Scarlet Cicero is a Dancer from Miami, Florida who’s traveled the world from a young age. She is currently on PAA’s Dance Administration Internship in Florence, Italy. “That which cannot be spoken can be sung; that which cannot be sung…
Spend six weeks or longer living in the center of Florence and interning at a performing arts organization. You will join other PAA interns and students on program excursions and activities, and will take a three-week Italian language course customized to your current level. While you may have the opportunity to train and/or perform while interning at your company (depending on your skill level and Italian language level), many interns spend the majority of their time helping with the logistics of running the organization and gaining valuable insight into the inner workings of an international arts company. This could involve marketing and promotion, helping to teach classes, assisting with stage duties during shows, attending rehearsals, selling tickets, or any other number of tasks. Your internship is managed by Performing Arts Abroad in conjunction with a university in Florence, and thus you will enjoy student privileges, such as a meal plan, gym access, library card, and more, all included in the price of the program.
“Doing a Theatre internship abroad in Italy through PAA, I gained experience in the business in a new way that forced me to grow as an artist and as a person. I learned to push myself to 110% in all aspects of my life and gained necessary skills in order to succeed in the business, such as communication and adaptability. I would not trade this experience for the world and will take this experience and apply what I learned to every aspect of my career.”
Performing Arts Points of Interest
Odeon Firenze Cinehall
Cinema Odeon Firenze is an elaborately designed theatre in Florence inaugurated in 1922. Here you can find English film screenings along with Italian films. The cinema hosts events as well as film screenings, including the British 100 Film Festival.
Florence Dance Center
The Florence Dance Center was founded in 1987 with the objective to create and bring to life the full experience of a multi-purpose center for the art of dance open to a wide audience, while also offering a socio-cultural reference point. The center offers dance courses in ballet, modern, contemporary, jazz, and flamenco.
Teatro Argentina is a theatre in Rome inaugurated in 1732. The theatre’s mission is to give space to the dramaturgical research, valuing the new proposals, hosting the great interpreters of the Italian scene. Performances include plays, music, and dance by Italian and international artists.
The Centrale Montemartini is a museum that may not be the first stop for Rome visitors looking for music and dance events. Once a year Centrale Montemartini along with several other museums in Rome play host for the “Museums in Music” music and dance event.
Beba do Samba
Rome’s Beba do Samba is a music venue that hosts local rock bands. This bar and venue with an intimate and friendly atmosphere was born as a Brazilian-style bar but now offers a range of concerts from jazz punk to folk to nights for Italian singer/songwriters.
Silvano Toti Globe Theatre
Rome’s Silvano Toti Globe Theatre is based off the famous Globe Theatre of London. The open-air theatre houses Shakespearian plays offering standard sitting space for performances as well as the traditional standing space in front of the stage. Plays are staged every day except Mondays and tickets range from 11 to 28 Euros.
This tucked away music venue for local jazz and blues bands, Argot is a weekend spot for music lovers. Saturday night is “piano and voice” themed the restaurant’s pianist runs the night with different international voices and Friday night is open to diverse artists new and old.
NoF Club Firenze
The NoF Club in the Oltrarno area of Florence opened in 2011 is a popular local band venue. Bands perform from an AstroTurf stage in the shop-front window overlooking Borgo San Frediano. There is a second bar beneath wrought iron fixtures and leafy plant life. The venue hosts live music six nights a week, music starting from 10pm with free entry.
The Alfieri Space is a creative theatre venue in Florence that houses cultural events such as plays, film, music, and visual arts. The Alfieri Space theatre houses performances ranging from works of local playwrights to Shakespeare. Film opportunities in the Alfieri Space include festivals year-round. Past festivals have been the annual International Documentary Film Festival and the Sea Film Festival of 2017.
Cinema La Compagnia
Cinema La Compagnia is a cinema in Florence built in 1921 and renovated most recently in 1987. The cinema houses excellent technical equipment that allows accommodation for many different activities: 35m me 4K digital projection (2D and 3D), simultaneous translation and multilingual audio broadcasting. Cinema La Compagnia is a venue for the annual Florence international documentary film festival, Festival dei Popoli.
Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
The Teatro Comunale di Firenze or Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino was built in the 1800s as an open-air ampitheatre seating 6,000 people! After fires, damage from WWII bombing, and other closures, it finally re-opened permanently in 1961 as a 2,000 seat auditorium. The theatre now hosts Italy’s most important music festival, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.
Teatro alla Scala
Milan’s premier opera house is where Toscanini twirled his baton, Giuseppe Verdi was once the in-house composer, and Maria Callas trilled her way to fame and fortune. La Scala has been perhaps the most important opera house in the world since 1778. This is where Verdi, Bellini, Rossini, and Donizetti premiered their works—among them Norma, Nabucco, Madama Butterfly, and Aïda.
