As we head into the fall season here at PC+C, we’re thinking about the impressive community of past interns who’ve worked with us in our office and in rehearsal rooms. So many of our interns have brought great insight and experience to us, and so many have gone on to make important and impactful work in American theatre. One such former intern is Amelia Parenteau, who has also written about our work, including a recent feature on The Civilians’ Extended Play. We’re happy to stay connected with Amelia as she makes her way in New York’s theatre community.
How did you come to engage with Ping Chong + Company?
I first learned about PC+C when I was interning at Theatre Communications Group and read Undesirable Elements, a collection of scripts and stories from PC+C’s Undesirable Elements series. I was so moved by it that I wrote a piece for the TCG Circle Blog. Lucky for me, Ping was doing a workshop at my college in January of my senior year, and I immediately signed up. Over the course of the workshop I learned more about PC+C’s production history and Ping’s unique style of theatrical creation, which motivated me to intern for the company in the spring of my senior year.
What was a meaningful moment or take-away from your experience with PC+C?
My entire internship with PC+C was chock full of memorable moments. Every time I climbed the red flights of stairs to the office in the La MaMa building, I felt like I was climbing to the summit of downtown theater. Memories that stand out are visiting a middle school in Flushing, Queens to observe an educational residency with Jesca Prudencio, assisting with a production of Secret Survivors at the Kingsbridge Heights Community Center in the Bronx, and attending a production of Brooklyn ’63 at the Brooklyn Historical Society, followed by a truly passionate talkback about gentrification that energized and inspired me.
How did your time with PC+C influence what you’re doing today?
I knew comparatively little about documentary theater before I met Ping, and watching him construct his pieces was a complete education in how to put together a piece of documentary theater. I learned interviewing skills from him, as well as the value of silence and stillness. I have developed a keen interest in the field of documentary theater, and have started writing about documentary and investigative theater for a variety of theater journals and blogs online, as well as working with documentary theater groups like The Civilians. I am currently working on collaboratively researching and writing my first documentary show, with Life Jacket Theatre Company. I also would like to give a shout out to Sara Zatz, PC+C Associate Director, who has been a great friend and tremendous professional mentor as I start my theater career here in New York.