A New Opportunity

February 3, 2011

By Paul Arebalo, Jr., Production Fellow

The Arden has recently opened up a new seasonal staff opportunity called the Production Fellowship. And I am the guy who fills those shoes this season. I am overjoyed with this experience, which has informed my career path and my passion for theatre.

Throughout this program, I work as the second-hand to the different departments within production – scenery, running crew, properties, wardrobe, electrics/sound and paints – fulfilling a necessary role during all stages in mounting a seven-production season. So far, the Production Staff works with me in achieving my personal goals as a young professional, pursuing a career in stagecraft. They are an open-ear to my queries and concerns about this ever-changing field and provide much very valuable feedback. Their individual perspectives on the creative process enliven the collaboration that fundamentally guides theatre and give promise to my work as a craftsman and technician. Through the Fellowship and through active attendance at production and staff meetings, technical rehearsals, previews and opening nights, I have been a firsthand witness to how a company pulls together as a team.

As the Production Fellow, I have had the opportunity to work alongside some of the most dedicated, hardworking and proficient people in their disciplines, both in and out of production. Just being in the presence of established field professionals, including designers, directors, and technicians, has given me the chance to network and receive their institutional knowledge.

Moreover, this program has cultivated my skills and my portfolio, whose new works alone any potential employers would deem worthy of consideration. As of yet, I have been introduced to new practices in rigging, the safe use of foam, adhesives and other props-building materials, scenic painting techniques, wardrobe maintenance, and lighting programming on the Express 250 and ION boards. Additionally, the Fellowship allows me independent chances to provide technical support to some of Arden’s special events and to better its technical shops/storage, including props, set, electrics and costumes. The Fellowship provides a greater footing in this industry, being able to appraise my skills, develop greater work ethic, and to have the referential support of co-workers who know my process as well as my product.

Undoubtedly, at the end of my stay (sadly, ending May 13), I will owe much more to the Arden. In my journey, I hope to do good on repaying this debt and to reflect well upon this company’s good name. The Production Fellowship has the admirable capacity to train future leaders in the performing arts community; in this, I hope that this program will continue for seasons to come.

[Interested in seeing some of the projects the Production Fellowship has offered? Please feel free to visit my online portfolio at www.parebalodesigns.com or email me with further questions at parebalo@ardentheatre.org]

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