I remember being in college and my professors using the phrase “artistic home” to describe an ideal setting to make theatre. Having now been with Jackalope Theatre company since 2013, I can very confidently say that finding one’s artistic home is one of the best gift an artist can give themselves. Jackalope has become so much of my home, that over the past year I literally moved from Lincoln Square to Edgewater just so I could be closer to the company. The people that we have work for us at Jackalope are some of the most capable, creative, strong willed and genuine people I know in the city of Chicago and I’m proud to be working alongside them. Although the majority of the personnel that we work with at Jackalope are industry professionals, we all agreed when we established our internship program that working with interns is one of the most fulfilling and rewarding parts of our jobs, and having interns around in turn pushes us to be better communicators.
Jackalope was founded in 2008, by three senior directing majors at Columbia College Chicago. Now comprised of fifteen actors, directors, designers, playwrights, and administrators, Jackalope has grown into a dynamic and well-respected arts organization. Based in Edgewater, Jackalope occupies two spaces on the Thorndale Corridor: The Frontier at 1106 W Thorndale and a theater within Broadway Armory Park. Jackalope is the recipient of the 2015 Broadway in Chicago Emerging Theater Award. Most recently, Jackalope was honored to receive 4 nominations for the 2014/15 non-equity Jeff Awards. For Exit Strategy Jackalope received nominations for Best Production, Best Ensemble, Best Director, and Best New Work.
In conjunction with Jackalope’s mission, the company seeks to produce both newly developed and established American plays of the utmost literary quality in collaboration with the most gifted young artists in Chicago. Jackalope actively seeks diverse voices from varying backgrounds, and strives to represent the myriad experiences of American culture through the stories they tell and the artists they work with. In addition to their main producing season, Jackalope recently launched The Pioneer Series, a continuous initiative to cultivate bold new work, produced by guest theatre companies in The Frontier.
At Jackalope, I serve as the Associate Producer and the Director of Casting. Originally, I joined the company as the Director of Casting but after a few months, we all realized that my experience from having interned at other non-profit theatre companies was allowing me to spread my knowledge and abilities throughout the entire company. While at Jackalope I have developed a subscription program, an internship program, an understudy initiative and also strengthened our companies accessibility initiative.
Over the past 3 seasons, Jackalope has had interns join the company for either a semester or a full year. Their internships ranged from Production, Stage Management, Marketing, Literary, Artistic, Casting and Community Outreach. Our priority is to find interns who we feel are a solid fit for our company, and then we build an internship around their goals and interests. We are very interested in students who know what they want to do in this field and have hands on initiative. We’re dedicated to giving interns the opportunities we had when we were in their shoes, so making a program that is flexible depending on the student’s interests is our priority. If you want to work on social media but you also want to sit in a rehearsal room – we can make it happen. If you want to learn about lighting stock but you also want to host one of our development events – we can make it happen. Our goal is to make Jackalope your first artistic home so that you can know what you’re looking for when you start your professional theater real-estate shopping.
If you are interested in an internship at Jackalope, log into SoConnect to view opportunities!
Elana Boulos is the Associate Producer and Director of Casting at Jackalope where she has been a company member since 2013. Elana has worked as a theater administrator at such theater companies as Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Arden Theater Company, Two Birds Casting, Griffin Theater, and Dog and Pony. Elana is the Program Director at Yale University for the Acting Intensive Program for the National Student Leader Conference. She holds a BFA in Theatre Direction from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.