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 onstage programming.

Program Description: The Design Apprenticeship Program launched 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 women, students of color, the LGBTQ community, and other underrepresented groups. 

The 2022 Design Apprenticeship Program's focus is on lighting, set, and costume design. Every fall, Stage West will seek 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. This year's participating shows are Witch by Jen Silverman, Into the Breeches! by George Brandt, and What to Send Up When it Goes Down by Aleshea Harris. Design students will also have the opportunity to interview for design jobs in the 2022 Summer Conservatory and will be given consideration for inclusion in Bass Hall’s Technical Internships. 

The 9 Design Students will:

  • Obtain real world experience in a creative and safe atmosphere

  • Engage in a parallel design process for participating shows

  • 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 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 goal completion

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

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


November- January: Application process and interviews for apprenticeship students begin. Students are selected by Februry 1st. 

February 15th: Students meet their mentor and begin the program. 

March -May:  Students plug into onstage programming and collaborate with their mentors and fellow students. 

Final design projects will be reviewed before June 15th. 


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