The Observership program of Theatre Pro Rata was established to offer emerging, early-career directors the opportunity to observe directors develop new works, delve into the classics, and tackle edgy contemporary pieces. Theatre Pro Rata Observers have access to the entire rehearsal process, from first rehearsal to opening night.

The exact nature of each Observership varies depending on the needs of the production. It must be remembered that these are Observerships, not assistantships. However, you will be guaranteed the opportunity to observe, first-hand, the techniques, disciplines, and approaches of the director. Anything more is up to you, the director and the circumstances of the rehearsal.

The Observership is an unpaid position.

Application Deadline:
Each production has one Observership position, contact us for details on availability.

To apply, please send a letter of interest, resume and 3 references to Julia Carlis at


I really appreciated how I was immediately welcomed and spoken to with the same formalities as other company members rather than ignored or disrespected as a young artist. I was so happy to be able to observe Carin, not only as a director, but the Artistic Director for Theatre Pro Rata, and witness what it means to take on that larger role and also have to prepare for other shows and responsibilities while in the midst of this one. This was a wonderful ‘first-time’ professional theatre experience for me personally. It was also very interesting to be able to see how to work with a site-specific show such as Emilie, as I got to see the quick adjustments made as we entered the space, and how important it is to introduce elements of a production piece by piece in order to not overwhelm the actors or crew members.

-Amy Abrigo, Emilie Directing Observer

I started my relationship with Theatre Pro Rata as an audience member, and it quickly became my favorite company in town. When the chance came up for me to observe their production of Neighborhood 3, I was ecstatic. Being a highschool-age student with experience in only highschool theatre and the Fringe Festival, I came into the Observership wholly in the dark of how a quote-unquote “real” production is formed. Everyone, from the designers to the actors, was incredibly friendly to me and had no problem letting me into their space. This experience was incredibly fulfilling and I am endlessly thankful to Pro Rata for giving me the opportunity. The project has synthesized my thoughts and feelings on theatre in a way I have been craving for a long time. So thank you.

-Cole Peterson, Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom Directing Observer

My directing observership at Theater Pro Rata was my first professional experience as a director outside of college, it gave me the foundation and base for my career that I needed as a young director. The observership allowed me to completely observe how a director works in a professional company. From observing the complete process from concept to opening night I was able to learn the balance of how to collaborate effectively with the whole team as well as communicating the concept/vision, how to utilize a non-traditional space, as 44 Presidents for 44 Plays, was in a church basement, not a theater, and how to work with the actors as well as the designers. I would recommend Theater Pro Rata’s observership to any young director fresh out of college, as it’s essential for any director starting out to observe a great professional director in action before delving into their own directing careers.

-Meggie Greivell, 44 Plays for 44 Presidents Directing Observer

Theatre Pro Rata’s directing observership was a great way to get a front-row seat on what it takes to be professional director/producer outside the educational realm. Many of the solutions to time, space, and monetary concerns — concerns most college productions just don’t have — were resourceful, creative, and solutions I would never have thought of. Overall, it was a great experience that I’d highly recommend to any director just starting out.

-Michael Mellas, The Life of Galileo Observer