Interns Insight

With summer right around the corner, it’s time to start making plans – and there’s no better way to spend your summer than interning in theater. With so many places to choose from, it can be hard to decide where to send your resume to. The current interns at Primary Stages want to help make the decision easier for you. If you’re considering an administrative theater internship, check out what our current interns have to say about their time at Primary Stages.

Why did you choose to Intern at Primary Stages?

  • Austin Kreitler (Marketing Intern): As someone who has a passion for theater and marketing, I wanted to learn more about marketing in the non-profit theater world. I also value the mission and vision that Primary Stages puts out with their work and company and felt that I could learn more about the Off-Broadway Theater Industry here.
  • Debra Mantua (Development Intern): I was looking for a program that was more hands on and would let me grow as a professional, not just do mundane clerical work. Also, as an individual who is interested in non-profits, this was the perfect opportunity for me to get a hands on look at what it’s like to run one.

What has been your favorite experience so far while interning at Primary Stages?

  • Isabel Edwards (Artistic Intern): The readings! I have been able to not only sit in on, but actually participate in readings with established playwrights and working artists. This internship has literally allowed me to be in the room where the work is happening, watching it develop in real time.
  • Anthony Anello (Artistic Intern): My favorite experience interning at Primary thus far was having the chance to sit in on the tech rehearsals of Off-Broadway shows. Being surrounded by so much talent has been both equally inspiring and educational as a budding professional.
  • Debra Mantua (Development Intern): The seminars with our department heads. You get to hear their stories and experiences within the business and ask questions in a “safe space”. The staff here overall are just so kind and want you to succeed and it’s a really lovely environment to be a part of.

Have you had other internships? If so, how has Primary Stages been different from working with other companies?

  • Maddie Osborn (Development Intern): I interned at a few other companies before starting at Primary. While at any internship you are bound to learn a great deal just by being in the room, my supervisors at Primary have consistently gone out of their way to give me valuable learning opportunities. The staff listens to the interns and actively works to make the internship applicable to their intern’s career goals. This is an educational program that is designed to equip interns with the skills and network necessary to succeed upon completion of their internship.

What is the most valuable thing you have learned so far from your internship?

  • Anthony Anello (Artistic Intern): Confidence in myself as a professional.
  • Debra Mantua (Development Intern): Learning to trust in my capabilities and to take advantage of every opportunity we are offered here.
  • Maya Banitt (Company Management Intern): It’s always ok to ask questions about things you are unsure of. There are no bad questions!

What would be your advice to someone applying for the summer internship at Primary Stages?

  • Austin Kreitler (Marketing Intern): Do it! I highly encourage it. I think one big thing that stands out when applying is having enthusiasm and the willingness to learn/take on any task.
  • Anthony Anello (Artistic Intern): Apply! My time here has been so extraordinarily valuable. I am genuinely excited to come in to the office each day because of the incredible people here who have shown me nothing but kindness and mentorship.
  • Maya Banitt (Company Management Intern): Go for it! I am so grateful for all of the valuable experiences this internship has given me. When applying try not to be too nervous, just be open, curious, and let them know why you’d like to be a part of the Primary Stages family!
  • Maddie Osborn (Development Intern): Apply apply apply! Be kind and more importantly be yourself!


Primary Stages internships are based in the tradition of theater apprenticeships. Interns form a core of support in all areas of the company’s operations, gaining experience in their chosen department while receiving a weekly stipend of $50, free tickets to all of Primary Stages’ productions, mentorship seminars with senior staff, and free or reduced priced registration for Primary Stages ESPA classes. Our internship program offers the opportunity to develop practical skills while creating relationships with artists and administrators at one of New York City’s preeminent Off-Broadway theaters.

To learn more and apply visit:


GOD SAID THIS Student Matinee


Students from Forest Hill High School are all smiles after the February 8 student matinee performance of God Said This.

Written by Maddie Osborn, Primary Stages Development Intern 2019.

We go to the theater to witness stories being brought to life. It’s an opportunity to reflect and relate with one another about the human experience. Over time, however, whether we work in theater or are loyal patrons, we develop a critical eye and forget why we originally came to the theatre. Our palates become refined and we take our seats at the next show with a myopic lens, holding on to expectations of how we want the characters to make us feel. Rather than taking in the story that is being created before us, we become distracted by the details of the craft. When I attended a student matinee production of God Said This, I was stripped of my expectations and given a magical experience.

