For 17 days and nights each spring, Spoleto Festival USA fills Charleston, South Carolina’s historic theaters, churches and outdoor spaces with over 150 performances by renowned artists as well as emerging performers in disciplines ranging from opera, theater, music theater, dance, and chamber, symphonic, choral, and jazz music, as well as the visual arts. Called “one of the best arts festivals in this country” by The Washington Post, Spoleto has presented over 100 world premieres and almost as many American premieres since its inception in 1977.

The Apprentice Program is a short-term intensive and exciting opportunity to learn about the world of the performing arts and acquire hands-on experience under the guidance of professional arts administrators and technicians in producing an international arts festival. Apprentices work a minimum of 40 hours a week; long workdays and nights as well as weekends are typical. Housing, a small travel allowance, and a living stipend are provided.


Artist Services

Assist with arrangements for artist housing, travel and hospitality. Responsibilities include preparing artist welcome packets, administration of backstage hospitality, local transportation of artists and administrative tasks such as data entry and correspondence. Candidates should have excellent organizational and time management skills and the ability to work well with a variety of people and work long hours. A professional demeanor is a must. Two positions are available for the festival period only (mid-May through the end of the festival); one position is available during the year (part time from February to May and full time from May through mid-June).

Box Office

As representatives of the festival, you will interact directly with the public, artist services, development, production, and media staff. Handle ticket sales in the box office, over the phone, and at performance sites; maintain effective communication with on-site house management; be an expert reference for ticket buyers on program and venue information, reconcile daily ticket sales, and learn Tessitura Ticketing. Position requires articulate, detail-oriented individuals with initiative, customer service skills, database experience, and the ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment. Previous experience in phone sales, retail, or hotel environment is a plus.


Assist with logistics of over 30 special events ranging from a black-tie gala to outdoor tea parties. Involves extensive phone work, managing invitation mailings, RSVPs, hand-addressing hundreds of invitations, and assisting with many last-minute details. Position requires excellent communication and basic computer skills, to include Excel, and light physical labor.


Assist with all areas of accounting including payroll (including tax and compliance), cash receipts (including contributions and ticket sales), accounts payable, purchase orders, petty cash, bank reconciliations and other accounting and administrative functions of a full-charge accounting office. Duties include data entry into accounting systems, handling petty cash, verifying employment documentation, issuing and reconciling purchase orders, filing and financial data-compilation projects as needed. A deep working knowledge of Excel, prior experience with accounting databases and two semesters of Accounting are preferred. Candidates should be detail-oriented and capable of working with sensitive information.

Media Relations

Staff the Festival press office and assist working journalists to obtain interviews, photos, and story information for print, online, radio, and television coverage of the Festival. Apprentices will manage photo opportunities, create media kits/press packets, maintain press clippings and photo files, collaborate with fellow apprentices to produce creative content for social media, and assist with day to day operations of press room. Requires strong organizational, interpersonal, and computer skills. Public relations, journalism, social media, videography, and/or photography experience or coursework is helpful. Must provide a writing sample with application.

Orchestra Personnel Management

Assist orchestra personnel managers and librarian with administration of orchestra, including taking attendance; tracking timings/breaks of all orchestra musicians’ services; preparing and distributing orchestral parts; helping to maintain and communicate rehearsal and performance schedule; assisting conductors, production staff and musicians, as needed; and other related duties. Candidate must be able to work under tight deadlines and prioritize. Familiarity with musical instruments and equipment required, as well as a willingness to work with the artistic requirements of musicians and performing artists.

Orchestra Operations

Assist with all phases of orchestra operations, including set-up and stage management for concerts, rehearsals and special events. Responsible for frequently moving, tracking, and caring for instruments, chairs, stands, and all related orchestra equipment. Some heavy lifting required and ability to drive a cargo van is a plus. Candidates must have a willingness to work hard, a flexible/positive attitude, familiarity with musical instruments/equipment, and a sensitivity to the artistic requirements of musicians and performing artists. This crew works under the umbrella of the Production Department and reports to the Director of Production.


Work with professional theater staff in one of the following areas: stage carpentry, stage electrics, wardrobe, wigs/make-up, properties, sound, orchestra operations, stage management, or production administration. Candidates must have a willingness to work hard, a flexible/positive attitude and a desire to pursue a career in technical theatre. Related experience in technical theater required.


Check back in late-2015 for information about 2016 Apprentice applications.