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MSLCE Student Learns Marketing as Shawnee Mission Theatre in the Park’s Social Media Intern

By Sarah Bergeson

Interning at Shawnee Mission Theatre in the Park is both a homecoming and a new adventure for me this summer.

The position allows me to return home to Kansas City as well as return to the theatre I’ve been attending since I moved to the area in 2007 and to the office I worked in last summer. The new adventure comes from the job itself: Social Media Intern. This is my first professional foray into marketing, so I’m learning a lot of the hard skills on the job.

Shawnee Mission Theatre in the Park was founded in 1970 and has since become one of the largest outdoor community theatres in the country. The theatre currently produces a five-show summer season of popular musicals, hosts movie nights, and rents space for events. My role in this huge endeavor is to promote the performances and movies via emails, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.

My background in live theatre and with the organization helped me out of the starting gate, especially since I joined the team full-time after the first show of the season, Cabaret, had already completed half of its performances. But now, I’m turning to the skills I learned in MSLCE classes to build momentum and generate more awareness and engagement for the theatre. Audience research skills from our marketing course, metrics tracking and analysis from Media Markets, and the ability to keep a handle on organizational culture from Organizational Processes have all become incredibly valuable to me throughout my time in this role.

With two productions left to go before the 46th Season at Theatre in the Park comes to a close, I’m hoping to continue to pick up hard skills in video and photo editing in addition to the broader experiences of keeping a consistent brand image for the organization while still reflecting the differences in each production. Every day with the theatre’s staff and the teams of each production is a learning experience, and I cannot wait to find out what else is in store for me!

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