By Emily Poltor (Theater – Ohio Wesleyan ’17)
An important part of my journey in my major has been taking what I’ve learned in the classroom and spending some time away and putting it into practice. Learning about Montreal theatre through my internship at MainLine Theatre has been a unique experience that I get to bring back to my colleagues in Ohio.
Located on the busy street of St. Laurent, MainLine Theatre is an affordable theatre for companies to rent and rehearse in. As a result of this, I have seen all different types of theatre — anywhere from improv to musicals to one person shows — pass through MainLine’s two theaters. Down the street from the theatre is MainLine’s gallery space where art shows came and went throughout my time.
MainLine is a small but powerful team that I have been honored to join and learn from this past fall. Through the busy times and the slow times, there was always something to do and something new to learn. Within my ﬁrst few days at MainLine I was sitting in on production meetings for this past October’s production of The Rocky Horror Show — a dearly loved annual show at MainLine. Whether it was ﬁnding props, helping out during costume ﬁttings, or assisting in building the set, I was always involved as much as possible.
Another major part of my internship has been learning about the Festival St-Ambroise Fringe de Montréal. Prior to meeting the MainLine team, I had never heard of the Fringe movement or seen any of the amazing shows that come to the festival. I got to dive head ﬁrst into the Fringe this November when MainLine had the Fringe lottery — each company entered into the lottery has their name put into a hat and the Fringe lineup and chosen by the draw of chance. The week following was the Fringe World Congress where delegates from Fringes all around the world came to Montreal to learn from each other. I got to see the passionate faces behind the Fringe movement and hear from them ﬁrst hand why they do the Fringe. It was an amazing experience I will not soon forget.
Until coming to Montreal, I had never seen the business side of theatre. Working in the ofﬁce, I got to hear about how the spaces are rented and what to do after the contract has been signed. I learned how to update the website with new show information and how to post the tickets for those shoes for sale. A lot of my time was spent processing online ticket orders and doing over the phone transactions. My conﬁdence in myself has grown tremendously knowing there is another side of theatre that I enjoy so much. While leaving MainLine is so incredibly sad, I have grown so much as an artist and professional and I’m ready to take back all of what I have learned about Indy theatre and the Fringe back to Ohio. I will graduate this May with so many more ideas about what will happen in the next chapter of my life thanks to MainLine.