With a passion for helping others through the entertainment medium, senior Melina Chow reconnects with her theatre background this past summer at Greenway Court Theatre, a non-profit theatre, as a producing intern under the organization, Greenway Arts Alliance.
Growing up in Monterey Park, Melina studied theatre both onstage and behind the scenes in high school. She fell in love with technical theatre, from building the sets, operating the light board, calling cues as stage manager, to seeing and hearing the reactions of the audience. She enjoyed doing something that was bigger than herself by bringing stories to life and making an impact on people through the messages told onstage, whether it is to inspire, get through the good and bad times, or escape reality.
Fast forward to college, Melina continued to immerse herself in the production world by volunteering at Titan TV, a program TV station under Titan Communications that broadcasts CSUF original programs, including In Focus, The Report, and OC News, among others, crewed by CSUF students and is now currently the Broadcast and Captioning QC Specialist at Titan Communications.
This past summer, Melina was one of 203 selected to be part of Los Angeles County Department of Arts & Culture (LACDAC) interns, Class of 2019. Her host organization she interned for was Greenway Arts Alliance (GAA), which consists of three programs: Greenway Court Theatre (GCT), Greenway Institute for the Arts (GIA), and Melrose Trading Post (MTP). Melina was able to put the skills she learned in her business classes and previous internships, such as marketing, research, and grant writing skills, into action. As the GCT producing intern, she enjoyed working in the pre-production stage, doing tasks such as taking production meeting notes, creating marketing plans for the 19/20 production season, doing community outreach research, assisting in casting auditions, and drafting production contracts and agreements, among others.
Her favorite part about her internship was her contribution to presenting stories that need to be told. Greenway Court Theatre's mission statement "...seeks a genuine, deep engagement with its community by producing and presenting theatre, spoken word, media arts and dance performances that represent and reflect the unheard voices and rich diversity of Los Angeles." This resonated with Melina from the very beginning, as she believes there are so many stories out there that need to be voiced and heard yet there is no platform or space for it to be showcased. The theatre's mission also aligned with Melina's purpose of helping others through the entertainment medium, creating the perfect match. She was so happy and fortunate to be working on two productions, The Chinese Lady and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Both plays focus on presenting underrepresented stories and allowing more inclusivity in the LA and theatre community, onstage. This was the best part for Melina, allowing her to be a part of something bigger than herself.
A moment that stood out and resonated with Melina the most during her internship was the day she sat in the theatre, filled with ALL female key members in producing The Chinese Lady. GCT was holding The Chinese Lady auditions in the theatre when the key women in charge of creating the production discussed what it must be like for the actors to come, audition, and enter a room full of females. It was when Melina was leaving work that day when she realized how much that moment meant to her. It was such a rare moment to be in a room with just females, depicting the entertainment industry is changing slowly but surely, allowing more females to move up and hold higher positions within the industry. Melina is a strong advocate for female empowerment and this moment inspired her to keep going and reach her dreams of seeing gender equality in the workplace.
Learning how to produce and the logistics that goes behind creating a theatre production while supporting the arts and unheard voices and stories, Melina is incredibly grateful to GCT for all the wonderful memories and all the people she met and worked with. It was a summer experience she will never forget.