What is summer stock?
Summer stock theatre is any theatre that presents stage productions only in the summer. The name combines the season with the tradition of staging shows by a resident company, reusing stock scenery and costumes. Often viewed as a starting point for professional actors.
Where is Millbrook located?
In Mill Hall PA, conveniently located off of Route 80, in Central PA. It is 3.5 hours from New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore; 2 hours to Pittsburgh and 4 hours to Washington, D.C. We are 45 minutes to State College (home of Penn State) and 25 minutes from Williamsport (the closest Starbucks).
Is Millbrook really housed in a barn?
Yes, it’s a barn! Constructed over 125 years ago, as a dairy farm. Converted into a single stage theatre in 1963, and in the 80s a cabaret theatre opened in the once old milking station. The two theatres are the Ryan Main Stage, a 235-seat three-quarter thrust, and the Poorman Cabaret, a 100-seat black box. We also have a small stage in the Courtyard, aka lobby, and bar area.
How many shows do you produce a season?
We produce three to four shows on the main stage and four shows in the cabaret (plays and musicals.) We also produce one to two Saturday morning Kids shows, and a Saturday late night Courtyard Cabaret. In addition, we run a summer theatre camp for kids, teens and adults.
How long is a typical summer contract?
Staff and intern contracts run 10 to 12 weeks starting in late May until mid of August. Actor’s contracts can be one show (3-4 weeks) or back-to-back shows (5-6 weeks). Some production demand that actors sign back-to-back contract. Some actors sign longer contracts depending on show and the actor’s availability. Sometimes we job in set and costume designers for a shorter contract.
What is a typical day like at the Barn?
Well, there is nothing “typical” about a day in summer stock…. In general the company starts the day at 9:00am. Each department will take lunch at their own scheduled time, usually btw 1:00pm-2:00pm. All work stops around 5:00pm for the one company provided meal. After the dinner there is a break depending on what department you work, then prep for evening performances or evening work calls. Then the whole thing starts again the next day.
How do tech days off work?
In general the tech, interns, admin and design staff day off will be either Sunday, or Monday, depending on the performance and change-over schedule. Stage Managers and Box Office will alter days between Monday and Tuesday. Each department reserves the right to alter the schedule depending on the shows progress.
What is the rehearsal schedule days off like for the actors?
Each show rehearses between 10-12 days, usually starting on a Sunday. First show of the main stage season will start on Friday or Saturday. We put together the show the first week, and tech will start the following Monday. The actors have a 24-hour rest period between Monday and Tuesday of tech week. Dress rehearsals on Wednesday, previews on Thursday, opening on a Friday and close the following Sunday (9 performances for a typical run, some shows run 3 weeks). If we contract you in back-to-back shows the whole process starts again on the Sunday of opening weekend. This varies from show to show and year to year, as some productions run for 3 weeks. The production following a 3 week run will have a little more time to rehearse. This schedule is always subject to change.
Where do I stay when I am working at Millbrook?
Most of the company will be housed in a dormitory located on the Lock Haven University Campus (5 min drive from the theatre.) If you have worked at Millbrook in the past, we will no longer be housing people in Campus Village, but will be in a more traditional dorm in north campus called North Hall. It accommodates over 100 people; we are generally 50-60 personnel, so there is ample room to move. It is in a lovely scenic setting. The Hall is co-ed by floor and houses a shared kitchen, bathrooms, laundry facilities, lounge, and recreation room. There is no air conditioning, but most evenings are cool in the mountains of Central PA. The directors are often housed in rented homes that are shared with other senior staff, or guest artist.
How do I get back and forth from the Playhouse to the housing?
You can take the company van that will shuttle staff in the morning and back at the end of day, or you can drive yourself.
Can I bring my car?
Yes, you are more than welcome to bring your own vehicle? The only caveat is that you must purchase a parking pass to park in the University lot, it is a onetime cost between $5-$10 (University rule.) You can park at the playhouse for no cost, you just have to move them to another lot at showtime for patron parking.
How do I get to and from Mill Hall at the beginning and end of a season?
We provide bus transportation to and from NYC and Philly area ONLY.
How do I deal with meals?
Millbrook provides seven dinners per week. We cater most meals from local restaurants, and the university caterers. We try to offer a vegetarian option, but cannot accommodate any dietary needs. We have a kitchen on-site where you can prepare small meals if needed. The menu ranges, we try to have a variety of meals. They are prepared to accommodate a large group of people with varying taste.
How do I get cast in a show?
Attend one of our several auditions. We audition in Lock Haven PA, NYC, and Philadelphia and often attend StrawHats auditions.
If I can’t attend an audition in person can I send a video?
Yes, you can send a video or link to your website with videos. It is preferable to attend in person, but we have cast from video submissions in the past. We may ask you to submit sides if needed.
Can I get EMC points if I work at Millbrook?
We are a non-union company, therefore cannot give Equity points.
How do I get hired in a staff position?
You can submit a resume and cover letter. For designers you must submit work samples. Don’t worry if you do not have a full portfolio, Millbrook is a great place to get a start as a designer so something that shows potential is just fine.
How do I apply for a tech internship?
By submitting a resume and references. We hire interns to specialize in one department, i.e. props, costumes, lighting, company management, etc. Often tech interns will float from department to department, some even end up on stage from time to time!
How do I get hired as Resident Company (ResCo) Member?
The best way is to attend one of our auditions in person. You can also submit a video audition. ResCo’s can be cast in supporting and sometimes lead roles. You will do public performances, courtyard cabarets and Saturday morning kids’ shows, minor tech work, front of house and admin.
Does everyone have to help with the strike?
Yes, everyone, no exceptions! We will not assign you to anything you are uncomfortable with, but it’s a great way to learn a new skill. And there is always sweeping to do.
Word to the wise! Summer stock is an amazing opportunity to build your resume, learn on the job, and grow as an artist. You will work with people from all over the country and at various places in their career. If you are willing to work hard, and as a team, Millbrook can be the place for you. When accepting a contract at Millbrook know you are joining a 57-year-old tradition of doing quality summer theatre in a unique place. The days can be long, but the rewards, and the relationships, will last longer!