Penfold Theatre Partners with Texas State University, Offering Semester-Long Apprenticeships


 ( Theatre Company of Austin and Round Rock, TX,  is launching an apprenticeship program in partnership with Texas State University, Department of Theatre and Dance. The goal is to provide students with an interest in arts leadership the experience and skills training for a career in professional theatre. Kylie Gutierrez, a senior Theatre Performance and Production major at Texas State, has been selected as Penfold’s first Arts Leadership Apprentice for spring 2022.


Penfold’s apprenticeship is designed for currently enrolled undergraduate students in the Texas State Department of Theatre and Dance. Apprentices will work on real-world projects, develop their skills under guided mentorship, build their resume/portfolio and professional network, and receive tailored assistance to advance their career goals.


The Arts Leadership Apprentice will serve as an assistant to the Producing Artistic Director for the duration of a college semester, providing needed support to the organization while receiving hands-on training and experience in Penfold’s art, marketing, development and executive functions. Assigned duties will help the apprentice gain insight into an arts administrator’s role and explore the scope of running a theatre arts nonprofit.


Kylie Gutierrez (via Penfold Theatre)“During Penfold’s recent strategic planning process, we found there are not many opportunities for young adults transitioning from college to their early professional careers, particularly in the area of arts leadership,” said Penfold Producing Artistic Director Ryan Crowder. “With the support of faculty and staff, we are piloting an apprentice program this spring semester with Texas State University. We are tremendously excited to have Kylie as our first apprentice. Her initiative and perspective impressed us immediately, and now, just days into the apprenticeship, her passion, intelligence, and collaborative spirit have already proved a great asset to the team. She's just the type of emerging artist we'd hoped to serve with this program. Upon the program’s success, we hope to increase the number and variety of apprenticeships offered.”


“Penfold has taken a major step in providing a gateway into the industry for the kind of diverse artists the theatre industry needs to create a representative and equitable future,”said Texas State University Head of B.F.A Performance & Production Natalie Blackman. “Penfold's apprenticeship is all about doing! In addition to already participating in budget planning and working with the art department, Kylie Gutierrez had the opportunity to lead the season selection discussion on new play development and will be coordinating all the readings for Penfold's commissioned new works. I know she will leave this apprenticeship with the resume and skill set to land a job at an incredible theatre company or to create her own!”


WHO CAN APPLY. Undergraduate students enrolled in the Texas State University Department of Theatre and Dance.


AREAS OF FOCUS. Apprentices will develop a 360-degree perspective of a small professional theatre, including functions like nonprofit leadership, season planning, production and event planning, marketing, development, finance, human resources and general administration. While the broad scope of experience is intentional, applicants are also encouraged to share their specific interests, so the apprenticeship may be tailored to their career goals.


TIME COMMITMENT. Apprentices should expect to commit 200 hours over the span of an academic semester.


RECEIVING COURSE CREDIT. Course credit is available through a partnership with Texas State University. Theatre majors may receive credit through TH 4601 (200 hours / 6 credits). After being accepted for an apprenticeship, the student should find a faculty sponsor; complete a university application and contract; and enroll in the appropriate course.


ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION. In addition to course credit (see above), apprentices are paid $10/hour.


About Kylie Gutierrez (Spring 2022 Arts Leadership Apprentice)

Kylie Gutierrez is a senior Performance and Production major at Texas State University. University credits include: Red Bike (Assistant Director), Fefu and Her Friends (Director), Grapes and Gnats (Producer/Playwright), El Nogalar (Dramaturg), Pa Fuera Pa Fuera Pa Fuera (Assistant Director), Bikes (Playwright) and Crescendo (Director). Kylie is the Managing Producer and a founder of the Jeremy Torres Lab Theatre, a producing house on the Texas State University campus dedicated to undergraduate work.