Summer Internship Reflections: Weeks 1 & 2

Director’s Note: As part of our summer internship program, we’ve asked some of our kids to write recaps of our weekly workshops. You’ll hear from several different voices throughout these posts, but for our first one, here is Becca’s!


Week 1

The Clark Chateau teen internship began on Wednesday June 10th, 2015. Callison Stratton and Carson Becker are at the helm of the ship for our program, which all started with a request for all of the interns (myself included) to bring an object of personal significance to our first meeting. My object was a silver praying hands pendant with a prayer on the back, and it is one of the last remaining pieces I have of my grandmother. TJ and Mackenzie also brought jewelry items that were once their grandmother’s, but there were also photos, favorite books, and even Maggie’s first record, “Revolver” by the Beatles. The exercise was to pick an item that was not yours and then compose a fictional story of its significance and following that the person who the item belonged to shared its real importance. This was very special because the tales that each of us came up with gave new life and meaning to something we had never seen before, but recognizing the real worth and sentimental value in everyone’s objects reminded me that something does not have to be expensive to retain meaning.

Frankie Angel, Theatre Extraordinaire
Frankie Angel, Theatre Extraordinaire

The afternoon at the Chateau was nothing less than magnificent. Frankie Angel, local theater extraordinaire, provided a fun-filled acting workshop. This was a new experience for me personally because I have never been in a play (but have always wanted to be). We used funny props to convey short scenes. Some of the stand out items were a paper mache goat’s head and a wooden staff of sorts. Some improvisational theater drills required us to step out of our comfort zones but that made the workshop all the more worthwhile. My favorite theater game was freeze-frame where two people act out any scene until some yells, “FREEZE!” Then the person in the audience that said the command replaces one of the two characters and a new scene starts. In one scene with TJ, I played a southern woman complaining about the hot weather, and in another I was an airplane pilot with Maggie on one of my wings. Carson then read through some play monologues and asked us to write our own monologues for the following week.

MacKenzie (left) plays a dictatorial dance instructor, with Becca and Tori as her timid students.
MacKenzie (left) plays a dictatorial dance instructor, with myself and Tori as her timid students.

Week 2

Wednesday June 17th, 2015 was the second week of the internship, and it allowed for all of us interns to get our creative juices flowing. The morning started with us timid to the idea of reading our self-composed monologues. After some convincing from Carson, we read our own works aloud (or had Carson or Callison read what we had written). The genres of the writings ranged from historical to science fiction and everything in between. Right before lunch we read an impressive 10 minute play that Carson wrote in just 24 hours. I enjoyed its folklore-esque style because it contained an endangered Northern White Rhino, a fortune teller, and tarot cards.

Our group at the World Museum of Mining
Our group at the World Museum of Mining

Callison then described the “Katabasis” motif to us, which is a prominent part of myths. It literally means “to go down and come back up again,” often used to describe when a hero goes down into Hades. To experience our own katabasis, we took a field trip to the World Museum of Mining, where we got a tour of the grounds from a man who worked in the mines for 40 years. He took us down into the mine tunnels and at one point we shut off our headlamps and stood in complete darkness. Callison aptly described the underground mine tour we went on that afternoon: “Well, that was a trip.”

A special thanks to the World Museum of Mining and Frankie Angel for making our internship so great! Hope to see all of you around the Chateau soon!

–Becca Schnabel

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