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Apprentice Information

Apprentice Program

Summer 2018 Dates:  May 20 through August 18

Unless you are planning on attending South Eastern Theatre Conference, where we will be in attendance, online applications will be accepted from January 2 – February 26, 2018.

Entering college, university, graduate program or the professional workplace? No matter where you are, attaining the skills necessary to make it in theatre is no easy task. Taking advantage of every opportunity to develop as a performer, director, designer, technician or administrator – as a theatre professional others will want to work with – in a creative environment is absolutely essential in the performing arts.  An apprenticeship at Flat Rock Playhouse is exactly what you need to take your education in theatre and expand it into a theatre career.

This Playhouse Summer Educational Intensive serves to bridge Apprentices from their prior academic experience to their exposure to professional practices, to Actors’ Equity Association rules and schedules, and to achievement of personal goals and enhanced performance skills – all in the context of hands-on training from the Apprentice administrators and directors, staff supervisors, and professional theatre mentors.

This program fosters personal growth and artistic exploration through attending master classes, setting and working toward individualized goals, and performing and networking with highly regarded theatre professionals.

The student is further encouraged by mid-term and final personal evaluations, both intended to assist apprentices toward the next steps in their careers. In addition, the Playhouse will provide written evaluations/forms for any students receiving university credit through their individual schools.

The Vagabond Players were founded in 1936 and from the inception of the Company, training theatre artists has been a vital part of the mission. Over the years more than 1,000 students have benefited from the challenging and rewarding experience of being Apprentices or Technical Interns on The Rock. The Company of Vagabond Players believes in growing our own and maintaining lasting working and personal relationships.

The First Year Apprentice

New members to the Company audition/interview for a place in the program. Once accepted they join a Company of up to sixteen fellow Apprentices. First-Year Apprentices receive a weekly stipend of $50 along with room and some meals provided.

  • Perform in one mainstage Equity production on the Mainstage
  • Perform in one Family Entertainment Series production at the Flat Rock Playhouse Downtown
  • Perform at The Carl Sandburg National Historic Site located adjacent to the Playhouse.
  • Perform at Midnight Studio, the weekly in-house cabaret.
  • Perform in “Dark Night Revue,” our annual summer gala.
  • Participate in master classes offered by the Professional Company.
  • Earn points toward their Actors’ Equity Association membership (if desired.)
  • Receive college credit (if pre-approved through their school.)
  • Learn from scenic, lighting, costume, properties, and stage management departments.

The Second Year Apprentice

Each year up to four apprentices are invited back for a second season. Second-year Apprentices enjoy all the performing and learning opportunities available in the first year but also assume a leadership role in the Apprentice Company. They work closely with the Apprentice Director in shaping the summer experience. Second-year Apprentices receive a weekly stipend of $150 and are provided with room and some meals.

The Company

Certain promising Second-Year Apprentices are offered the opportunity to join the professional company. In the last few years, several recent second year students have been offered roles with the professional company after completing their apprenticeship.  Currently, we have several former apprentices starring in Broadway productions. These Company members perform main-stage roles as well as contribute to artistic outreach programs of Flat Rock Playhouse. Company members are paid a salary and room and some meals provided.

Summer Special Events

  • The Freshmen Mixer: A party hosted by the company to introduce and celebrate the incoming Apprentice class
  • The Big-Time 4th of July Celebration:  An evening filled with decorations, relay games, burgers and hot dogs. The entire company participates and looks forward to this great fun filled event.
  • Opening Night: Always a reason to celebrate, the company gathers to dress up and toast a job well done!
  • Apprentice Graduation: Graduation is held on the last Friday of the program and is hosted by the Apprentice Director and Equity Company. This evening includes surprises by the company, guest speakers and is a celebration of the Apprentice class.
  • Campfire Sing-a-Longs: Traditional campfire evenings with S’mores and hot dogs at the back-lot firepit. The sing-a-long part is always spontaneous and often amazing as the Flat Rock Playhouse musicians and singers join in the fun. Instruments are strongly encouraged!

Video Audition Requirements

  • Singing:  Choose two contrasting pieces that showcase different musical styles and range (vocally and dramatic). Please limit your selections to no more than 32 bars each.
  • Acting: Choose two VERY BRIEF contrasting monologues. At least one of these should be age appropriate.
  • Dance: A representation of your dance skills either in a video of a performance, a piece in progress or as series of combinations.  Again, please play to your strengths.


Please note:  it is your responsibility to request letters of recommendation and ensure that they are sent via email or regular mail to the attention of Dennis C. Maulden.

Questions? Contact: Dennis C. Maulden, Apprentice Administrator
(828) 693-0403 x208
Flat Rock Playhouse
PO Box 310
Flat Rock, NC 28731