By Joe Giovannetti
The La Jolla Playhouse is a regional theatre just north of San Diego, California, with an ambitious mission: “La Jolla Playhouse advances theatre as an art form and as a vital social, moral and political platform by providing unfettered creative opportunities for the leading artists of today and tomorrow. With our youthful spirit and eclectic, artist-driven approach we will continue to cultivate a local and national following with an insatiable appetite for audacious and diverse work.”
This is the theatre where I will be completing my internship this summer!
The La Jolla Playhouse is known nationally for it’s world-class theatre, as well as its commitment to premiering new and unique musicals/plays. In fact, you may not realize that many shows either started or were somehow developed by The Playhouse on their road to Broadway! Thoroughly Modern Mille, The Who’s Tommy, H2$, Jersey Boys, and Memphis are only a few of the examples of shows that were work-shopped at the La Jolla Playhouse before premiering on the Great White Way.
In fact, the Playhouse has garnered more than 300 local and national awards for its work, including over 35 Tony Awards, as well as receiving the 1993 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. This season, two shows from the Playhouse were nominated for Tony Awards: Indecent and Come From Away. In an exciting turn of events, both productions took home the Tony for “Best Direction,” including the Director of Come from Away and Artistic Director of the La Jolla Playhouse, Christopher Ashley. As I watched the Tony Award live-stream “Seuss Two,” a rehearsal room at the theatre, with the majority of the Playhouse management and artistic team, I quickly realized that this was going to be an amazing place to work.
This summer, my role is Company Management/General Management intern. The two departments work closely together, but fulfill very different needs. A Company Manager manages the artists: the actors, directors, designers, musicians etc. At the Playhouse, the Company Management department coordinates the housing, travel, transportation, health, and general day-to-day needs of the full cast and creative team for each production that steps through the door. A General Manager manages the theater: this includes artist contracts, budgeting, artist/agent relations, union relations, and human resources. I am very excited about the opportunity to work in both departments, and I hope to gain a unique perspective on both sides of the theater management coin.
About a week into my internship, I am still learning the ropes, but having a blast working in such an engaging, dynamic environment. Right now, we are right in the middle of the world premiere musical “Escape to Margaritaville” (music written by Jimmy Buffett) and managing the production’s extension, before it tours the country and eventually opens on Broadway in 2018! Another play by sought-after playwright Rachel Bonds (“At the Old Place”) is in rehearsals, and in one week the company of “Kill Local” arrives: bringing the total companies-in-residence up to three, at once! Needless to say, things are about to get very busy around here, and I am excited to learn as much as I possibly can in the next three months.