Joseph Guzman

Arts and Entertainment Editor

This past summer, one of Keene’s students immersed herself in an intense summer job that paid off greatly. Her name is Emily Fitzgerald and is a senior who spent her summer working for as a member of the Second Company at the Peterborough Players. Fitzgerald said, ”I would recommend working with the Peterborough Players to anyone who has a passion for theater. It was an incredible experience.“ When Fitzgerald found out she got the job, she had many feelings.  “I was really excited! And also really nervous. I’ve known a few people who interned at the players before me so I had a pretty good idea of what it was going to be like,” Fitzgerald said.

Professional Acting Company Member and Director of Marketing at the Peterborough Players Bridget Beirne, (who Emily was working with) spoke a bit about the daily tasks that come with the job at the Second Company. “The Second Company is the engine of the Peterborough Players. They work in every aspect of the theater, from the technical departments to the administrative offices, to keeping things neat and tidy, to entertaining our audiences during Saturday night Cabarets. On top of that, they may perform or understudy in some of our seven Main Stage shows, as well as performing two Second Company shows of their own,” Beirne said. Beirne was going through the schedule, describing the many tasks and rehearsals they have, “Second Company members work 12-hour shifts around the clock for a day to break down the sets, lights, costumes, etc for one show and load in the next. Their schedule is even more complicated when a Second Company show is running at the same time as a Main Stage!”

“[At] some point in time, a schedule like that is a lot for anyone. The important part is knowing that it’s your job, and that you’re doing something you love. Before going to the players, a friend of mine told me that this internship would tell me whether or not I really wanted to have a career in theater arts, and it really did. And I do! If you’re not passionate about it, you’re not going to be able to handle the stress that comes with the job,” said Fitzgerald. She also described having many mentors. Fitzgerald said, “A lot of people were [mentors for me] really. I worked in so many areas that I was able to get to know a ton of different people. Everyone there works so hard, and love what they do! I really admire their dedication.”

Fitzgerald originally joined Keene State College to become a film and theater and dance double major but recently she found herself leaning more towards theater, enough to make the drop on her film major. “I was originally a double major in film, and theater and dance, and decided to drop my film major second semester of my freshman year. Both programs are very intense, and even though I still love film very much, my heart was with the theater program.” she explained.

Fitzgerald said she made many memories. “I look back fondly on all of the people I met this summer. I was lucky enough to be apart of the 2019 Second Company at the players with some of the most hardworking people I’ve ever met. Every few weeks we would have a bonfire, and hang out after a long day of work. I’ll cherish those moments for a very long time. My biggest takeaway is, do what you do because you love it. If you work hard you can create incredible things,” said Fitzgerald.

Dana Angellis is another KSC class of 2016 alumni who has gone through the program and has had her own similar experiences, who was at the time a sophomore in pursuit for a bachelor’s in theater and dance. “I was a member of the second company at the Peterborough Players in 2014 as the scenic intern,” said Angellis, who kept working for them for another three years. “The schedule working in theater is often quick and intense, but something you learn to balance with experience. A lot of the stage manager’s job happens outside of official hours (official hours being rehearsal/performances, production meetings, etc.) and we often have paperwork to catch up on, reports to send out, even after 10-out-of-12s (rehearsal days during tech that involve ten hours of rehearsal with a two hour dinner break).”

Beirne spoke a bit about her experience working with Fitzgerald. “Hard work and long hours are part of the territory for the Second Company, and this year was no exception! Emily spent a lot of her time working with me in the marketing department, creating film and photography collateral for the season,” Beirne said. “Many times, she was creating videos or photos ground-up, from shooting to editing. Other times, she and I would collaborate on ideas for flow, content, music and the like. She would be doing this while also running crews for shows, or house managing, or working in shops. Her contribution and collaboration in our work together was fabulous.”

Joseph Guzman can be contacted at

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