As of last week and continuing on until August, I am one of The Theatre @ Boston Court’s summer interns (“the short intern”). So far everything about the theatre has been fantastic, from the high-powered air conditioning to the chummy wonderful people who work here. After eight days in the office, I’ve learned a lot—including that I have a lot left to learn. About the business of running a theatre, successful marketing, nonprofit fundraising…but also, quite importantly, the inside jokes of the office. I had known, when I applied to work at a theatre, that it wouldn’t be as buttoned-up and stiff as most work environments. Jeans are totally acceptable, t-shirts are de rigeur, and I’m in heaven. But informality is one thing. The zealous closeness of the employees here was beyond what I had imagined possible in any office.
It all started a week ago, at the staff meeting. I’ve been to staff meetings before. You’d think that would be the only prerequisite needed to sit in on a Boston Court meeting for the first time.
Unlike other staff meetings I’ve been to, where employees must be bribed into attendance with coffee and thereafter guzzle it black while playing BrickBreaker on their phones, the staff of this jolly fantastic place raise their meetings to the status of an informational sitcom, weaving in an unstoppable string of inside jokes, anecdotes and not-exactly-whispered asides while still solidly delivering their business updates. Everyone is on their toes, fully present and part of the action, invested not only in keeping the theatre running smoothly, but also keeping everyone amused. Often, a few words would be all that were necessary to start the whole room laughing; sometimes an entire fight song was in order. Occasionally hands were raised, always accompanied by exaggeratedly shocked facial expressions. “Raise your hand if you ever get uncomfortable,” someone explained. “It may not stop anyone, but it’ll be duly noted.” I assured the group that I am a seasoned college student and at this point virtually unoffendable. They all laughed heartily and I didn’t think they really believed me.
To be honest, I didn’t always understand what was going on, but that was entirely beside the point, as far as I was concerned. The sum of the jokes and quips thrown back and forth was more than enough evidence that I would be having a really excellent summer. We’ll see how long it takes to get my hand in the air.