Student named wardrobe manager for Saint Michael's Playhouse
Mary Jo Rodriguez, a rising senior theater and music major, Medieval History minor at Saint Michael's, landed a summer job as wardrobe manager for the Saint Michael's Playhouse, a professional summer theater owned and operated by the college under Actor's Equity Association.
Ms. Rodriguez, the daughter of Daniel and Josephine Rodriguez of Springfield, MA, graduated from Cathedral High School in 2009 before coming to Saint Michael's in Burlington, one of the top 10 college towns in the country. This year Mary Jo was offered a regular job, following her demonstrated capability as a props intern last summer with the Playhouse, which stages four professional shows each summer.
Ms. Rodriguez' primary task is to make sure costumes and all their parts are in perfect readiness for every scene of each show. She is also a dresser for some of the female actors in the shows. It was her skillful work as a dresser last year that helped her land a job this year.
Ms. Rodriguez described her work maintaining costumes as including laundry, mending, repairing of costumes, as well as scheduling and running quick changes for the actors. One particularly tricky one is needed in the show "Unnecessary Farce", which opened July 5.
One actor must quickly get out of a business suit and into full Scottish regalia including a kilt, a sporran (front piece, accessory), blouse, and piper's plaid cross-shoulder sash, as well as a huge furry helmet with feathers.
Ms. Rodriguez hopes her Playhouse experiences and her work as a Saint Michael's College theater student will help her find work when she graduates, doing costumes, props, or, as she says, "any kind of technical theater work" in a professional theater.
"Everything moves much faster, needs to be done quicker, in professional theater," Ms. Rodriguez says. "It's a big change from the school year." Her ultimate goal is to become a theater professor, and "this is a great learning opportunity," she said.
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.