Photo of Addison Cole - Emerging Scenic Designer. 2018, 2019 Scenic Design internship.

Hello and thanks for stopping by!

My name is Addison Cole. Between now and 2020 I’ll be double-majoring in Theatre and Media Arts & Design at James Madison University, preparing to enter the production side of the entertainment industry. I am actively scenic design internships for the summers of 2018 and 2019, and welcome the opportunity to discuss how I can benefit your company while I learn more about this exciting industry.

I’m studying technical theatre under Director of Technical Production John Burgess and Scenic Director Richard Finkelstein, dramatic theatre under director and playwright Ingrid DeSanctis, and Digital Video and Cinema in the JMU School of Media Arts & Design (SMAD) – and building my plan for what comes next.

What are my immediate and post-JMU scenic design goals and why should you care?

My professional goal is to be part of a team that creates sets for film, stage or theme parks, or to leverage my onstage experience to bridge the gap between cast and production.

My experience extends from onstage as an actress to backstage as a scenic painter and occasional makeup artist. Most recently, I was Charge Artist for JMU’s production of Bridge to Tarabithia, as well as ensemble cast and understudy for May Belle. Summer 2017 between Freshman and Sophomore years saw me as both Scenic Charge for the Blake High School Summer Musical Theatre Institute shows FOOTLOOSE! and Beauty and the Breast Jr. (with an added bonus of getting to call followspot cues …read on), and Intern at the Washington, D.C.-area Olney Theatre Center, assisting with My Fair Lady set construction. Our JMU Scenic Director hired me during Freshman year as a scenic painter for Guys and Dolls after he saw my first Advanced Scenic Painting assignment, which led to the opportunity to charge Bridge to Tarabithia.

The Disney organization has always represented the pinnacle of entertainment production value to me, from Walt Disney World to the Disney Dream cruise ship; from Newsies at the Nederlander on Broadway to television and too many Disney and Pixar movies to count. Part of their mission is to develop the most creative, innovative entertainment experiences in the world. My mission is to be part of a creative team that leaves amazed audiences saying, “WOW!”

Through study and internships over the next three years, I plan to learn more about, and become known by, Disney and like-minded entertainment organizations driven to immerse their customers, for even a little while, in a whole new world.

Ancient History

Performing in front of a crowd worked its way into my bloodstream when I started gymnastics at about six. Years later, as sixth-grader and competing gymnast, I asked Mom and Dad if I could audition for Beauty and the Beast Jr. at school. They agreed, uneasy as to what potential rejection would do to their little girl. Potential became reality when I wasn’t cast. Asking what I would do, they were happily surprised when I announced that I was going to volunteer for tech, where a followspot became mine. By the end of my seventh-grade year and a successful run as a Who in Seussical Jr., I clearly heard the stage, backstage and gym all calling my name.

What a blessing that our local high school was the visual and performing arts magnet! Four years under Director Michel D. D’Anna pushed me from ensemble roles in Legally Blonde, the Musical and Pippin, to Patsy in Crazy for You and Hope in Anything Goes!, to earning Elle in our Legally Blonde reprise, Janet van de Graff in The Drowsy Chaperone, Ophelia in Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Hermia in the Bard’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. You’ll find a few clips and production stills in my acting portfolio. But that’s just the onstage part of my story…

I started assisting with makeup on our first production of Blonde in 2012 when one of the girls in the cast asked me to help out. I’ve included some of my favorite makeup work in my makeup portfolio. That led to more makeup work and putting paint on bigger things like set pieces as part of the scenic paint crew. By the time we put on Anything Goes! for our 2014 Summer Musical Theatre Institute I was Makeup Head, while also learning scenic painting under Technical Director John E. Ovington, while also rehearsing for Hope Harcourt, while also a competing gymnast.

By the summer of 2015, when we reprised Legally Blonde, the Musical because the Grease people pulled back our license, I was not only Elle Woods at Harvard Law, but Head of Scenic Paint at Blake High. Look through my scenic paint portfolio for the work I did for The Drowsy Chaperone in November of 2015, while simultaneously rehearsing for lead character Janet.

Thanks for your interest and time reading this! Be on the lookout for great JMU shows if you’re within driving distance of Harrisonburg, VA. You can reach me through my contact page if you need more information.

Now, On with the Show and GO DUKES!

Addison