On a rainy Friday afternoon, groups of students waited outside the theater to get their tickets. Some kids were discussing their weekend plans, others their current school work, and another group spoke with excitement to our Director of Education & Engagement, Amy Harris, about their plans for college. It was easy to identify which students were more excited than others about the opportunity to see live theater. However, once they were settled into their seats in the Cherry Lane Theatre, the house lights dimmed, and Jay Patterson entered the stage, there was a unified energy of awe. As the play continued, you could feel them embrace the world of the play as they followed every twist and turn of the story. Audible reactions echoed across the theatre as the characters navigated loss, embarrassment, stress, and love. Students physically reacted by either holding a friend’s hand, looking away from a moment they almost couldn’t bear to witness, slapping their legs as they laughed with delight, or leaning in to feel a little closer to the moment. By the second or third scene I couldn’t help but relax into their approach to the show. I had already seen the play once before, but I found my preconceived notions of the show gently stripped away as I connected with the energy around me. By the end of the show, the audience seemed to be having visceral communal reactions. All at once we were being punched in the stomach but also helped to stand by the person next to us.

At the end of the play we hosted a talkback with the cast and playwright Leah Nanako Winkler. While the talkback was an opportunity for the students to learn more about the process of creating and producing a play, it was a lesson for the rest of us on how to open our hearts to the story. During the talkback, students asked genuine questions—it was evident that rather than searching for the production’s flaws, they accepted the play as a cathartic experience. A common theme that continually popped up was the expression of love. Based on the character’s explanation of “the language of love”, Amy Harris posed the question, “Is it easier to say ‘I love you’ or show someone you love them?” This sparked a passionate discussion where one person’s idea bounced off another’s, with students often citing personal anecdotes as examples. The conversation ended with the students agreeing that “showing someone you love them is generally more challenging because words are easy, but at times the raw emotion behind love makes saying it much harder.” As they commiserated over the family’s story with peers next to them and related the characters’ experiences to their own, one thing was clear: the students felt a deep connection to the play. Because the students accepted the story on its own terms they were able to relate to the characters on a personal level, which in turn validated their own emotions.

To support Primary Stages Student Matinee Program visit

New Plays from the Fordham/Primary Stages MFA Playwrights

Behind all that Primary Stages does is a commitment to inspiring, supporting and sharing the art of playwriting, and the belief that the future of American theater relies on nurturing playwrights.

One of our many programs that embody that mission is our Fordham/Primary Stages MFA program in playwriting, co-directed by Primary Stages Managing Director Elliot Fox, in collaboration with Fordham’s Matthew Maguire.

Fox states, “I am honored to have the opportunity to work with some incredibly talented writers and faculty in this new MFA program that we launched in 2012. Fordham is an incredible university and the environment that we are creating together is very exciting for both our institutions and the artists who join us.”

Fordham/Primary Stages MFA shows spring 2014

This semester, Fordham/Primary Stages MFA in Playwriting presents four new plays.

The Fordham/Primary Stages MFA in Playwriting offers writers the opportunity to develop and produce their work in a rigorous university setting while fostering relationships with a preeminent Off Broadway theatre company. This two-year program provides students with two productions with professional directors, networking in the New York industry, plus guidance from a broad range of professionals in theatre, television, and film.

A Big Hello from the Director of the Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA)

Tessa LaNeve

Tessa LaNeve, Director of ESPA and New Arts Programming

Oh well, hello. How do you do? I must say, that shirt looks really nice on you.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Tessa LaNeve, and I’m the Director of ESPA and New Arts Programming at Primary Stages… and I have the best job in the world. Except for maybe the people who name nail polishes and lipsticks. I’ve always wanted to try that out.

So – the greatest job in the world? Making a home – like, a real home with comfy chairs and a kitchenette – for over 2,000 emerging and established artists at the Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA). Yes, the classes and workshops are stellar. And the faculty is the bee’s knees and the cat’s pajamas. But what makes ESPA a very special place is our belief in having a home. (more…)