High School Internships Spotlight: The Apollo

Photo Credit: The Apollo

Are you a NYC high school student who is interested in (or curious about) the arts or the entertainment industry? Do you want to get hands-on experience programming or producing a theater performance? If so, you should look into the paid Technical Stage Production and Administrative Arts internships at The Apollo!

What is The Apollo?

The Apollo, located in Harlem, New York City, is one of the most famous theaters in the world. The Apollo is known for its rich history of showcasing African American performers and launching the careers of many legends of music, dance, and comedy. Over the decades, The Apollo has hosted countless famous artists, from Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, James Brown, and Ella Fitzgerald to Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Drake, H.E.R., D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, Jazmine Sullivan, and Machine Gun Kelly. Many successful artists have debuted at The Apollo’s Amateur Night, a weekly talent show that has been running since 1934 and has become a cultural phenomenon in its own right.

The Apollo is also an important part of the history of Harlem, a neighborhood that has played a crucial role in the development of African American culture and identity. In the early 20th century, Harlem was a vibrant community of black artists, intellectuals, and entrepreneurs, who sought to create their own spaces of expression and affirmation in a society that denied them equal rights and recognition. The Apollo was one of these spaces, providing a platform for black performers to showcase their talents and connect with their audiences.

Photo Credit: The Apollo

The Apollo Offers Hands-On (and Paid!) Internships for High School Students

Although The Apollo is proud of its history, its amazing staff members are also intensely focused on the future. Part of the mission of The Apollo is to help the next generation of young artists and creatives — especially those from underrepresented groups — become thought leaders, skilled technicians, and producers of artistic excellence.

We spoke with Yanira Gonzalez, the Manager of The Apollo Theater Academy, who told us that, “The Apollo loves young people. We’re serious about giving young people the opportunity to learn about the entertainment industry and experience all the work that goes on behind the stage at a major performance venue like The Apollo. That’s why we offer high school internships in programming and production.”

Ms. Gonzalez is describing The Apollo Theater Academy High School Internship Program, a paid professional development opportunity for high school seniors. The Apollo offers two different high school internships: an Administrative Arts Internship and a Technical Stage Production Internship. Each of these internships provides students with hands-on training from industry professionals and career development in the two main areas of the theater business.

The Apollo Theater Academy Technical Stage Production Internship (Summer)

The Technical Stage Production Internship runs for six weeks during the summer and focuses on the physical and artistic skills needed to bring a stage production to life. There are three parts to the technical internship. First, interns shadow and assist employees responsible for putting on the world-famous Amateur Night at The Apollo. In the process, they learn about audio/sound boards, projection, lighting, and set construction. Second, they use these skills to execute on the planning done for Teen Takeover by the administrative interns in the spring (see below). Third, the technical interns also create their own live, immersive technical stage production on The Apollo sound stage.

The Apollo Theater Academy Administrative Arts High School Internship (Spring)

The Administrative Arts Internship runs for nine weeks every spring and allows students to experience the business side of running a theater. Interns meet on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays during after-school hours (3-6 p.m.) at The Apollo. For two days each week, interns are assigned to work with a mentor in one of The Apollo’s administrative divisions, which include marketing, programming, fundraising, and production. On the third day, interns work directly with Ms. Gonzalez and her staff to develop programming for The Apollo’s signature summer event, Teen Takeover.

Teen Takeover is curated each year by the administrative interns and produced by The Apollo Young Producers (AYP), a collective of Apollo Theater Academy alumni. Teen Takeover brings together young artists from New York City to showcase and celebrate creativity. The administrative interns contribute to the event by working on the theme, title, and description of the Teen Takeover performance. They also have the exciting opportunity to find and interview upcoming artists for the performance and work on the legal contracts to hire those performers. The Administrative Arts Internship wraps up at the end of May with a presentation where interns showcase their work and contributions to The Apollo senior staff.

