The mission of the program is to provide mentorship and guidance to emerging BIPOC designers.
The Echo will:
Select four designers: sound, scenic, lighting, and costume
Assist the professional designer in their field on every Echo production throughout the Echo season
Design all Echo Associate Company productions including the festival of commissioned short plays and all “front-of-week” Echo productions
Our goal is to discover, nurture, and advise designers from communities traditionally under-represented in the theater while introducing them to the Los Angeles theater community.
If you would like to be considered please submit a letter of inquiry* to Mentor@EchoTheaterCompany.com
The mentorship is a program for emerging designer participants to work closely with working professionals in their field of design. Each participant will be staffed as the assistant to the designer of each and every Echo show in the season. Each participant will design any and all Echo “front-of-week” projects and the Associate Company festival of short plays..
The mentorship program is focused on emerging designers who self-identify as BIPOC and are recent graduates (undergraduate or graduate), career changers interested in pursuing a career in professional theater, and individuals who come from a non-traditional education background who wish to pursue a career in professional theatre.
Our program looks to create structured opportunities for participants who might not easily find pathways into the theatrical community of Los Angeles. In order to build a more diverse, inclusive and equitable field while recognizing the unique history of our country and industry, we believe it is important right now to focus on Black, Indigenous and People of Color. We also recognize that there are other factors such as religion, national origin, gender, gender identity, immigration status, sexual orientation and class that have become barriers to entry, acceptance and success in our field. As such, we encourage anyone to apply to this mentorship. Special emphasis will be placed on applicants who come from traditionally underrepresented and under-resourced communities.
Four. One in each of the design fields: scenic, costume, lighting, and sound.
The program will run for our season, which is usually 11 months.
Designer applicants wishing to apply should send a letter of inquiry along with a CV to Mentor@EchoTheaterCompany.com. Applications will be open from February, 2021 through June, 2021. The letter of inquiry should discuss the applicant’s relevant experience and background in their field, along with their professional goals as they relate to this mentorship and their future in theatre. The deadline for applications this year is June. The applications will be reviewed by the Echo Mentorship Committee.
No. There are no fees to apply to the program or participate in program activities.
This is not an internship. There will be stipends for assistant designing the season productions as well as for the design of the Associate Company festival and the “front-of-week” projects. There will be acknowledgement and credit for assisting the designers in each of the Echo season productions. There are no college credit affiliations in place at this time.
You will learn about design, creativity, collaboration, time management, storytelling and many other aspects of theater making grasped only through experience. At the start of the program, you and the Echo artistic staff and Mentorship Committee will identify goals for the year and as well as checking in after each production.
You will assist the designer of each Echo production throughout the season. As such, your participation will depend upon that relationship and the requirements of each specific show’s design elements. Your time commitment will be flexible; we are aware that everyone has financial responsibilities. Your schedule will be talked through and determined with your designer on a per-show basis, but we are asking a minimum of 4-6 hours a week spent working with your designer each production.
As a designer for the Echo Associate Company festival of short plays, you will spend whatever time is necessary to implement your design. The same for whatever “front-of-week” project you may work on.
The mentors will be the hired designers for the Echo Theatre productions.
Historically the Echo has worked with some of the most distinguished and sought after designers in the region, including. Not only will you work one-on-one with working designers, but you will have the opportunity to network and participate in active theatre production with working directors and performers in the area.
Yes. The Echo, though, will take any potential conflicts into consideration in the selection process.
Access to a computer is required. Knowledge and experience with whatever programs are used in your specific design field will be considered a plus but not a requirement.
Because we are and always have been committed to finding, nourishing and producing great, previously unheard voices in American theater; because we believe and have always believed that great theater should be a positive, transformative and inclusive cultural experience for society as a whole; because part of our mission is to extend our resources to people and places that the theater has lost touch with; and because we hold and have always held that the empowering values that create important plays should also drive their casting, production, promotion and support … the management of the Echo Theater is accountable and has always been accountable to the Echo’s employees, its audiences and the greater Los Angeles community to continue the Theater’s legacy of diversity, equity, inclusion and access. In keeping with our mission, we place a special emphasis on projects serving writers, actors and audiences historically underrepresented in American Theate
Elena Flores (She/Her) is a Los Angeles based costume designer working in Theatre, Film, and TV. She is a proud ensemble member of both Echo Theatre Company and Rogue Artists Ensemble, as well as a Union Member with the Costume Designers Guild, IATSE Local 892. Pre-pandemic, her most recent theatrical projects included Cowboy Elektra presented at the Getty Villa (Rogue Artists Ensemble), and The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Diety (Chance Theatre). She was an exhibited designer representing the United States in the Prague Quadrennial 2019 (Porous Borders) and serves as a co-chair of her union’s Young Workers Committee, actively supporting new union members and early career designers through networking, mentorship, and community based engagement.
Amanda Knehans (she/they) is a Los Angeles based Scenic Designer, Production Designer and Art Director. Recent theatre credits include Handjob, The Wolves, and Blueberry Toast (The Echo), Seven (Élan Ensemble), Music Man and As You Like It (Off Square Theatre Company), Bliss (Moving Arts), The Willows (Bootleg Theater), Dry Land (CTG/Echo), Year of the Rooster and Welcome to the White Room (Theatre of Note) and Tuesdays with Morrie (Sierra Madre Playhouse). Recent film credits include Art Director on “Triage” Pilot Episode (Fox, ABC), “Single Parents” Season 1 (ABC), “The Stranger” Season 1 (Fox, Quibi), “The Wedding Year” (Lakeshore Entertainment), and “East Los High” Season 4 and 5 (Hulu). Amanda has been a member of the Echo Theater Company since 2016 and belongs to both the Art Directors Guild and USA 829.
Jeff is an Ovation Award winner for his design on Dry Land at Center Theatre Group’s Block Party. Designs at Echo Theater include (Cry It Out, The Cake, Bed, One Of The Nice Ones, American Falls); A Noise Within (Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, The Madwoman Of Chaillot, A Raisin In The Sun, Noises Off); The Antaeus Company (The Little Foxes, Native Son, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Picnic); Circle X Theatre (Trevor, ICU); Rogue Machine (Les Blancs, Honky); IAMA Theatre Company (The Recommendation, A Dog’s House) and Her Portmanteau at Boston Court Pasadena. Jeff can also be seen performing live sound effects for L.A. Theatre Works and is resident sound designer for the Westridge School in Pasadena. jeffthomasgardner.net
Justin Huen is an award-nominated actor/director/designer who has worked in intimate and regional theaters across the country. His light design work includes the ovation winning production of DRY LAND at the Echo and his set and light design work were featured in the critically acclaimed and ovation nominated production of PROOF at Moth.