My name is Sophie Bray and I am in the Skidmore Class of 2021. I am a Management and Business Major, Dance Minor, and Arts Administration Minor. This summer I have the privilege of working with Christine Marshall (Skidmore Alumni), the Artistic Director of Mad Horse Theatre Company and co-owner of Dirigo Talent Agency in South Portland, Maine.
Working with Christine is such a joy. Christine has extensive professional experience in the arts community. She has been the Artistic Director of Mad Horse Theatre Company since 2008. She has been a teacher and company member for the Maine State Ballet for 22 years. She is a professional voice artist. She works in acting, directing, and design for Maine produced productions beyond Mad Horse Theatre Company. Dirigo Talent Agency (DTA) is a current start-up that is growing into Maine’s top talent agency. The agency showcases the depth of Maine- based talent. As Christine said, “Great work comes from great connections.” She not only cares about the work in front of the camera but also behind. Having been awarded this gift of an opportunity to work with Christine will give me the experience I need to pursue my own career in arts administration.
At Dirigo Talent Agency (DTA) I work with WordPress, Excel, Adobe Photoshop, and SmartSheet. I also work directly with the talent. I interview, review, and sign new talent. Once signed, I create WordPress pages for any new talent and I stay in close contact with them in order to keep the pages as updated as possible. I am involved with assigning talent to jobs and working with them on site as a personal assistant. These assignments are allowing me to gain knowledge and develop confidence in communication skills.
At Mad Horse Theatre Company, I participate in many meetings (including board meetings), auditions, and interviews. The most moving experience so far was participating in the display of Mad Horse Theatre Company’s showing of The Normal Heart, a play in response 1980’s AIDS crisis, at the Pride Parade in Portland, Maine. The set had Periaktoi (revolving theatre scenes) covered with chalkboard paint. The chalkboard was for audience members who had lost loved ones to freely write on and find some measure of closure.
I am thankful for the support from the Gilbert Family Endowment. This experience would not be possible without them. I look forward to reporting about the second half of my internship next blog.