Intern Life at The Pillow

Every summer, interns travel from around the world to embark on a summer of invaluable training and mentorship towards their professional careers working alongside a team of seasoned arts professionals. Although the Jacob’s Pillow internship is an exciting journey to begin, we understand you may have questions about what life is like at the Pillow, in the Berkshires, and during the 9-week summer Festival.

This guide is to help you better understand the Jacob’s Pillow internship experience and help answer any questions you may have about living at the Pillow. If you have a question not answered here, please email or call 413.243.9919. 

Jacob’s Pillow is located in western Massachusetts at 358 George Carter Road, Becket, MA, 01223. Interns are responsible for their transportation arrangements and associated costs. However, Jacob’s Pillow will provide pick ups at Bradley International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport on the day of arrival at a set time. Or interns within driving distance may arrive to Jacob’s Pillow by car. Please note services like Uber are not available in the Berkshires.

Jacob’s Pillow is in a remote location – interns who have cars, and are able to, are strongly advised to bring them for the summer. The closest town with gas stations is Lee, MA, about 8 miles from the Pillow. If you are unable to bring a car, the Pillow will ensure you are able to access rides or borrow a car for reasons such as access to health care appointments, prescription pick-ups, required specialty food items, etc.

To better understand the Jacob’s Pillow central campus, you can view a copy of our campus map here, and take a virtual tour here. (Please note that this virtual tour was captured before we lost the Doris Duke Theatre to a fire in November 2020. A new theater will be constructed on the site of the old Duke and will open in 2025).”

Drone footage of the Jacob’s Pillow campus

A slideshow of images from Intern housing at Jacob's Pillow

All interns live on the Pillow grounds within walking distance to offices. The Pillow will provide a single room accommodation on Pillow grounds in dormitory style cabins with gender neutral shared bathrooms, laundry facilities, and living rooms (no kitchens); weekly cleaning services of common areas will be provided at no cost to interns. The accommodations have Wi-Fi, but service can sometimes be slow or inconsistent. Interns are expected to play a role in managing the upkeep and cleanliness of facilities they use. Intern housing is ADA accessible, but the terrain of the path leading to some housing units is steep.

Three meals per day are provided by the Stone Dining Room, located next to Hunter House. People with special dietary needs must share them in advance. Vegetarian and Vegan options are provided at each meal. The kitchen takes allergies seriously and will make special accommodations. Your nametag given to you upon arrival will serve as your meal pass. Please note times and meals are subject to change pending campus-wide events.

The Pillow provides snacks and beverage service in The Nook throughout the day. There are complimentary snacks provided in The Nook late at night including bread, fruit, granola bars, and more.

Jacob’s Pillow has an on-campus health office staffed by a variety of professionals, including health care coordinators, physical therapists, and emergency medical technicians. Access can be arranged for more specialized professionals; there are frequently costs/fees associated with this, so please discuss with your supervisor. We will have complimentary sessions with a mental health professional available on a first come first serve basis once a month. We plan to host a variety wellness activities including but not limited to short complimentary sessions of acupuncture, meditation, pilates/yoga, drumming, etc.

Read more about our COVID-19 policies here. We do not require COVID-19 vaccination, however we strongly encourage it.

Six-day work-weeks are required. Taking any time beyond the one-day off requires prior approval well in advance and is granted only for special circumstances. Please note that July 4 occurs during the early days of the Festival, and as such is considered a normal work day for Pillow staff and interns. Positions mirror the professional field; particularly in the performing arts industry, it is not uncommon to experience long hours in support of shows and events.

We acknowledge and aim to accommodate a range of abilities in the workplace. Teams will collaborate to achieve tasks, leveraging each member’s distinctive strengths and playing to their individual capabilities. Work will often take place outdoors during the summer conditions of the Berkshires, which can be hot, humid, and rainy and include exposure to native wildlife such as bears, ticks, insects, and rodents. Not all Pillow facilities have air conditioning. Interns will work both independently and as part of a team. Individuals will often remain in a stationary position for extended periods of time and traverse uneven ground to move between multiple locations throughout campus. Teams will work collectively to move objects up to 50 pounds and engage in tasks at heights above 6′ and up to 30′. Some positions may involve ascending/descending straight and step ladders, navigating small or narrow spaces, or working in show conditions with theatrical and atmospheric elements including but not limited to: fog, haze, strobes, dim lights, loud sounds.

A group of people are smiling with their arms up under pink lighting.

There are a number of social activities that are hosted and planned by Jacob’s Pillow including weekly cast parties, BBQs, meet & greets, etc. However, the Pillow encourages staff and interns to develop their own dance classes, forums, showcases, activities, etc. as desired and time allows.

Trisha Brown: In Plain Site at The Clark; photo Christopher Duggan.

The Berkshires is a hub of cultural activity including Mass Moca, The Clark Institute, Tanglewood, etc. It is also a wonderful place to experience the outdoors including lakes, hiking trails, etc. Check out other culturals on our Discover the Berkshires page.

The Pillow is committed to providing an inclusive environment that cultivates the celebration of the art of dance and its positive impact on communities. We are dedicated to fostering a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable experience for everyone on our beautiful campus. Interns, as well as staff, patrons, and visitors of Jacob’s Pillow, are expected to contribute to our mutually respectful and welcoming community, supporting the world of dance and its citizens for generations to come. The Pillow has made progress on advancing IDEA most recently, acknowledges our shortcomings, and is actively working to unpack the past, present, and future. Learn more here.