Alex Jackson (SoC ’19) is a Sophomore Theatre Major in the Musical Theatre Certificate program, seeking Dance and Chinese minors. With SIGP’s help, he interned this summer at the Prague Shakespeare Company as a part of their Summer Shakespeare Intensive, moving toward his goal of becoming a professional actor, either in the US or abroad.
I took my summer internship abroad this summer by living in Prague, the beautiful and storied capital of the Czech Republic, and studying Shakespeare with the Prague Shakespeare Company. I spent my days taking masterclasses with theatre artists from Prague Shakespeare and from around the Czech Republic, while I spent my evenings rehearsing for the Prague Shakespeare Company’s professional production of Shakespeare’s Love’s Labours Lost, in which I performed at the end of July.
I came across the program in January through beloved Northwestern professor Linda Gates, resident performance voice guru at NU. She was to teach voice and speech at the Prague Shakespeare Company in the summer, and recommended that I apply for their pre-professional experience. In order to secure a position, I completed an application and resume, wrote a personal statement, and attended an audition where Guy Roberts, Artistic Director and Founder of the Prague Shakespeare Company, assessed my skills at performing Shakespeare before arriving at an admissions decision. After having my audition accepted, there were travel, housing, and other details to arrange with Prague Shakespeare, then I was on my way.
This experience was a first for me in many different ways. Before Prague, I had never been abroad and had never been a part of a professional theatre company. I learned how to manage myself as an artist in a professional setting, all the while immersing myself in a brand new culture. My internship also gave me insight into the inner workings of a professional theatre company, invaluable information for any aspiring actor. Additionally, I got to witness the theatre scene in the Czech Republic and have discussions with other American or British actors about what “The Business” is like in Prague and how to thrive in it as an expat. Without my summer in Prague, I would never have known that acting abroad professionally was within my grasp. In the end, this experience and knowledge was the most impactful takeaway from my time across the Atlantic. My universe of possibility as a creative professional was expanded in ways I never thought possible – emboldening me to make my dream of acting professionally a reality.