High School Mentorship Program

The CATCO mentorship program allows selected high school students to observe and participate in the creation of a theatrical production by a professional theatre company. Each student works under the mentorship of a single member of the CATCO professional staff, but will interact with other staff as well as with guest artists.

Time Commitment

Mentorships involve a minimum of 50 hours and are usually 2-3 months in duration. Mentees are expected to spend at least 4 hours per week at the theatre (school vacations being a possible exception). No mentoring sessions will be scheduled that are less than 2 hours in length. Because performances, rehearsals and production meetings often occur in the evenings and on weekends, CATCO may not be able to accommodate students who are unable to participate at those times. Applicants must provide a detailed schedule of their availability for the full mentorship period when they apply.


Admission to the program is based on recommendations (especially from the student’s theatre teacher), theatrical resume, academic standing and class standing. Mentees must demonstrate that they are highly motivated to continue their study of theatre in the future; students with very little theatrical experience are discouraged from applying. Preference is given to juniors and seniors.

Participation in the CATCO mentorship program is usually done in coordination with a school’s mentorship or internship program. CATCO will do its best to accommodate school requirements.


Theatre is a highly disciplined profession that places more value on teamwork, preparation, punctuality and personal responsibility than on “talent.” Mentees are expected to behave in a mature and professional manner, focusing their energies on the task at hand and working cooperatively with others. Repeated absence or tardiness will result in the termination of the mentorship. Mentees are representatives of their schools and their performance will affect the applications of future mentees from their school.


1. Mentees must provide their own transportation (CATCO does not provide parking reimbursement)

2. Mentees must be punctual and attend scheduled mentorship sessions (which will be worked out in consultation with the CATCO staff mentor)

3. Mentees may dress casually, but sensible, closed-toe shoes are required. Dress requirements are more strict when the student is working with scenery or lighting equipment, or when he/she interacts with the public.

4. Parental consent forms are required for mentees spending time in the Costume Studio or Scene Shop.

5. All mentorship students must keep a log of their time at CATCO. At the end of the mentorship experience students are expected to write a one-page summary of their learning experience at CATCO.

Failure to meet requirements will result in the termination of the mentorship.
Learning Activities

CATCO makes every effort to pair the student with a staff member in his/her area of interest. However, mentorships are meant to provide a broad exposure to the production process. Mentees observe acting and technical rehearsals, production meetings, design meetings, costume parades, and performances. They do everything from making coffee, copying scripts and distributing posters to building costumes, hanging lights and prompting actors. (Mentees do not perform.) Specific activities will vary depending on the student’s interests and schedule as well as on the CATCO schedule. All participants will write a press release about themselves, observe a performance (a complimentary ticket will be provided), conduct short interviews with each staff member and complete a one page paper summarizing their mentorship experience. Mentorships are non-paid learning opportunities.

Completion of Mentorship

Those who complete the program may request a letter of reference from their CATCO staff mentor.

Availability of Mentorships and the Application Process

Mentorships are only available at times in our season when we can effectively host the student. If you are interested, please contact  us to see if there is a mentorship opportunity available during your desired time frame.

If a mentorship is available, you will be asked to complete an application and interview with our staff.

If you are interested, please contact:

Andrew Protopapas
Artist Educator
77 S. High St., 2nd Floor
Columbus, OH 43215

Interested students are urged to contact us at least six weeks before their desired starting date.