How my marketing internship at the Des Moines Community Playhouse impacted me

By: Kaitlynn McCaull

Spending my summer as a marketing intern at the Des Moines Community Playhouse has been a rewarding experience. First off, The Playhouse is a nonprofit organization that was able to successfully stay open during the pandemic at the start of 2020. Since then, they have found innovative ways of keeping theatre alive and thriving.

This summer, I had the incredible opportunity to do marketing and philanthropy for The Playhouse’s summer Tent Theatre. To clarify, Tent Theatre was a summer-long project where three shows were performed every weekend. To make it even more exciting, it was presented outside in The Playhouse’s very own parking lot. The three shows included Godspell, Plaza Suite and Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical.

As a kickoff for Tent Theatre, The Playhouse held a Pavilion Party event. This event welcomed patrons back to The Playhouse in a safe and fun environment. For the event, I wrote a press release and worked in InDesign and Illustrator to create posters and a photo op background. I helped with the planning and implementation of a silent auction for the event. For the silent auction, I wrote the descriptions of the items, took photos of the items, and created a website where people could make bids online.

A project I am proud of is that I got to create The Playhouse’s TikTok page. With this project, I created a TikTok plan that detailed what kind of content to post, who to follow, helpful blogs, and a content calendar. I also posted three videos on The Playhouse account and gained 57 followers, along with a total of 1,986 video likes.

Doing marketing and public relations for a local performing arts company has been so eye-opening to me. It helped me to grow in my writing and creativity. The Playhouse has offered me so many insights into key messaging and keeping materials fresh and dynamic. My internship taught me to be independent and engage in activities outside of my comfort zone. I have truly gained new and insightful skills in just three months. I am so glad and proud that I have been able to combine my passion for theatre and public relations together to make a memorable summer interning with great people.

The scholarship I received through Greenlee helped me in many ways. I have been able to make it through the summer without feeling any kind of financial burden. I am grateful for my scholarship and how it has immensely helped me reach my career goals.

Editor’s note: Edited for length and clarity. Greenlee 499A internship scholarships support students who have a primary major in advertising, journalism and mass communication or public relations and are completing their required 400-hour internships. The application is available each spring.