Applications for the 2022 ambassador program will open in December 2021. Please check back for more information.
A Ground Floor ambassador serves as a liaison between Berkeley Rep staff and Ground Floor artists. Volunteer ambassadors help Berkeley Rep staff facilitate a generative environment for Ground Floor artists during their stay in Berkeley. The ambassadorship offers highly motivated, responsible aspiring theatre-makers the opportunity to delve into the world of new play development at a major regional theatre. Ambassadors have gone on to opportunities at theatres across the country, including year-long fellowships and other positions here at Berkeley Rep.
During the Summer Residency Lab, ambassadors will rotate between two primary learning experiences:
- The artistic / rehearsal rotation
Guided by our artistic and literary staff, ambassadors will assist in supporting a rehearsal and/or writing process for our guest artists. Each ambassador will be assigned to a project—helping artists in the rehearsal room to realize their development goals. (Tasks in the room vary widely project to project; every year is different!)
- The company management / hospitality rotation
Ambassadors will be a liaison between visiting theatre artists, Berkeley Rep staff, and the Berkeley community. Mentored by our management and production staff, they will learn to foster a welcoming environment that is conducive to artists developing new work, including assisting with artist arrival and prepping project workspaces. Additionally, this rotation involves assisting staff with the preparation of the communal, catered dinner in which all Summer Lab participants (ambassadors, artists, and staff) partake each evening.
Additionally, over the course of the Summer Lab, ambassadors will participate in “Ambassador Hours,” hour-long educational sessions on various topics related to new play development, from dramaturgy to marketing to production, curated by The Ground Floor staff. Ambassadors will also learn to read and analyze new plays in a professional context, including crafting and receiving feedback on a script evaluation to use as a professional writing sample.
Does that all sound random to you? It is. In a good way. The Summer Lab is a hectic, fast-paced, changeable environment—responding to the artists’ processes keeps us all on our toes—and the program is designed around our belief that responsiveness, creativity, and flexibility are paramount to creating good art. The Summer Lab is what you make of it: resourceful, curious people tend to get the most out of the program.
Ambassadors are integral to providing a welcoming, fun space for the creation of new work. In addition to developing and honing new skills, ambassadors will have many opportunities to interact with Berkeley Rep staff and guest artists, including participating in meet-and-greets, attending Q&A sessions, observing readings and presentations, and simply chatting over dinner.
Questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Ground Floor is supported by Louise Gund and Frances Hellman & Warren Breslau, with additional funding provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Tournesol Project, and Bank of America.
What artists say about the Summer Residency Lab
I greatly appreciated the combination of freedom and support. The whole Lightning Rod Special crew loved the space, the food, the Berkeley Rep team, and the other Ground Floor artists. I felt encouraged to work in the ways that best served my artistic process, and also benefited from being around other artists engaged in their own work. Dinners were delicious (as were breakfasts and often lunches with all the snacks and leftovers!), and a great time to check in with everyone else and draw some collective energy to raise morale. Special thanks to our ambassador, who was clever as heck, making wisecracks at all the right moments, and offering great thoughts about our project.
My Ground Floor experience was a highlight of my life. I felt a tremendous warmth from the other theatre artists, the staff, and the marvelous young “ambassadors.” As a monologuist, I haven’t often gotten a chance to be part of a theatre community (the way, say, normal actors do)—and it’s an incredible feeling to inhabit a lovely space with others who share my passion for storytelling and the theatre.