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Student Lands Internship with 'Hamilton' Performance at Shea's

Student Lands Internship with 'Hamilton' Performance at Shea's

Posted: December 21, 2018

Although Gabriella McKinley is only a sophomore at Buffalo State, she already has made in-roads toward her goal of operating her own theater company by landing a brief internship this fall. In the process, she got to rub elbows with the cast of one of the hottest musicals ever.

McKinley was chosen as the sole intern for Hamilton during a portion of the traveling show’s three-week performance at Shea’s Performing Arts Center. McKinley is still reeling from the excitement of working the back end of the show that wrapped up its Buffalo engagement on December 9.

Hamilton is one of my favorite shows,” said the theater major who grew up in Staten Island, New York. Two years ago, she saw Hamilton on Broadway for the first time, never dreaming she’d have the chance to work behind the scenes of the phenomenally popular musical.

“When I was working on the Buffalo State show the Color Purple, the director, Jennifer Toohey, sent me the application for the internship because she knew about my career aspirations,” she said.

For the eight days she worked with the show, McKinley shadowed the company manager, who handles the travel and organizes schedules for the crew and the musicians, among other things.

“I learned how they communicate with the actors and how they plan for travel to each city,” said McKinley. “I even got to do some of the travel planning.”

She also got a turn working the front of the house—managing payroll, selling tickets, and working the will-call booth.

“This is something I definitely want to explore more,” she said. “Shea’s said I could come back whenever I want, and I plan to take advantage of that.”

Her favorite part of the internship was meeting all the people who compose the show.

“They were so willing to answer my questions and welcome me into their little family,” she said. “I loved meeting the actors I have admired from a distance. It was such a great experience. I am very grateful.” 

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