Paige Phillips is a student at the University of Western Ontario who recently came to Soulpepper for an internship in our Communications Department. In this post, Paige talks about how she discovered the company and how StagePlay helped her to see more shows on a student budget.
My relationship with Soulpepper began when I was in university. My acting professor would announce his list of the best and the brightest acting companies, a list on which Soulpepper earned its place. Announcing this list of companies was his way of telling us to attend more theatre performances, learn from the finest: a suggestion, or rather, an order I did not take lightly. Over the next few years it became a mission of mine to participate in the arts as much as my poor student budget would allow.
Rush tickets seemed to be the most obvious solution but I lived in the York area and those weren’t an option for me. I couldn’t chance traveling an hour on the TTC only to arrive at the box office to find that all the seats were sold out. Soulpepper’s StagePlay program – the club for 21 to 30 year olds – was the answer to my prayers. I joined StagePlay for free and it allowed me to buy advance tickets, from the comfort of my home, at a really affordable price.
After I joined StagePlay I began attending Soulpepper’s performances, most memorably Chekhov’s Three Sisters in 2007, and anxiously anticipated my trips to the Young Centre in the Distillery District. As a StagePlay member I also began receiving Newspepper, Soulpepper’s monthly newsletter. It was this publication that educated me on Soulpepper’s mission and gave me a glimpse backstage with interviews, photos, videos and more. As social media became more popular I joined Soulpepper’s Facebook page in the hopes that it would provide me with even more insight into the company that I had fallen in love with. And it did just that.
Recently, I was fortunate to be offered an internship in Soulpepper’s Communications Department. From here I get an insider’s view on how the newsletter, blog, videos and photographs are put together, giving the audience a sneak peek at the activities occurring both on and off stage at the Young Centre. I’ve seen pictures of dress rehearsals, watched videos of hilarious happenings at staff meetings and I’ve read interviews on the blog in which staff members answer the question “What do you love about being a part of the staff at Soulpepper?” I feel like I know the Soulpepper family a lot better and always leave thinking, “When I grow up, I wanna be just like them.”
And here I am sitting in an office on the second floor of the Young Centre, an intern at Soulpepper. I started as a StagePlay member, now I have my own desk, a Soulpepper email address, and Albert Schultz knows my name (I remain star struck)… I’m well on my way to becoming just like them.