Supporting the Stage

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For theater and political science double major Paul Brandt ’16, career clarity came in song and dance.

“As an intern at the Orpheum, I saw that a career in the arts without being a performer—and the uncertainty that goes with that—was possible,” he says, noting that he grew up performing in community theater and had played roles in musical theater productions in high school and at Rhodes’ McCoy Theatre.

Brandt has now interned at the Orpheum three
semesters and spent a fourth semester interning for
Opera Memphis.

As part of his work at the Orpheum, he helps with productions for elementary-aged children in public schools. Through these activities he has seen the cognitive effects of music on children that he learned about in a Psychology of Music class at Rhodes and “the power of music and theater to brighten people’s lives.”

Brandt recalls Lindsay Krosnes, director of education at the Orpheum, often telling stories about how the mouths of elementary students who have never been to a theater drop open when they walk in.

“She is always making sure that I’m learning and that I have goals, and that I am aware that what I am doing has an impact,” Brandt says.

As of this spring, Brandt was applying to theater fellowships in Chicago and Washington, DC, to continue to pursue arts administration and education—a career path with roots that will forever lie in an ornate theater a few miles from his alma mater.