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! It was constructed over 125 years ago, as a dairy farm. Converted into a single stage theatre in 1963, and in the 80’s the cabaret stage was added, (the old milking station.) The two theatres are the Ryan Main Stage, 235-seat three-quarter thrust, and the Poorman Cabaret, 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 four shows on the main stage and four shows in the cabaret, (four plays and four 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 till the beginning of August. Actor’s contracts can be one show (3-4 weeks) or back-to-back shows (5-6 weeks). Some actors do 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….generally 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 at 5:00pm for the provided meal. After dinner break, depending on what department you work, we prep for evening performances or evening work calls.
How do tech days off work?
Monday’s are a generally days off for tech, interns, admin and design staff. 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 like for the actors?
Rehearsals are between 10 to 12 days, usually starting on a Sunday. The show is put together that 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 you are contracted in back to back shows the whole process starts again. This does vary from show to show and year to year, as some productions do run for 3 weeks. This schedule is always subject to change.
Where do I stay when I am working at Millbrook?
The majority of the company stays at the Campus Village, located on the Lock Haven University Campus. They are apartment style dorms, meaning they have two rooms; bedroom and common area. The bedroom has two twin beds, a dresser, large closet, and bathroom with a shower. The common room has a small kitchen equipped with a full size fridge, stove, oven, table, and chairs. Wifi provided through the University. There are some single and triple apartments. The directors are often housed in rented homes that are shared with other senior staff, or guest artist. The housing is approximately a 10-15 minute drive from the Playhouse.
How do I get back and forth from the Playhouse to the housing?
We have a shuttle that goes two times a day to and from the Playhouse.
Can I bring my own 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, generally btw $5-$10 (University rule.) There is street parking at University at no cost. You can park at the playhouse for no cost, you just have to move them from lot to 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.
What are the meals like?
We provide seven dinners per week. Most meals are catered from local restaurants, and the university caterers. We offer a vegetarian option, but cannot accommodate any dietary needs. We have a kitchen on site where you can prepare small meals if needed.
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 Straw Hats 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. You may be asked to submit sides if needed.
Can I get EMC points if I work at Mill brook?
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, for designers you must submit work samples. Don’t worry if you don’t 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 simply submitting a resume and references. Interns are generally hired 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 Member?
The best way is attend one of our auditions in person. You can also submit a video audition. Acting interns can be cast in supporting and sometimes lead roles. You will do public performances, courtyard cabarets and Saturday morning kids shows. Also, acting interns will do tech work, front of house and admin.
Does everyone have to help with strike?
Yes, everyone, no exceptions! You will not be assigned 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 56-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!