Orlando Shakes, Mills Family Announce New Paid Apprenticeship Program For High School Students

The W. Daniel Mills Apprentice Program will launch with The Young Company, the professional training program at Central Florida’s largest professional theater company.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Thanks to the generosity of Rosy and Harold Mills, Orlando Shakes has announced the W. Daniel Mills Apprentice Program will begin year-long professional training for High School students, creating opportunities to participate and perform in The Young Company (TYC) this upcoming summer and receive continuing training from Orlando Shakes’ professional artists.

The W. Daniel Mills Apprentice Program will provide tuition free scholarships and a stipend for students with exceptional promise to participate in The Young Company on an Acting or Technical Theater concentration during the summer.

During the school year, Apprentices will continue their professional instruction by participating in monthly master classes with Orlando Shakes’ theater artists and visiting guest artists. Class disciplines include college audition prep, stage makeup, Shakespeare, scenery, lighting, and sound. Students will also participate as actors, understudies, production assistants, teaching assistants, front of house team members, and spotlight operators at Orlando Shakes as a part of the program. Apprentices will learn from working professionals as they map their own career paths.

“The opportunities this donation gives to high school students offers unique access to professional practice and mentorship that breaks down barriers for students who may not have been able to afford tuition or even transportation to attend in the past,” said Anne Hering, director of education for Orlando Shakes. “The Young Company’s mission at Orlando Shakes has always been to help bridge the gap between high school and college for those hoping to gain careers in theater. Thanks to Rosy and Harold Mills, we will be able to provide exceptional theater training to even more students.”

W. Daniel Mills

The W. Daniel Mills Program was founded by Harold and Rosy Mills in memory of their son Daniel, who tragically passed away in 2020. Since then, the Mills family has been committed to assisting and serving young artists throughout Central Florida by providing opportunities they might otherwise not receive.

“We are proud to partner with Orlando Shakes in providing these apprentice experiences to the young students of our community looking for a place to express themselves, thrive, and discover what it means to work in a professional theater setting,” the Mills family said. “Daniel was passionate about theater being the place where everyone has the opportunity to be their authentic self – a place where they can call home. We were thrilled to launch the Apprentice program at The Garden Theatre last year, and now we are very pleased to impact even more young adults with another apprenticeship program at Orlando Shakes.”

W. Daniel Mills Apprentices at Orlando Shakes will have the opportunity to make meaningful, professional connections within the industry, interact personally with nationally renowned artists, and become important contributors to the Orlando Shakes community.

Founded in 1991, The Young Company (TYC) was conceived as a primary educational branch of Orlando Shakes. Servicing local high school youth of economically diverse communities who are predisposed toward the performing arts, TYC’s professional artists use theater to facilitate the emotional, social, and academic growth of young people.

Rehearsal dates for TYC will be from June 6 – July 1 at the Lowndes Shakespeare Center, Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. On-stage performances will be Friday, July 1 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, July 2 at 7 p.m.; and Sunday, July 3 at 2 p.m.