PAA Home Base
Our internships are run in collaboration with the Florence University of the Arts (FUA), which will act as your headquarters during your time in Florence. You will have access to all FUA facilities as a Performing Arts Abroad intern, including the gym and culinary arts school dining hall. All buildings are in the very heart of Florence with the main student life center overlooking the Arno River.
About the Location
Immerse yourself in this breathtaking Renaissance city, the birthplace of opera, with its countless cafes, museums, and architectural wonders. History is alive everywhere you look, from Giotto’s Campanile and The Duomo to the Bapistery of St. John. Take advantage of the many performances throughout the city and enjoy a show in one of Florence’s historical performance halls. Attend one of the abundant opera and instrumental concerts throughout the city and enjoy the legacy of Italian music, including the famous two-month Maggio Florentine Musical festival in May and June. Showcasing classical theater institutions, socially progressive theater organizations, and experimental groups, Florence offers inspiration around every corner.
Surrounded by style and elegance in everything from food to fashion, you’ll feel the artistic heart of Florence the minute you arrive. Enclosed by the rolling hills of Tuscany, the region’s mild climate and ample opportunities for entertainment make it a popular destination. World-famous vineyards and olive oil producers are minutes away, while the cities of Venice, Milan, and Rome are just hours away by train.
During your internship, you will live with other students and interns in an apartment.
Apartments are located throughout the historic city center of Florence (within the old gates) and within walking distance of 20 minutes or less to our headquarters at the university. Each apartment includes a fully equipped kitchen with a stove, a bathroom shared by no more than four students, a washing machine, a fan for the summer months, two full sets of linens for the bed, an iron and ironing board, and a set of cleaning materials. All utilities are included in the price of housing.
Single rooms are available by request at an extra cost on a first come, first served basis.
A Day in the Life
The Participant Experience
All of our internships are customized to each intern. Therefore, your specific roles and responsibilities will depend upon your skills and interests and the nature of your placement. Example internships include (but are not limited to):
- Interning at an opera house where you will sell tickets, usher for performances, assist with marketing and promotion, help translate the website and manage social media, and more. Interns with a strong background in voice may also have the opportunity to join performances.
- Helping manage a dance company in Florence, including managerial tasks, assisting with rehearsals and performances, participating in free dance classes and workshops (when available), and marketing for the dance company
- Working at a theatre to help promote shows, sell tickets, assist with load-ins for shows, manage a performance space calendar, help with social media, and more.
You will be picked up from the airport with other program participants by our Site Director, Alessandro and then taken to your apartment where you will spend some time unpacking, settling in to your housing, and getting to know other students and interns who you will be living with. Alessandro will then lead a short walking tour to help you get your bearings, followed by a Welcome Meal and orientation. The following morning, you will make your way to the campus of our partner university in Florence and meet our Program Director, Cristiana. At the welcome orientation you will learn Italian customs, receive a tour of the campus and nearby parts of the city, and gain basic information about your program. You will also be shown the easiest and most efficient path to your internship.
A Typical Day
Your internship will begin within the first few days of the program, and a PAA representative will accompany you to make introductions, review tasks and goals, and help you finalize a schedule with your placement supervisor. For the first three weeks of the program, you will take an Italian class at the university in conjunction with your internship. You can plan to intern around 20 hours per week, and most interns have ample time for exploring the city and traveling around Italy and other nearby European countries.
Spend anywhere from three weeks onward working with an arts organization in Florence. This is a customized arts administration internship abroad opportunity in dance, music, theatre, or film. We work with many arts organizations in Florence, and you will be placed based on your interests and background. When you apply, you will submit a cover letter that explains your goals for the program, including the arts area most interests you, and the kinds of tasks you hope to be doing. If you make it to the final stage of the application, we will conduct a Skype interview with you in which you will describe what you are willing and NOT willing to do during your internship. We will then use all of that information to make our acceptance decision and place you with the company that best fits your goals and interests.
During your internship, you will learn how an international arts organization functions and experience cultural collaboration that will help you grow as an artist. In some cases, you may get the opportunity to participate in classes, rehearsals or performances depending on your Italian language level, your skill level, and the needs of the company at the time of your program.
Your internship will be managed by Performing Arts Abroad in collaboration with a university in Florence. As a result, you will also enjoy the same benefits as students at the university, including access to the libraries, gym, and other amenities.
