Though 2020 is a season unlike any other, we are still able to carry out one of our important mission goals, working with student interns. We are thrilled to have Clarissa Po and Madison VanDeurzen with us this summer. Even though we are all working from our homes, we join together for staff meetings on Zoom, and collaborate on projects via email and calls. If you join us for one of our Virtual Talkbacks, there is a good chance you can meet one or both of them. We hope you do!
We asked Clarissa and Madison to profile one another. Please take a moment to get to know them.
Clarissa Po (Bernardsville, NJ) is currently working toward a Theatre major and a Film and Media Studies minor at Smith College, class of 2022. She hopes to work in arts administration, or possibly in TV or film production. As a CTC intern, Clarissa is eager to learn more about the inner workings of a theatre company and what it takes to put on productions, even if they are virtual, and to connect with audiences through the medium. She is also excited to continue working with the mentors she’s gained at Smith, and she looks forward to meeting others who share her passion for theatre and to learn from all of them.
Clarissa’s first memory of theatre is a school production of the musical You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown in kindergarten. She recalls “being amazed by something that seemed to involve everything I loved.” From there, her love of musicals grew, and she went on to do summer theatre camps, school shows and a program called Plays in the Park that put on free shows to the community during the summer. “I will forever treasure the bond I made with those I worked with on those shows through long, hot summer days, funny wildlife encounters, and just the love of putting on a show and then seeing hundreds of young and old families picnicking together in the audience.”
In addition to being involved in and watching theatre, Clarissa’s hobbies include singing, dancing, “overly enthusiastic” TV consumption, baking, and crafting.
With the unique opportunity that this summer has presented under the shadow of COVID-19, Clarissa has also been engaging with theatrical media in other ways. Some of her favorites include The Shows Must Go On! stream of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, John Krasinski’s Some Good News, John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight, and fundraising concerts for The Actors Fund and Broadway Cares. And, she says, “I finally got around to reading Michelle Obama’s Becoming which was really inspirational and eye-opening to me as a young woman.”
Madison VanDeurzen (Williamstown, MA) is a student at Smith College (class of 2022), and is working on a Theatre and Mathematics double-major. After college she is interested in working in arts administration and someday becoming a math teacher. Through her internship, she is hoping to get to learn a little bit about different departments within arts administration and to build her skills in communication and analysis. She is also looking forward to working with new people as well as those she’s already worked with at Smith. She is also excited to be a part of the new theatre experiences that people are creating this summer.
As a lover of Shakespeare, Madison’s favorite personal theatre experience has been getting to work on a Shakespeare play every fall with a local theatre company residency program, which she sees as being beneficial in developing confidence and self-awareness for its students. Her favorite show was Hamlet, in which she played one of five different Hamlets, in addition to being on the stage management team and designing the poster. Her favorite experience at Smith was as an Assistant Stage Manager for David Ives’ one-act, The Universal Language. She also enjoyed sound designing Smith’s recent production Peter and the Starcatcher and getting to work with a wonderful group of people, including Clarissa.
In the current state of the world, Madison has been amazed by how many people are reaching out and finding new and creative ways to be supportive and uplifting. This includes sharing artwork, organizing concerts, play readings, and friend/family gatherings. She is very grateful for technology and its ability to keep everyone connected during this time, having personally participated in virtual classes, family game nights, and book club meetings. She and her family have enjoyed watching a lot of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: At Home Edition. She also had a great time watching the Hairspray Live recording that was recently available, and she counts Hairspray as one of her favorite musicals.
Welcome, Clarissa and Madison, CTC Intern Class of 2020!