The interns of B Street Theatre wake up at 6 a.m. to practice their lines, sweep the parking lot and prep the stage. They clean toilets after the show. They build sets, buy props, run errands and shred documents. They design, stage manage and go on school tours. They bartend until late evening. They work 80 to 90 hours a week, sometimes more, mostly behind the scenes.
But this week, the spotlight is completely on them, as B Street Theatre’s 2015-16 Intern Company closes out its program with an intern showcase. The interns will stage Diana Son’s drama “Stop Kiss” at the theater Wednesday, June 8, through Sunday, June 12.
Acting intern Megan Wicks grew up in Tampa, Fla., where she began her acting career in seventh grade.
“It’s not glamorous at all,” Wicks said of the internship at B Street. “Most of it is just doing upkeep of the theater. And I was told initially that I might get the chance to act. I might.”
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The showcase gives her that chance. She and acting intern Alexandria Litras play the two lead female roles in “Stop Kiss.”
Though in past years, the intern showcase has often been an original play written by a B Street staff member, the 2016-16 intern company instead picked a pre-published play.
“Stop Kiss” fit the acting interns with one male and two female lead roles, Wicks said, and the 10-intern company liked the message the play sends. Produced off Broadway in 1998, it focuses on the story of Callie and Sara – played by Wicks and Litras, respectively – who are assaulted on the street after sharing their first kiss.
The interns have had roughly three weeks to prepare for the showcase.
“We’ve been looking at it for a long time, we knew that we were doing it, but we work 80 hours a week, we’re on tour, and we’re doing different shows,” Wicks said. “We are working really hard, and I think it’s going to be a great showcase of what we can do in a short period of time with very little support.”
Litras said the interns picked the play in January, and started memorizing their lines while working on other shows. The play doesn’t proceed in chronological order, Litras added, often making it hard for the actors to remember which scene comes next.
The interns are producing “Stop Kiss” from scratch. That means building the set, designing the lighting and sound cues, coordinating costume changes, running rehearsals, leading marketing campaigns, obtaining rights for the play and hiring a director.
Chelsea Laclergue, B Street’s first education and outreach intern and co-director of “Stop Kiss,” said she researched LGBTQ conflicts in New York City during the time of the play. Then she worked with Wicks, Litras and acting intern Deon’te Goodman on character development.
“It’s a conversation,” Laclergue said. “They’re the ones who are acting as these characters, and so I feel like it’s not my place to tell them their motivations or their thoughts as a character, but I like to hear where they’re coming from and offer a different perspective on the scene.”
Lyndsay Burch, B Street artistic associate, said she expects the show to be of the same quality as B Street’s other mainstage productions.
“This is an intern showcase, but it’s still a B Street production on our main stage. It’s important that this work elevates their work as actors,” she said.
What: The 2015-16 B Street intern showcase
When: Previews 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 8; opens 8 p.m. Thursday, June 9; continues 8 p.m. Friday, June 10; 5 and 9 p.m. Saturday, June 11; and 2 p.m. Sunday, June 12
Where: B Street Mainstage, 2711 B St., Sacramento
Cost: $10 suggested donation
Information: 916-443-5300; bstreettheatre.org