Where Are They Now

Where are they now?

The Grand Opera House internship program prepares college age students for a life both in and outside of the theater. But you don’t have to take our word for it, this page is for updates from our past interns. Find out where the Interns from previous years are now.

The 2017 Interns

Dorothy Jo Oberfoell

My name is Dorothy Jo. I was a box office intern with Michelle during the summer of 2017. I attended Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin. I Graduated in May 2019 with my BFA in Theatre: Acting Emphasis. 

While I was an intern I helped with the social media for the summer productions (Shrek The Musical, Gypsy, and Willy Wonka Jr.), sold tickets, and performed as Tessie Tura (the Ballet Stripper) in Gypsy.I really enjoyed helping to create the social media content for Shrek because I was able to research ogre puns and fun facts about the movie and musical of Shrek. I never thought I would get to do that outside of my own nerdiness! One of my favorite things from being a box office intern was the conversations I would have with patrons. Most of my time was spent answering phone calls and selling tickets so people would often ask questions about the shows and I enjoyed giving them information (especially for Gypsy, since I was performing in that show).

We would often have nice conversations about why they were interested in seeing the shows, the people they knew in the shows, and their previous experience with the shows. I appreciated engaging with them and encouraging the support of the local arts community in Dubuque. 

After my internship I grew more interested in arts administration, so I took more of those classes during my undergrad. I was able to work in the box office and be a stage hand for the Viterbo Fine Arts Center for the rest of my time in college and learned so much!
Since graduating, I have worked as an actor on contracts in New Jersey and Pittsburgh. I am currently back in Dubuque while I audition and decide where I’d like to move, so I’m enjoying the opportunity to perform on the Grand’s stage again in Rock of Ages as Regina. “Power to the Proletariat!”      

The 2016 Interns

Sarah Mueller

I was an intern at the Grand Opera House during the summer of 2016. I attended Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa and  graduated in May of 2019. During my internship, I worked on Carousel, La Cage aux Folles, and Aladdin Jr. I helped with building sets (I remember many long hours spent sliding underneath platforms, tamping down the  claustrophobia I didn’t know I had) and, during the shows, I manned the sound board. After the internship I also helped with A Christmas Story, Gypsy, and assistant stage managed for Shrek the Musical. I haveso many fond memories! Going to Lowe’s was always a riot—it essentially turned into seeing how annoying we could be and how long Tracey would last before he threatened us with certain death. The Grand is such a cool space to work in, and us interns certainly took full advantage of this: hanging out on the roof, climbing up to the grid, exploring the costume shop. 

An afternoon that’s forever burned into my memory was when we poured out the expired paint cans that had been collecting in the basement since approximately the late 80s… Yes, my family was definitely confused on what exactly my job was that summer, but I wouldn’t change a minute of it. 

I currently live in Nashville and work as a Production Assistant for a show on CMT. The skills I learned during the internship have helped me countless times since, whether that’s by using power tools or coming up with creative insults for people. I had such a great time interning, and I can’t even begin to thank Tracey, Frank, Michelle, and everyone else at the Grand for a wonderful summer.

The 2015 Interns

Anna Carpenter

My name is Anna Carpenter. I interned at The Grand Opera House in 2015. My first audition for the Opera House was at seven years old. My first day working at the Grand for actual money was the day after my high school graduation. I interned with the Grand for three months, then hopped on a plane to the East Coast for college. I attended Seton Hall University, where I completed a BA in Theatre Performance and a BA in Music Performance in four years. While in school, I worked as a paid student carpenter. My junior year of college, I worked on my first Off-Broadway show as a production assistant at The Players Theatre in NYC. Over the course of four years, I performed in eleven main stage productions and competed at the 50th Annual Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. In May of 2019, I graduated with honors. Immediately after graduating, I was hired by a Broadway Marketing company as a full-time Marketing and Sales Coordinator. I now work directly with some of Broadway’s biggest producers on new marketing strategy. Basically, I handle all scheduling, help to plan Broadway events, and meet with producers to discuss marketing and sales trends.

Recognizable shows I have worked on include; Come From Away, The Prom, Girl From The North Country, as well as a slew of niche Broadway and Off-Broadway shows. I currently live in Hoboken, NJ with my boyfriend and our puppy. We absolutely love living in Hoboken and could not be happier. The NYC skyline is our back yard. Someday, I would love to be an Artistic Director for a non-profit theatre company in NYC. It takes a lot of experience to get there. So, I’m working on that now. Interning at the Grand was, without a doubt, the kick-start of a very long career in the arts for me. I still value the people and the place that allowed me to grow up in the arts. A lot of kids in rural areas don’t have the same opportunity. It isn’t something to take for granted.

The 2014 Interns

Aaron Gonner 

I attended The University of Evansville for undergrad and graduated in the Spring of 2018. Currently I’m at The Juilliard School pursuing my MFA in Acting. I will graduate from there in the Spring of 2022. As an intern I worked on Oliver! as a carpenter and playing The Artful Dodger and The Producers also as a carpenter and playing Leo Bloom. I really liked that crazy two weeks when we were pulling very long days trying to get The Producers up and running. Flying all of those heavy walls was crazy.

Currently, I just worked on Romeo in Romeo and Juliet and we are touring the production to High Schools and Middle Schools in the New York City area. I am also working on a devised piece with Ruth Kanner an Isreali devising artist who is in residence at Juilliard.

I particularly like working with scene study teachers Richard Feldman, Evan Yionoulis, and Rebecca Guy.

After I graduate I plan on joining the industry as a professional actor. The hope would be to have a career where I can work in both theatre and film work. But we shall see.

Anne Spoden

I attended Loras College (’15) when I was an intern, and currently attend University of St. Thomas for my Masters degree. I will finish my Masters program next year, and graduate in May of 2021.
As an intern I worked lights for Oliver, and stage crew for The Producers. Since my internship, I have volunteered and/or participated in multiple shows at the Grand, including: Spamalot (run crew), Cabaret (costumes), Carousel (rehearsal pianist, pit pianist), La Cage Aux Folles (ensemble, costumes), and Shrek The Musical (Piggy, Rat, costumes), as well as assisting with The Grand’s haunted maze during Halloween. After my internship was complete, I continued to volunteer at The Grand for a few years until I moved to Minnesota. I enjoyed all of my experiences, but mostly enjoyed assisting with costumes. I had the chance to work with many different actors in each show, improved my sewing skills, and had a positive experience.

I currently live in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and am a graduate student at the University of St. Thomas. I’m getting my Masters in Teaching with K-12 Vocal Music Licensure. I hope to be a high school choir teacher, and assist with school plays/musicals when I’m working as a teacher.

While in school, I’m working as a bridal consultant at the Wedding Shoppe in Saint Paul. My experience assisting with costumes has come in handy! I’m familiar with how a seamstress would alter dresses, and can provide answers to alterations-related questions more confidently because of my experience at The Gran

Since I moved to Saint Paul, I have had the opportunity to be both a rehearsal pianist and pit pianist for SPS Theatre’s Joseph last Spring. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the opportunity to pursue additional theatrical experiences, but am hoping to dive in to some in the near future.

Stay tuned for more updates!

The 2018 Interns

The 2019 Interns

Want to find out how you can be a 2021 Summer Intern? CLICK HERE!