The Apprenticeship Program
The Cleveland Play House Apprenticeship Program brings young professionals from all over the country to gain hands on training with a professional theatre company. They not only assist full time staff, but also contribute to the artistry, education and engagement of CPH productions.
The first class of apprentices in 2012 brought 10 unique young professionals to CPH to work in departments like Education, Costumes, Marketing, Audience Engagement and others. The apprenticeship continues to grow to other departments.
Where Are They Now? Former Apprentices Share Their Experience
Class of 2014 Education Apprentice Leah Shaeffer now works as the Director of Education at Gulfshore Playhouse in Naples, FL. Before working at Cleveland Play House, Leah got her B.A. in theatre education and was also a teaching artist at Columbus Children’s Theatre.
Leah says that because she has been performing since she was five years old, she realized the impact theatre has on a young mind.
“I knew I wanted to do the same work I was exposed to as a kid,” she said. “I can’t imagine who I would be without the theatre.”
While Leah does have her teaching certification, she wanted to learn more about theatre education outside of the classroom.
“One of the differences between a classroom and CPH is the enormous scope of students I got to work with,” she said. “I got to work with hundreds of students from all different backgrounds from all over the region.”
Apprentices do not just work with their own department. They are given opportunities to work with full time staff in other departments. Not only does this give apprentices a balanced education, but also teaches them how a professional theatre company is organized and run.
“Observing and working with other departments was really helpful to me especially now that I’m in a director position. [I learned] what the shared goals are of a regional theatre and how to meaningfully contribute to that,” Leah said.
While the program is meant to be a learning experience, apprentices also have a full time presence within the company managing everyday tasks for each department. The program gives these young professionals a safe work environment to grow in their respective career fields without fear of failure.
“It was a horizon broadening experience and it showed me where I fit and what I was good at. It was a great way to be given opportunities that I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise,” Leah added.
The Allen, Helen and Outcalt theatres are located at Playhouse Square
1407 Euclid Avenue Cleveland, OH 44115
Administrative Offices and Education Center
1901 E. 13th Street, Suite 200 Cleveland, OH 44114 (216) 400-7000
7401 Detour Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44103