Student lands Master Carpenter post at Saint Michael's Playhouse
In his second summer working for the professional summer theater Saint Michael's Playhouse, Saint Michael's College junior Alan Hefferon landed the post of Master Carpenter.
Hefferon, a theater and history double major, is the son of James and Lynne Hefferon of Jericho. He graduated from Mount Mansfield High School in 2010 before coming to Saint Michael's. As Master Carpenter at the Playhouse, Alan works on the sets of the four productions staged by the Equity, professional Playhouse over the summer.
"You learn a lot quickly; you get better at everything and learn tricks that help the building process," Hefferon said. "We put in incredible hours - there's a huge amount of work to be done; you come here and you just work," he said. But he sees the summer's work as a perfect entry into his career path. He hopes to go into lighting, lighting design, and carpentry for the theater.
Nominated for ACTF design award
Hefferon worked on more than 20 shows this year, including numerous jobs with the Barre Opera House and Vermont Stage Company. He designed lighting for several shows, It Snows, Romeo and Juliet, and APPetite. And he was nominated for the Outstanding Video Design award from the American College Theatre Festival for APPetite, the main-stage production at Saint Michael's College this past semester.
Working in the professional Saint Michael's Playhouse which is owned and operated by Saint Michael's College, and in other professional theaters, has given Hefferon rare experience rubbing elbows with the pros and becoming a professional himself.
"School year shows are almost infuriatingly slow," he said. But of course it's a learning process for the students, he admitted. For Hefferon, nothing now seems impossible to build in time for opening night, even though they have only two weeks to build each show for the Playhouse.
College shows are produced over the course of an entire semester, while the professional shows are mounted top to bottom in about 14 days - constructing the show, rehearsing, staging, costuming, and all the rest.
Founded in 1947, Saint Michael's Playhouse features talent from Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional theaters nationwide, and attracts approximately 16,000 theatergoers each season. An auxiliary enterprise of Saint Michael's College, the Playhouse is greater Burlington’s only actors' Equity resident theater company and operates under contract with Actors' Equity Association in New York City. At the same time, Saint Michael's College students have the opportunity to learn from the pros through internships in technical theater, costuming, lighting, set construction, publicity, and occasionally, on-stage roles.