Image Caption: Ava Robitaille, a fourth-year Dramatic Arts student, has been selected for an internship at the Shaw Festival for the 2023 season.
Originally published THURSDAY, MAY 04, 2023 | by Charles Kim
Like many fourth-year students, Ava Robitaille is excited to see what the future holds after graduation.
Her vision will soon be a little clearer thanks to a valuable experiential learning opportunity in the world of professional theatre production.
The Dramatic Arts (DART) student has been selected for an internship at the Shaw Festival for the 2023 season, which will allow her to dive deeper into directing and add to her growing list of skills.
During the eight-week internship, which began May 2, Robitaille will learn how the Shaw season runs by working behind the scenes on a number of shows and performances.
She is particularly excited about the opportunity to work with women directors.
“The Shaw has a really wonderful set of female directors in this season, and I cannot express how important this is to me,” Robitaille says. “I really want to learn about the experiences of those women who have been involved in the industry for an extended period of time.”
Having worked as a director and associate director in many DART productions, Robitaille is grateful for all the feedback from instructors throughout her time at Brock. She plans to take those remarks and hone in on developing her skills through this opportunity.
“The biggest thing I want to focus on is learning how I use my directing voice in a room,” she says. “As I’ve been developing as a director through Brock and in DART, my No. 1 feedback has been ‘you’ve got it technically, but you need to bring yourself into the work.’”
Robitaille recognizes the Shaw internship’s potential to impact her future in the industry. She says it’s a great opportunity for her to get to know some of the individuals involved in the profession, and provides her with a foot in the door with a local, but well-known, production company.
“This really is the cherry on top of my whole experience with Brock,” she says while reflecting on her final days as a Brock student.
Robitaille feels the confidence and skills she developed during her time at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts were crucial in preparing her for the internship.
“What I learned at DART through my four years was incredible,” she says. “From not knowing where I was going in my first year to slowly figuring it out and being given opportunities like this, this is just everything I could have asked for.”