Ahwatukee Children's Theatre is currently accepting applications from high school and college students for an internship program set to begin in the fall semester.

The school has not had an internship program for many years, but felt the time was right to bring it back since they will soon be expanding and adding more classes. Whoever is hired will likely be teaching in their particular area of expertise, be it choreography, voice, dance or something else in the performing arts.

Yvette Dickson, director of public relations, said the details are still being worked out, but she hopes to create a win-win environment where interns will be able to use their own unique talents to make a difference in students' lives. In return they will be able to develop their skills in a hands-on situation and, perhaps, gain insight into what they are most passionate about and interested in.

"I think this is going to be a wonderful opportunity and a great learning experience for anyone who has an interest in working with children and having a job in the performing arts," Dickson said.

The theater department from Mesa Community College has expressed an interest in the program and is encouraging students to apply. While a theater internship is not required for most programs, Dickson said they are invaluable for students. They look good on a resume and if Ahwatukee Children's Theatre decides to add to its staff in the future they will be looking to their interns to fill positions.

"We are just interested in people who have a great work ethic, a positive attitude, really just want to learn and make a positive difference in peoples' lives," Dickson said.

As of yet the theater has not determined exactly how many interns it will hire and are waiting see how much interest is generated. They are hoping students that do come on board will want to stay for a couple of semesters or more.

"The children's theater is just a fun place to be. Our kids are always happy. Our staff is always happy," said Dixon, who added, "I really think that it would be a fun internship."

The position is unpaid and the schedule is flexible, but hours will most likely be during evenings and weekends. Dixon wants to make sure that students work enough to make the internship beneficial. Additionally, students may have to meet separate requirements in order to obtain credit from their schools. Since the theater is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, hours worked can also be applied towards community service.

Applications can be picked up at the theater, 5051 E. Elliot Road in Ahwatukee, or downloaded from azact.org.

Morgan Sailor is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a senior at Arizona State University.

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