Our Professional Leadership Programs offer opportunities for students, graduates, and early-career professionals to experience the inner-workings of a professional theatre from every angle. Each of these programs includes a uniquely hands-on experience coupled with mentorship and professional development.

Important Dates

Right now, we are still figuring out if/how we can hold virtual internships for Summer 2021. Early in January 2021, we will update this page as to whether or not we will accept applications for Summer 2021 and for which departments. Please check back then.

Apprenticeships & Fellowships
As of now, we have Apprentices & Fellows deferred from our 2020-21 season to our 2021-22 season. Should any Apprentice & Fellows positions become available for the 2021-22 season, we will update this page early in January 2021 as to whether we will accept applications and for which departments.

The Internship is perfect for early-career professionals looking for an introduction to arts administration and production. This program provides direct connections to Steppenwolf staff and an opportunity to get hands on experience within the theatre industry. 

The Apprenticeship is a paid training program for early-career arts administrators or theatre production practitioners. Apprentices receive immersive practical learning experiences and opportunities to attend professional development seminars all while working as a part of a team with Steppenwolf's staff.

The Fellowship is a leadership development program for early-career people of color. Fellows will hold an apprenticeship in their department of interest while being given additional paid professional development opportunities both in and out of Steppenwolf Theatre. Through hands-on experience, externship opportunities, mentorship and career-guidance, Fellows are given the tools to become leaders in the field.

What to Expect

  • Formalized and comprehensive training in arts administration or production
  • Focus on professional development and networking
  • Connections to peers, mentors, and industry professionals
  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion training
  • Independent and collective learning projects
  • Hands-on experience for future career opportunities
  • Free tickets to Steppenwolf programming
  • Ability to witness firsthand how a world-class theatre operates

Find Out More

Find out more about the Professional Leadership Program (PLP) by visiting the ApprenticeshipInternship, or Fellowship pages. Additional questions may be addressed on our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.


Are you one of over 500 alumni from our internship, apprenticeship and fellowship programs? Then we want to hear from you! Fill out this survey to provide us with updates on your life and to opt into a variety of alumni resources. 


American Express, the Joyce Foundation and the Illinois Arts Council are sponsors of the Professional Leadership Program