Who is the Ideal Candidate for The Apollo Theater Academy High School Internships?

The Apollo Theater Academy High School Internships are for high school students who live in one of New York City’s five boroughs and can attend an entire internship (Administrative Arts or Technical Stage Production). Students who apply for the Technical Stage Production Internship must be rising seniors (meaning they will be seniors in the fall after the internship). Applicants for the Administrative Arts Internship must be current seniors.

According to Ms. Gonzalez, the ideal applicant for one of The Apollo Theater Academy High School Internships (and also the kind of student who will get the most out of the experience) is someone who is “open to be passionately creative and ready for an adventure.” She told us that The Apollo is looking for young people who are interested in careers in technical theater as well as students who are just curious about the arts. And previous experience in theater is not necessary. As Ms. Gonzalez explained, “We’re not just looking for kids interested in theater, but also kids who are into the arts generally . . .  maybe poetry, painting, or writing. We’re also looking for young people who like to be hands-on and try new things, even if they don’t have a background in the arts. It also helps to be a team player who loves to work on creative projects.”

Other Benefits

Whether you’re passionate about the arts or simply enjoy exploring new things, The Apollo Theater Academy High School Internships can offer you a chance to unleash your creativity. But the benefits don’t end there! By participating in the internship program at The Apollo, you’ll gain valuable skills in the arts and theater while also developing transferable qualities such as responsibility, punctuality, and professionalism. Additionally, you’ll have the chance to network with professionals, peers, and alumni, as former interns often return to collaborate on special projects.

Photo Credit: The Apollo

What Do Past Students Have to Say?

Don’t just take it from us! Students who have participated in The Apollo Theater Academy High School Internships describe their experiences as enriching and rewarding:

 Rebecca Cutino, Technical Stage Production Intern

“My first real job experience at the World-Famous Apollo Theater — can’t top that! My favorite parts included working with other NYC teens/interns, making new connections, and learning from some of the best technicians and stagehands ever. The summer internship was the gateway to all the other professional opportunities I’ve had, in and outside of the Apollo. It gave me the confidence and courage to remain in the field and grow. Most importantly, it afforded me the chance to work as a full-time Production Supervisor which I’m ever grateful for.”

Natalie Hernandez, Marketing and Operations Intern

“There are so many highlights from my internship at the Apollo Theater. My internship cohort helped pick the theme and set up the plan for the Teen Takeover. It was wonderful to see all of the work we put in behind the scenes come to life and see local youth enjoy the educational programming. My internship also led to several hosting opportunities once I completed my internship. As an alumnus of the internship program, I went on to host one of the Education programs WOW Festival Event, the Teen Takeover, and the MLK: Young Changemakers event. All of these opportunities have allowed me to grow as a public speaker, journalist, and young producer.

My internship at the Apollo Theater helped shape me into the career-driven person I am. I remember creating one of my first resumes with Jason and Yanira, one that would later grow thanks to the opportunity I was given at the internship program. I remember speaking to them about my strengths and I will never forget that they told me that adaptability was one of my top strengths. Throughout my career, I was able to develop that strength and remember the determination and lessons I was given throughout the internship program. Thanks to the coaching given by the Apollo team I was allowed to develop my professional voice and be outspoken and determined throughout my career.”

Apply NOW!

Don’t miss out on this incredible chance to be a part of one of the world’s most famous theaters and make your mark in the arts and entertainment industry. The Apollo is actively recruiting for the Technical Stage Production Internship, and the application deadline is Monday, May 29th.

Apply today and embark on an unforgettable journey with The Apollo!

Before You Go . . . Check Out Other Amazing High School Internships and Opportunities in Lateenz

In addition to The Apollo Theater Academy High School Internships, Lateenz features a huge number of other programsinternshipscompetitions/awards, and scholarships in our Teen Resources section. And we have a great search engine that makes it super easy to find an opportunity that’s right for you! So — ¡Ándale! and check them out right now.