July 20, 2015

Students at Work

Carrie Radigan behind the scenes at a New York theater.
Carrie Radigan ’16 is spending the summer immersed in the New York City theater scene.

“New York is the mecca of the American theater scene, and it can be scary to a newbie like me,” says Carrie Radigan ’16. But through her summer internship at New York’s Primary Stages, she has found the theater world is not as intimidating as it seems.

Radigan is working as an artistic intern and a production intern at the prestigious theater company, which has a mission of producing new plays. She commutes to New York City on the train from her home in Hazlet, New Jersey.

A theater and psychology major, she heard about the internship at a UMass Department of Theater event where students can network with theater professionals. Radigan connected with Michelle Bossy, Primary Stage’s associate artistic director, and interviewed for the internship over spring break.

As an artistic intern, Radigan works closely with Bossy. A large part of her duties is reading and evaluating plays submitted for production. She also attends performances and readings on the job and, to immerse herself even more fully in theater, volunteers as an usher.

For the month of July, Radigan will take on a different role as production intern for the drama Informed Consent, opening on August 4.  She’ll work with the stage manager to help rehearsals run smoothly and assist backstage at The Duke theater in the heart of Times Square during tech week, when the lighting, sound, and props for the play are fine-tuned.

One of the most valuable lessons she’s learned from her New York summer is that many theater professionals do more than one kind of job. Simultaneously or sequentially, they might combine acting, backstage work, teaching, and arts administration.

“There are many opportunities in theater,” she says. “Don’t let your dreams of being part of it be crushed.”