Recent Southeast theatre graduate Emily Wilson is packing her bags for New York City and a professional internship with the city’s world-renowned Juilliard School of the arts.
“Initially, I was incredibly shocked that I was offered the internship,” Wilson said. “Juilliard is a very prestigious school and very selective. Now, I am very excited to have this opportunity and looking forward to starting my career.”
“This is a very prestigious professional internship,” stressed Dr. Kenneth Stilson, chair of Southeast Missouri State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance. “Hundreds apply, but only a handful from around the world gets accepted.”
“The name ‘Juilliard’ is tossed about by many, but few know how competitive it is and how rigorous the regimen is,” added Dr. Gary Miller, associate dean of Southeast’s College of Liberal Arts.
In addition to his enthusiasm over Wilson’s selection for the internship, Stilson is confident of her abilities to excel in her chosen field.
“Emily was a top student, and has a rare combination of talents,” he said. “She is creative, intelligent, driven, tenacious and personable. We expect big things from her.”
Wilson, who majored in theatre with a management emphasis, will be working for nine months as a stage management intern, assisting production stage managers on opera, drama and dance productions, a position which Juilliard’s Web site states requires great organizational skills, focus, initiative and the ability to interact with a variety of personalities, including students, directors and choreographers.
“I will be involved in everything from pre-production meetings through rehearsals through performances,” Wilson said. “I hope to gain a more well-rounded knowledge of stage management and theatre. Hopefully working at Juilliard will open up many other opportunities for me and help me get my foot in the door in New York theatre.”
Wilson is quick to credit the education she received at Southeast for her success thus far.
“The only reason I landed this job was because of the education I received in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Southeast,” she said. “Besides teaching the basic knowledge of our craft, the Department strives to make sure every student can leave Southeast ready to work at a professional level. If I had not been pushed early on to perfect my resume, go to theatre conferences, work summer stock theatres, and take every opportunity available to me, I do not believe I would now have this opportunity. I think they are doing a wonderful job, and I am fully confident that I can go to New York with my education from Southeast and compete with anyone in my field.”
Wilson says that, for now, she is content to be a working member of the theatre community. Eventually, though, she says she would love to stage manage on Broadway.
In addition to her excitement over her new job, Wilson, a native of Carlyle, Ill., is also looking forward to moving to New York.
“I am very excited, but nervous, about living in New York,” she said. “It’s definitely going to be a huge change of pace and scenery, but it will be a welcomed change. I’m ready to take on the Big Apple!"