Founder and Executive Director
Reynolds graduated summa cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis in 2008 with a degree in Theater and African and African American Studies. For an honors thesis Reynolds filmed, edited, and produced a full-length documentary in Kenya with Haba na Haba, a group using performance for education and social change in the slums of Nairobi. This project earned him the Forum on Education Abroad Undergraduate Research Award. A year later, Reynolds organized a trip to bring Haba na Haba to the United States for a tour of St. Louis and Washington University. Immediately after graduation, Reynolds worked in Rwanda as a filmmaker for Millennium Congregations, an interfaith organization connecting communities of faith in the United States with development projects in Rwanda’s Bugesera District. Reynolds then served two years with Teach for America, teaching in the South Bronx and receiving a Masters Degree in Education from Hunter College. He completed a second graduate degree in African Studies from Indiana University in Bloomington, and his Masters thesis focused on the impact of donors on the creative process of Theatre for Development (TfD) groups in Kenya.
Reynolds has traveled extensively in Africa, spending time in Ghana, Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He also studied acting, voice, and movement at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. Reynolds is a two-time Rhodes Scholarship finalist, the inaugural recipient of the Dred and Harriet Scott Award for the Advancement of Human Rights, and the winner of two research fellowships. He was also a Dialogue Fellow for the Xenia Institute, has twice served as the co-director for the Roosevelt Institution’s International Diplomacy Center (Washington University branch), and was president of the Graduate Students of African Studies (GSAS) at Indiana University.
Reynolds lives in Northampton, MA with his wife Julia who is a professional costume designer and his daughter Lily who is a cute baby. In his free time Reynolds likes to play his guitar, go hiking, act in local productions, hit the karaoke bars, sing with his dog Captain (the best doggy singer in the universe), and play various yard games such as KanJam, cornhole, “cups”, and Kubb.
Joanna makes Performing Arts Abroad tick. She handles many behind-the-scene tasks such as processing applications, reviewing and approving participant tasks, collecting payments, and welcoming newly accepted applicants to the PAA family.
Ever since she was little, Joanna Wright has loved the creative arts. Whether organizing a backyard circus or putting on plays in the living room, she showed an early flair for the dramatic- and also the pragmatic, selling tickets and popcorn to neighbors, and even attempting (unsuccessfully) to charge her parents a penny to watch her plays. While in high school, she balanced AP classes with the responsibilities of being president of the juggling club, and her education at Swarthmore College as a Dance and Theatre Major prepared her both to perform in shows and to write about them. While at Swarthmore, she embarked on a semester-long study abroad program in Kolkata, India, where she studied Kathak (North Indian classical dance), pantomime and Bengali. Joanna continued her international education after college, earning an MFA in Lecoq-based Actor-created Theatre at the London International School of Performing Arts in collaboration with Naropa University. After leaving London, Joanna moved to Austin, Texas and rekindled her love for the circus arts at the Sky Candy Aerial and Circus Studio. Pragmatic as ever, in addition to performing and teaching circus skills such as Aerial Silks, Trapeze, Juggling and Clowning, she was hired as Sky Candy’s Marketing Director, and happily held that position for eight years. Now living in Easthampton, Joanna focuses her creative energy on teaching at SHOW Circus Studio and knitting extremely elaborate scarves. As Administrative Assistant at Performing Arts Abroad, she is thrilled and honored to help young artists find the same joy and inspiration as she did from her international studies.
Florence Site Director, Film Programs
Alessandro supports all participants on our Florence programs, acting as the main point of contact throughout their stay in Italy. He coordinates airport pickup, arranges housing, leads cultural excursions, and manages the 24-hour onsite emergency phone.
Born in Maryland, USA, raised in Rome with Italian and Guatemalan parents and having traveled extensively through Europe, Central America, North America and China, Alessandro considers himself a citizen of the world. During his travels, he acquired a passion for the environment, its preservation, cultures and languages. This passion led him to obtain a BA in Geography with a minor in Chinese Studies from Humboldt State University in California. In 2010 he spent a semester studying abroad at the University of Shanghai in China and this outstanding experience turned him into an even stronger proponent of study abroad programs, no matter where. After graduation, his passion for the outdoors and the environment led him to successfully complete the National Park Service Ranger Academy as well as the National Outdoor Leadership School Wilderness First Responder certification. Wanting to get back into the international education world, he moved to Florence at the beginning of 2013 and has coordinated several study abroad programs in Florence and throughout Italy. Some of his hobbies are learning new languages (he speaks English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French along with some German and Mandarin), cooking, traveling, sharing what he knows of this wonderful part of the world, and learning from other cultures.
Florence Program Director, FUA
Cristiana coordinates all programming in collaboration with the Florence University of the Arts, including our semester and summer study programs and internships in Florence. She finalizes course schedules, coordinates university orientation events, provides academic advising, facilitates internship placements, and acts as a liaison between PAA and FUA’s academic departments of music and dance.
