Design Apprenticeship Program 2023

Stage West’s 2023 Design Apprenticeship Program is a pre-professional training program for college students in the areas of Sound and Costume Design (a third section for Stage Management is available this year). Participants will work with a mentor in their respective design area to create work for a professional portfolio, while also having a hands-on learning experience during onstage programming.

Program Description: The Design Apprenticeship Program launched in 2022 with the goal to give theatre-makers of tomorrow the vital skills needed to succeed in a professional theatre setting, while also opening doors for college-aged students to have future job opportunities in their area of interest. For the foreseeable future, the program will be centered around diversity, equity, and inclusion - with a strong emphasis on recruiting women, students of color, the LGBTQ community, and other underrepresented groups. 

Stage West will seek 3 students in each area of study (for a total of 9) who will be paired with 1 mentor (per 3 students) as they actively engage in the rehearsal and performance process. This year's participating shows are The Play That Goes Wrong and Cruel Intentions: The 90's Musical. The students chosen for this program will have the opportunity to collaborate with Stage West on Festival of the Kid and the Summer Conservatory program. 

The 9 Design Students will:

  • Obtain real world experience in a creative and safe atmosphere

  • Engage in a parallel design process for the participating show 

  • Work one-on-one with a mentor who will guide them through their respective design projects

  • Build professional relationships 

  • Get complimentary tickets to Stage West programming 

  • Receive a modest stipend for materials and supplies 

  • Gain rehearsal and performance hours with their College/University (if applicable) 

  • Participate in a review of the design projects they produce with Stage West staff members

The 3 Mentors chosen for the program will: 

  • Have a Bachelors and/or Masters Degree in their area of study along with a seasoned professional resume 

  • Meet at least once per week with their mentees to give project assignments, check-in, and review work

  • Act as a liaison between the students and the participating producton 

  • Lead the design project review process in collaboration with Stage West staff 

  • Check-in with the Development Director 2x per month to ensure goal completion

  • Have a strong existing background and working relationship with Stage West 

  • Receive a stipend for their time and efforts towards the project


September - October 2022: Application process and interviews for apprenticeship students begin 

December 15, 2022: Students are selected for the program

January 10, 2023: Rehearsal and performance process starts for The Play That Goes Wrong

January 21 and March 25 2023:  Two weekend workshops are held for Sound and Costume Design students. 

April 10, 2023: Rehearsal and performance process starts for Cruel Intentions: The 90's Musical 

Final design projects will be reviewed before June 1, 2023. 


College students currently enrolled in a DFW area Community College or University can contact Development Director, Tonya Wilson-Brown, for more information about the program: Tonya [at] (214) 642-3080