Learning the Ropes

Interns Start Work at the

Watermark Theatre



Two weeks ago the summer interns started work at the Watermark Theatre and this year’s crop are an exciting mix of young theatre professionals from Atlantic Canada and those from further afield. This is the 4th year of the Mentorship Program at Watermark, which welcomes current theatre students and recent graduates to train back stage at the theatre all summer.

This year’s interns are Virginia Iredale (stage management), Mike Grdosic (carpentry / technical), Rachel Smith (props / scenic art), Claudia Groves (wardrobe), Lokki Ma (arts administration), and Meghan Riddell (wardrobe).

Virg Iredale was born and raised in Ontario and is currently based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia. She graduated last year from Dalhousie University with a BA in Stage Design and Technical Theatre.  She has had the wonderful opportunity to work as an apprentice ASM at Ship’s Company, and Below the Salt. She is very excited to be in PEI for the first time ever in her life and have the wonderful opportunity to work with Melissa, our production stage manager, for the first time since high school.

Mike Grdosic lives in Toronto where he has just finished his first year at Humber College’s Theatre Production program, specializing in carpentry and scenic art. Mike’s interest in theatre production only developed recently after volunteering as a production assistant at Watermark Theatre the past two seasons. He is very happy to be back on the island working with the fine folk at Watermark.

Rachel Smith recently completed her 4th year of studies at York University majoring in Theatre Production & Design. She is currently working towards completing her degree with a minor in Visual Art. Rachel was the Set Designer for York University’s 2019 production of Orlando directed by Lindsay Bell and has previously worked as a Scenic Artist on Peter Hinton’s Dido: Queen of Carthage and David Di Giovanni’s A Dream Play. During the summer of 2018 she was the Exhibit and Outreach Coordinator/Archivist for the Arts and Heritage Centre in Warkworth, Ontario.  Additionally, Rachel was also the Curator for their exhibition titled Mary Hutchinson: Life on Main Street.
“Being able to learn and practice my craft on a beautiful island like PEI is a dream come true”, says Rachel. “I am so grateful for this amazing opportunity that Watermark Theatre has provided through the Mentorship Program.”

Claudia Groves recently graduated from Dalhousie University with a Bachelors Degree in Theatre and Honours in Costume Studies. Her experience includes working at Mermaid Theatre in Windsor NS during the summer of 2017, as well as several years of theatre experience at Dalhousie. During that time, she contributed in varying ways to a number of productions, including Dante’s Purgatorio and a series of Moliere one-acts.

PEI is home for Lokki Ma, who grew up in Summerside and moved to Toronto after graduating from Dalhousie University with an Honours degree in Technical Theatre. For the past 13 years she has lived and worked in various theatres across Toronto and the Maritimes. She was the 2010 recipient of the Pauline McGibbon award, Props Coordinator for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games in 2015 and will be returning for a seventh season as the Head of Props at Young Peoples Theatre this Fall.
“After more than a decade of working in the production side of the industry I was ready for another perspective. One that provides a 360 degree view of how theatre is made on Island” says Lokki. “I feel lucky that I get to gain that perspective from Andrea and Robert as the arts administration intern this summer. I hope to come away from this experience understanding how theatre serves our communities, engages its audience and shapes the culture of the Island. And if I’m lucky, a path forward, one that may lead me home to stay.”

Meghan Riddell is from Milverton, Ontario and is excited to be joining Watermark Theatre as part of her Wardrobe placement. Meghan is currently attending Fanshawe College for Costume Production and is trilled for the opportunity to be apart of this year’s season.

Watermark Theatre is a perfect training ground for aspiring theatre professionals – small enough to nurture and large enough to have processes and policies in place. All sets, costumes and props are realized on site and production standards are high. Though there are many theatre training institutions in Canada there are very few internships available. Hands-on experience and training under a good mentor is one of the best ways to learn and grow.

The program is generously sponsored by the Joan & Regis Duffy Foundation, the RBC Future Launch program, and Skills PEI. Meghan Riddell joins the company through the Fanshawe College Costume Studies Student Placement Program.

Watermark is a proud member of the PTN – Professional Theatre Network of PEI

For more information please contact Andrea Surich at 902-963-3963 or generalmanager@watermarktheatre.com.

PEI Professional Theatre Network


PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse

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