Why work in Theatre?
So you know you want to work in theatre, but now what?
There is no one easy pathway into working in theatre and often success relies on people finding their own way. We have put together some advice on how to go about getting your foot in the door.
Check out these websites to give you more of an idea of what all the different theatre careers are, and how to get into them:
Backstage with Official London Theatre – Take a look behind the scene at some of London’s biggest West End shows
Creative and Cultural Skills – Careers advice from industry professionals and job profiles that explain what onstage and offstage roles involve in Theatre.
Mousetrap – Offers a range of initiatives and discounted tickets for 15-29 year olds
Masterclass – inspiring and empowering talks and onstage workshops with leading industry figures from theatre, film and TV on a West End stage.
Better yet, come along to TheatreCraft on 11 November and hear it all first hand! It’s totally free and you’ll get a chance to see for yourself all that the theatre industry has to offer.
Do your research
See as many shows as you can! Lots of theatres have ticket offers including National Theatre, Young Vic, Sheffield Theatre and Manchester Royal Exchange. Also check out these websites and sign up to their mailing lists for regular offers-
For offstage roles, the following organisations have great advice about training and apprenticeships-
Work experience in West End theatres can be tricky to find, but there are still ways to get involved:
Royal Opera House offers work experience opportunities through their First Stage programme. Find out more here.
Try contacting your local theatre and build a relationship with them. Ask about volunteering opportunities and front of house work and talk to people about what their job involves.
Some theatres offer apprenticeships and development schemes where you can learn on the job whilst being paid. These often don’t require you to have any prior experience and you can gain level 2-4 qualifications. The Royal Opera House runs an innovative apprenticeship scheme across a variety of backstage departments you can find out more about it on their website- http://www.roh.org.uk/learning/young-people/apprenticeships
Other organisations that offer apprentices include:
London Theatre Consortium- http://www.londontheatreconsortium.com/apprenticeships/
You can also find more information about apprenticeships in your chosen field but not in a theatre on the Government website- https://www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship
Lastly, join your local youth theatre and sign up to all your favourite theatres mailing lists to keep informed about their upcoming events and workshops. Go to everything you can and keep learning!
Make work and network
Networking is key in getting into the theatre industry; go to as many events as you can and offer your support to people you meet. Ensure you can easily give them your details on where to find you, a business card and social media is really helpful in these situations.
You can also meet theatre professionals at large careers fairs across the UK-
Last but by no means least, get together with like-minded people and create your own work! Ask a local venue for some space and arrange a sharing of your R&D, invite people who you want to see your work and get people to give you feedback.
The theatre industry needs a range of people in a variety of jobs, so immerse yourself in any way you can. Don’t be afraid to reach out and find out what opportunities could be on your doorstep.