Orlando Shakes announces new apprenticeship program for local high-schoolers

click to enlarge 'The Fantasticks' performed at Orlando Shakes - Photo by Tony Firriolo
Photo by Tony Firriolo
'The Fantasticks' performed at Orlando Shakes

The Orlando Shakes theater company this week announced a new apprenticeship program that will provide tuition-free scholarships and other opportunities for area high-school students.

The W. Daniel Mills Apprenticeship Program will allow students to take part in the Shakes' "The Young Company" educational offshoot this upcoming summer, with a stipend provided.  After the summer, apprentices will be in a fall/spring masterclass from September to May, supplemented by further stipends for work at the theater.

The W. Daniel Mills Program was founded by Central Floridians Harold and Rosy Mills in honor of their son Daniel, who died in 2020.

The apprenticeship program will be a year-long professional training experience. Students will participate in monthly master classes that include stage makeup, Shakespeare, college audition prep, lighting and sound. The program's apprentices will participate as actors, teaching assistants, understudies, production assistants, spotlight operators and front of house team members.

The Young Company was founded in 1991 as an educational arm of Orlando Shakes. TYC's professional artists serve high school youth of economically diverse communities.

"The opportunities this donation gives to high school students offers unique access to professional practice and mentorship that breaks down barriers for students who may not have been able to afford tuition or even transportation to attend in the past," said Anne Hering, director of education for Orlando Shakes, in a press statement.

For more information on the W. Daniel Mills Apprentice Program, visit the Orlando Shakes' website.

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