Cristiana graduated from the Università degli Studi di Firenze in 2008 with a Masters degree in Foreign Languages: English and Japanese. Her passion for international education and study abroad started at a young age with several summer study abroad experiences in the UK. At the end of her first year of university she decided to spend the three-month break in Boston, MA where she was able to enhance her understanding of the US culture and further improve her English. The following year she spent a semester in Paris, France, taking courses at the “Denis Diderot-Paris VII” through the ERASMUS project. Cristiana began working at Florence University of the Arts in 2007. Having gained experience in various departments of the university, since 2010 Cristiana is the Dean of Student Affairs. At the same time she also coordinates the various internship and experiential learning project opportunities at the school. A local Florentine, Cristiana has a wealth of knowledge to share with students about her hometown. She loves nothing more than spending her free time in the traditional artisan quarters of the city and encourages students to explore the lesser known areas of Florence.
“Florence was a beautiful experience where I learned a lot about the Italian culture and people. Even though I did not take a language course while there, I realized that studying the language was a good technique in order to engage with the people I met and respect the culture.”
My internship with St. Mark’s Opera in Florence, Italy was incredibly educational and beneficial to my development as a performer and aspiring professional in the opera world. Living in Florence was perfect for developing an understanding of the history and importance of art, the Renaissance, and both the benefits and downsides of placing so much importance on this development. Living in an Italian city was also very beneficial for learning the language and getting to know a different culture.
“Interning abroad as a graduate student was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. Being in Florence, immersed in culture and art all around me was absolutely wonderful. From my work in the marketing department at the Theatre, to the phenomenal food, and amazing people I got to enjoy, I felt so grateful for every moment I spent in Italy. Performing Arts Abroad was truly the perfect link to making my dreams I couldn’t even fathom come true. It is so rare to find a program specifically dedicated to creating opportunities abroad for those interested in the arts and I am just so glad that I am one, of what I hope to be so many, to benefit from it.”
From the blog
My name is Marina Stagnaro, from Argentina, and I am now a PAA Alumni. I completed 12-week Dance Administration program in Florence Italy, 2 months ago. When I traveled, I knew I wanted to learn as much as possible about…
Christina Ebersohl is a Music Performance major (viola) at Portland State University. She just completed Performing Arts Abroad’s Summer Study Abroad semester in Italy. I’m not exactly a discrete study abroad student in Italy. I mean, I don’t exactly have…
Summer 2020 (Note that the minimum duration is six weeks, and many placements close at the beginning of August, especially in theatre)
|Session||Application Deadline||Start Date||Maximum Duration|
|Session 1||Feb 09 2020||May 17 2020||12 weeks|
|Session 2||Mar 02 2020||Jun 07 2020||12 weeks|
|Session 3||Mar 23 2020||Jun 28 2020||9 weeks|
|Session 4 (limited availability)||Apr 12 2020||Jul 19 2020||6 weeks|
Important Summer 2020 (Note that the minimum duration is six weeks, and many placements close at the beginning of August, especially in theatre) Dates
Apply today — How the process works
Submit a simple online application
Schedule a live video interview with a Program Coordinator
Upload program specific materials to an online portal
Receive your aceptance decision and begin your journey!
How the Process Works
To apply, click the “Apply Now” button below. You will fill out a simple initial application online and pay a deposit that is refundable if you are not accepted, and will be applied toward your overall program cost if you are accepted (not an additional fee). At this point, we will ask you to send us the following materials:
- Your resume/CV
- A cover letter
- Your availability in U.S. Eastern Time for a 30 minute video interview with your Program Coordinator. During this interview, you will schedule a Skype interview with our Internship Placement Coordinator in Florence. You will receive an acceptance decision within two weeks of finishing the application process.
- Be very clear in your interviews about your goals for the internship. We work hard to customize placements to your needs, and to do this well, we need a clear picture of who you are and what you want out of your experience (and don’t want!).
- Use the cover letter template we will send you to help organize your thoughts for the cover letter. Remember that we will be sending these to companies for consideration to take you on as an intern, so put your best foot forward!
- The Skype interviews are our first face-to-face impression of you. Show up on time, dress well, and be personable.
You must be 18 or over the day you begin the program.
GPA / Student Status
There is no GPA requirement for this program, students and non-students are welcome to apply.
There is no language requirement for this internship, although knowledge of Italian will widen the range of placement possibilities. Note that 3 weeks of Italian language courses are included in the cost of the program.
Preference is given to candidates with at least one year of experience in your chosen discipline.
We are looking for open-minded, flexible applicants who can clearly convey their passion for the performing arts and an acute interest in international travel and exposure to new ideas.