Design Apprenticeship Program

Stage West’s 2022 Design Apprenticeship is a pre-professional training program for college students in the areas of lighting, set, and costume design. Participants will work with a mentor in their respective design area to create work for a professional portfolio, while also having a hands-on learning experience during Main Stage and Studio programming.


Program Description 

The Design Apprenticeship Program will officially launch in the Spring of 2022 with the goal to give theatre-makers of tomorrow the vital skills needed to succeed in a professional theatre setting, while also opening doors for college-aged students to have future job opportunities in their area of interest. For the foreseeable future, the program will be centered around diversity, equity, and inclusion - with a strong emphasis on recruiting students of color and underrepresented groups. 

The 2022 Design Apprenticeship Program will focus on lighting, set, and costume design. Stage West is seeking 3 students in each area of study (for a total of 9) who will be paired with 1 mentor (per 3 students) as they actively engage in the rehearsal and performance process for Witch by Jen Silverman, Into the Breeches! by George Brandt, and What to Send Up When it Goes Down by Aleshea Harris. Students will have the opportunity to interview for design jobs in Stage West’s 2022 Summer Conservatory (date TBA) and will be given consideration for inclusion in Bass Hall’s Technical Internships. 

The 9 Design Apprenticeship Program students will:

  • Obtain real world experience in a creative and safe atmosphere

  • Engage in a parallel design process for the show for which they are chosen

  • Work one-on-one with a mentor who will guide them through their respective design projects that can be used towards building a portfolio 

  • Build professional relationships 

  • Get complimentary tickets to Stage West programming 

  • Receive a modest stipend for materials and supplies 

  • Gain rehearsal and performance hours with their College/University (if applicable) 

  • Participate in a review of the design projects they produce with Stage West staff members

The 3 Mentors chosen for the 2022 program will: 

  • Have a Bachelors and/or Masters Degree in their area of study along with a seasoned professional resume 

  • Familiarize themselves with their respective Stage West show their mentee students are actively engaged in

  • Meet at least once per week with their mentees to give project assignments, check-in, and review work

  • Act as a liaison between the students and the designers for each mainstage show 

  • Lead the design project review process in collaboration with Stage West staff 

  • Check-in with the Development Manager 2x per month to ensure goals are being met 

  • Have a strong existing background and working relationship with Stage West 

  • Receive a stipend for their time and efforts towards the project


Early December of 2021: Mentors are identified and familiarize themselves with programming. Each mentor meets with the Development Manager to set forth goals. 

December 2021- January of 2022: Beginning of spring college semester- application process and interviews for apprenticeship students begin. Students are selected by February 11, 2022.

February 21, 2022: Students begin with Witch and have first meeting with mentor

March 2022: Students plug into What to Send Up When It Goes Down rehearsals

May 2022: Students plug into Into the Breeches! rehearsals

Final design projects will be reviewed the week of June 15, 2022


College students currently enrolled in a DFW area Community College or University can contact Development Manager, Tonya Wilson-Brown, for more information about the program: Tonya [at] (214) 642-3080