If all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players, what are you still doing in this act? Experts, pioneers, and rising talent are creating and evolving the world over, and a literal scene change could put you right under their tutelage. You’ll learn what makes a production run smoothly, the daily routines of top performers, and artistry that stems from an entirely different culture. Don’t throw away your shot—go for that internship abroad in theater, drama, or dance and set yourself on a path to stardom!
Why intern abroad in the performing arts?
Any creative endeavor is directly influenced by the culture in which it is created. You’re likely well-versed in what’s hip right now in your own country, or even what’s traditional and formative, but do you know what shapes the art forms in other countries? Or how that can influence your own craft?
Doing international theater, drama, and dance internships is particularly valuable because it gives participants the opportunity to experience the performing arts of another culture firsthand, and to see the way different arts organizations interact with their communities. Whether you’re passionate about socially progressive community theater in Kenya or want to learn what inspires the duende in Spanish flamenco dancers, the hands-on work of an internship will prepare you for future work in the field, and help clarify the path you want to take.
In the meantime, you’ll be learning tons about a new culture, and seeing your own in a totally different light! The emotional stories of another country will help you explore issues of identity, culture, and emotion, and give your own work an entirely different flavor.
The best place to do your performing arts internship abroad is the place that really stirs your soul; after all, that’s where your creativity lives and where you’ll be most nurtured to reach your fullest potential. Some great places to explore, however, are:
United Kingdom. London’s West End is home to some of the most accomplished actors, dancers, and directors in the music theater world. The city’s cosmopolitan, worldly energy attracts the best artists from around the globe, all fighting the futile fight to leave their mark on a stage that is constantly changing. It’s a great place to experience the world but live like a local speaking English.
Spain. Spain is a country of passion. You see it in the vivid works of Picasso, the art of the bullfight, and the stylish twirls and stomps of flamenco. It’s hard to miss the intensity in a Spaniard’s eyes, whether they’re battling for lovers or the last delicious sliver of jamón ibérico. If you weren’t dramatic before, you certainly will be after an internship in Spain! With the mix of European and Middle Eastern cultures living together, a performing arts internship in Spain will throw you into a mix of old world creativity and ardor for expression.
India. This dynamic and influential country is a hub of industry and overflowing with colorful and unique cultural activities. Interns dive head first into a millennia-old culture and come out with a new perspective on what it means to feel, live, and create. When the language barrier presents itself, it only provides greater incentive to express through that which expresses all: art.
International Performing Arts Internship Placements
There are hundreds of people who make a production run well. Of course you need the performers, but you also need stage crew, orchestra, costume designers, a sound and lighting team, and marketing and sales to get people in the door.
Dance Companies look for interns for their supporting cast. During the program, not only will you get to dance alongside acclaimed artists, you’ll be learning the history and progression of current dance trends. Participants deepen their understanding of international dance and expand their own skills in a studio based on their interests and experience.
An internship in a theater company will introduce you to a range of dramatic forms that are currently being employed on global stages. You’ll study production trends and analyze the relationship between contemporary theater practices and those of specific times in history. You’ll also learn important audition techniques that will help you wow directors post-internship
Marketing and ticket sales are an important part of any show— if no one comes to see it, no one gets paid and the show can’t go on! Students with experience in advertising, design, and/or customer service can find international internships in promotional work, which keeps you around the glitz and glamor even if you have two left feet.
Most internships require some sort of application process that involves a video performance. You will need experience to perform in many of the programs. The only exception might be with behind-the-scenes work, where they will teach you on the spot the various jobs that must be performed.
GoAbroad’s Inside Scoop
The benefits of doing an internship in theater/drama/dance abroad are exponential. It’s a beautiful thing to realize that no matter what part of the world people are raised, we all feel and want the same. Fear and loss and desire are expressed in the arts in every culture, and you’ll learn the vastly different ways we express the same emotions.
A minor stumbling block might be, depending where you go, the language. For actors and directors it might be a challenge to perform or lead in a second language, and the miscommunication, while funny, could affect the meaning of the performance. Dance is obviously more about movement than words, but you’ll still want to bond with your colleagues and lead a life outside the internship. Brush up on the language before you go and you’ll be ready to absorb all this experience has to offer you.
Getting out of your comfort zone is one of the most empowering things you can do. If your heart truly lies with performance and art, doing an internship abroad will break apart your molds and expose you to a world deeper and more colorful than you ever imagined!