas:
    • Questioning techniques
    • Classroom management
    • Role-play (Forum Theatre)
    • Direction giving
    • Creating a classroom “stage”
  • To reinforce the function of the Actor as artist and educator in the following key areas:
    • Character choice and development
    • Music in the classroom
    • Costume choice 
    • Prop choice 
    • Acting stakes 
    • Spectacle “on a budget”
  • To workshop and rehearse standardized scripts that will be performed during the first few weeks of the season
  • To train interns on risk-building in lesson structure and the protocol of writing a self-produced lesson plan
  • To discuss techniques for working with special populations
  • To give interns some techniques for short rehearsal and memorization periods
  • To prepare interns for the paperwork communication for which they will be responsible for the season
  • To guide interns as they develop a personal development plan for the season
  • To orient interns to the elements of CLIMB’s operating culture covering:  CLIMB’s past, present and future goals, our employee manual of policies, procedures, and rules; and the communication paradigm we practice
  • To prepare interns to provide excellent customer service

Phase 1--Tasks Performed:
During Phase 1 training, the intern must memorize eight “standard” lesson plans in the Teaching Company repertory.  S/he is expected to accept constructive feedback and implement this feedback in her/his performance work.
Phase 1--Supervision and Evaluation:
Interns are supervised and evaluated by the Teaching Company Director. The first time the intern is observed in the classroom, s/he receives a written and verbal Initial Observation Feedback Form.  This form states the intern’s strengths and areas for growth and ties to the personal development plan created during Phase 1 training.
Intern Training Phase 2--Performance Apprenticeship

During this phase, Team Member Interns apprentice with a Team Lead, performing and facilitating the Teaching Company’s work throughout the Upper Midwest.  Team Leads are college graduates with extensive experience in interactive and professional theatre. Team Leads are carefully chosen from the hundreds who audition for us.  Team Leads guide their interns in choosing and/or creating lesson plans, conduct rehearsals, and give daily feedback on the interns’ work.  The educational objectives for this phase of training are:

  • To monitor and advise the intern’s progress toward her/his personal development plan
  • To critique the intern’s job performances regularly, giving constructive written and verbal feedback

In addition to the apprenticeship training provided by Team Leads, the
Teaching Company Director provides the following:

  • An environment in which the intern can fulfill her/his creative potential
  • Weekend opportunities for professional development throughout the season on topics including (but not limited to): audition techniques, directing, playwriting, community-devised theatre, vocal orchestration, etc.
  • Artistic company meetings as an opportunity to continue training in specialized areas, give and receive feedback on the systems and the work of CLIMB
  • An exit interview during which interns may reflect on their experience at CLIMB Theatre. 

Phase 2--Tasks Performed:
The intern is responsible for assisting the Team Lead with program formation, rehearsal, and performance.  S/he is largely responsible for the aesthetic of each class (props, costumes, music, etc.).  In addition to these responsibilities, each Team Lead may require the intern’s assistance with program-related paperwork, directions to program sites, and driving to or from a program (although driving will largely be the responsibility of the Team Lead).  Lastly, the intern will be responsible for representing CLIMB positively at all times to the public.
Phase 2--Supervision and Evaluation:
During this phase of training, the interns are under the supervision and
evaluation of their Team Leads and the Teaching Company Director.  Actors are evaluated several
times daily by classroom teachers, weekly by their Team Leads, and at least
twice each semester by their supervisors and during their last week with us.
Strong Internship candidates are self-disciplined, motivated, energetic,
resilient and talented performers who are enthusiastic about working with
young people.  Experience and/or training in working with young audiences is
a plus, but is not necessary.
How To Apply
Email a headshot or snapshot, resume, and cover letter to:
Lauren Diesch
Producer of Excellence in Teaching
Working with Universities
It is our desire to establish relationships with universities around the nation that are interested in providing their students with a unique, hands-on learning opportunity.  We would like universities to provide degree credits to students who participate in CLIMB’s internship program. 
We are very willing to work with faculty to adjust our internship to meet the needs the student or the university.  For example, if faculty wishes to assemble a specific evaluation system with CLIMB, or assign additional responsibilities, this can be easily arranged.
CLIMB Theatre internships are paid positions.  Discounted housing is available.  Significant professional development opportunities are  available to interns free of charge.  While CLIMB does not pay for credits to the educational institution, we are willing to discuss how alternate arrangements for payment might be made.
For further information on CLIMB’s internship program, please contact:
Lauren Diesch
Producer Of Excellence in Teaching
CLIMB Theatre, Inc.
6415 Carmen Ave.
Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076
(800) 767-9660 extension 20


6415 Carmen Ave E
Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076
Outreach Department
(651) 453-9275 x19
Gaming Department
Laurie Gluesing
(651) 453-9275 x11
Teaching Company
Lauren Diesch
(651) 453-9275 x20
Performing Company
Buffy Sedlachek
(651) 453-9275 x40



CLIMB Theatre