CCA student explores her interests with theater internship

Joselyn Terry has always loved performing – and her internship with Ephrata Performing Arts Center allows her to explore the world behind the curtain.

Wake up at 8 a.m. Study and complete lessons until 1:30 p.m. Practice piano. Memorize monologues. Practice songs for vocal competitions. Dance class. Voice lessons. And, finally, attend night rehearsal for a role in "Oliver!"

Sound exhausting? This is just a day in the life of Commonwealth Charter Academy 10th-grader Joselyn Terry.

Joselyn, who is from Dauphin County and has been with CCA for four years, said her family decided to enroll her because the flexible schedule allowed her to pursue her passions: music, acting, singing and dancing.

Opting not to do brick-and-mortar school hasn’t held Joselyn back from opportunities — instead, it has opened many doors for her. After starting out performing at the Harrisburg Christian Performing Arts Center, Joselyn branched out to Hershey Area Playhouse. Two years ago, she landed the starring role of Ariel in "The Little Mermaid." She went on to perform in "Carrie" and "Aladdin," and most recently played the role of Bet in "Oliver!"

Joselyn’s day revolves around time to develop her skills, but she also takes advantage of CCA’s conservatory events. She has enjoyed the Arts and Humanities events that gave her hands-on experience, whether it was filling out a mock job application or making her own website. “These conservatory events help you plan for the future and teach you more about the real world, whatever career you’re going into,” she said.

CCA’s conservatory program even helped Joselyn land an internship that’s right up her alley. She was part of the production team for the junior show ("The Lion King") at the Ephrata Performing Arts Center in Lancaster County. As an intern, she helped with casting decisions, taught music and choreography, assisted during rehearsals and got an inside look at the work that goes into directing, choreographing and stage managing.

Beyond working with the cast and crew, Joselyn enjoyed the opportunity to interact with the audience in a different way. During intermissions, she kept the kids in the audience engaged by playing "Lion King" trivia with them.

"If I were to sum up my internship in just a few words, I would say I was everyone's right-hand man," Joselyn said. "I was shocked to find that helping another actor have a breakthrough makes you just as proud as having a breakthrough of your own. I also learned that stage managing and/or directing is something I would like to further explore on my own after the conservatory ends."

It’s no surprise that Joselyn’s future plans center around the stage. She hopes to attend a musical theater program once she’s ready for college, and she is applying to a New York University theater camp for this summer.


High School Learner