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MSLCE Student John Hounihan Helps Plan Festival During Collaboraction Internship

By John Hounihan

What  does it take to put on a play festival?

From day one of planning, each piece of an organization must come together to meet the massive needs of dozens of productions. I have faced this head on, as a large part of my internship has been providing support for Collaboraction’s annual PEACEBOOK Festival.

PEACEBOOK is a yearly collection of theatre, dance, and spoken word. This year, all 24 works will debut at the Goodman Theatre on August 26th. Following the marathon debut, the acts will be separated into three eight-work compilations that will tour Chicago parks as a part of the Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks to venues in Englewood, Austin, and Hermosa next fall. Panel discussions with diverse peace leaders, workshops, dance battle tournaments and free community meals, all aimed at inciting knowledge, dialogue and action around peace in Chicago, are part of every neighborhood performance.

Now that the dust has settled, I have a pretty good grasp on what my responsibilities entail. I work effectively full-time, and have three main parts of the organization that I work in. Primarily, I serve as the main surrogate and assistant for the Artistic and Associate Artistic Directors. Beyond that, I serve as the coordinator of the rest of our intern team, who all have their own individual goals and specialties.  Finally, there are some administrative duties, like contract writing and audience outreach, that I manage daily.

Every day at Collaboraction I face new challenges and learning opportunities. One of the most difficult things about preparing for an event of this size is that the rest of the organization does not go on halt. For us, that means managing and promoting our rental spaces, as well as preparing for our many for hire events throughout the summer. Time management and juggling as many projects and tasks as possible is part of everyday life in mid size theatre management, and it’s been an incredible place to finish off my MSCLE learning.

Peace, adaptability, and time management all cornerstones of MSLCE student’s intern experience.