At Swindon Theatres we offer work experience placements to students (aged 16+) who want to learn more about working in Theatre across different areas such as Box Office, Technical Theatre, Marketing, Administration and many more!
This month we have had Hannah, Ellie and Alice with us and we sat down and had a chat with them to find out what they have been up to.
What have you been doing so far in your work placement and what have you learned?
Hannah: I have been in the ticket office and try to understand how the online system works and was able to have a go on a training site. Something that I had never noticed before but am now aware of, is that on stage the “goodie” comes on from stage right, and that the “baddie” comes on from stage left.
I have also been with the technical team and I had never really appreciated how much work they do to get ready for a performance.
I was also shown how emails might be written and altered for certain audiences.
Ellie: So far during my work experience I have ushered, spent time with the ticket office and been taught all about marketing. I have learned lots about the theatre, such as how the ticket office works, I learned it is very busy in the ticket office with lots of phone calls and questions to be answered. I also learned how there are many different aspects to marketing whilst trying to target the right audience. I learned that to be an usher you have to show authority and know your way around the theatre, you want to make sure the guests have a good experience so always need to smile. All together I’ve learned there are lots of different aspects to working in the theatre.
Alice: In my work placement I have seen what it’s like behind the scenes and all the effort that goes into putting on a play. I have spent different days with different people and departments; I have spent time with marketing, ticket office, front of house and stage door. I have learnt about what happens in theatres and similar workplaces, and increased my understanding in all the jobs and the things they require. I have increased my confidence, social skills and independence over the week, while learning new skills and creating new relationships. I have learnt about how people communicate with each other at work and what going to work is like. Everyone that I met has been so lovely and treated me like a fellow colleague.
What has been your favorite moment so far?
Hannah: I really liked all parts of the theatre and it’s interesting to see that all departments depend on each other.
I enjoyed working with the technical team, because it was intriguing to see what has to be done with the bars to put the canvases on. I also found it fascinating that they have to counter balance the bars with weights, so that the bars will not fall.
Ellie: I loved having the opportunity to see all the different aspects of the theatre and learning which roles may suit me in the theatre. My favourite moment was probably getting to watch the Wilkes Academy show yesterday whilst ushering.
Alice: Over the week I have created loads of memories and learnt so many new things. I really enjoyed working in marketing, which is something I didn’t expect. I loved being creative and learning about advertising, I think I definitely increased my understanding and skills in the area of marketing. Furthermore, I had a great time at front of house and will consider doing ushering in my free time, as all the people are so lovely and you really get an insight into the wonderful world of theatres.
What area of theatre do you want to go into?
Hannah: I think I would like to work in advertisement because you are able to be creative and are not always stuck at a desk.
Ellie: I would love to perform, but after this week I’ve realised there are lots of different options in the theatre I’ve especially enjoyed learning about the marketing side of the theatre as it has a lot of strategy to it.
Alice: I’m unsure of what I want to do in the future, however my work experience has enlightened me on all the jobs available in the theatre. I might consider marketing as I love how you can be as creative and imaginative as you want. I have always been interested in acting and the theatre and I am so glad I got into drama. It has greatly improved my confidence and social skills alongside with teaching me new skills and knowledge.
What was the last theatre show you saw?
Hannah: I saw Cinderella (pantomime) at the Wycombe Swan. It was very amusing and I always love watching the ugly sisters on stage.
Ellie: I saw the Wilkes Academy show whilst ushering which was incredible! It was a showcase of amazing dancing and musical theatre that was taught at the academy. The talent was off the scale and with a sell-out audience there was an amazing atmosphere. I have also recently seen the woman in black in the west end which was good but very different to the Wilkes performance. The last show I watched at the Wyvern other than the Wilkes show was the gang show which is a performance built of sketches and songs showing off talent off the talent of scouts and guides from all over Swindon, once again the atmosphere is always incredible at the gang show with lots of smiling faces!
Alice: The last show I saw was the tribute to Elvis last night, while I was working at the front of house and ushering. I also saw Blood Brothers at the Wyvern Theatre with my drama class, it was amazing. The acting, sound, visual effects, singing and just everything were incredibly stimulating and beautiful. The play made various people cry as it was so moving and well-illustrated; personally I was amazed and was very emotional.
What’s your favourite type of theatre show?
Hannah: I really enjoy watching musicals, especially ones that I know well and can sing along with. I also love watching comedy acts. Comedians always leave me in stitches and their material is always relatable.
Ellie: I love musicals! With there being dance the acting and the singing musicals are always incredible. Musicals always tend to have beautiful story lines which are used to help put across so many emotions and make you feel so many different feelings. The passion in the dancing, singing and acting always helps the audience feel more involved with the characters and storyline helping to put across real world issues and can also inspire an audience.
Alice: I love going to theatre as it is a classic yet successful way of portraying stories with morals and ideas. The fact it is live, makes it so much more stimulating and really allows the audience to think and reflect in addition to getting lost in the story. I always get very attached to characters and lose myself in the performance. I love big west end shows as so much effort goes into them and you can tell the actors take pride in what they are doing. Some of the best shows I have seen were Les Mis, Matilda and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. However, nothing compares to the feeling of being in the performance. I love the buzz of performing and the pride and joy that comes alongside.
Swindon Theatres offers work experience placements to students aged 16+ and generally last 1 week.
To find out more visit: http://bit.ly/WyvernWorkExperience
Find about more about Swindon Theatres here: http://swindontheatres.co.uk