January Theatre Opportunities

January 8, 2010

A new year, a new decade, and a whole host of new theatre opportunities to get yourself involved in. I can’t help but to think that a lot of the times fantastic opportunities come and go without even people knowing about them. When I was researching my January Theatre Opportunities highlights I found a series of great opportunities that literally had a day left to apply for – why aren’t they posted more on the internet, I wondered? Why haven’t I heard of them at all? How many other people miss out because they simply don’t find out about these opportunities?

Enough of the questions, here are some of my picks for January that are worth a look over for getting more actively involved in theatre.

National Youth Theatre Auditions – This organisation is truly up there with some of the best for young people who want to get involved in theatre. Whilst I have never been actively involved in NYT, their involvement in theatre sends ripples through any theatrically minded person. With a proven track record of supporting and promoting the talent of young people, it’s a wonder why any budding young thespian is not queuing up around the corner to audition.

The application date has been extended to 28th January, and with a ‘no previous experience needed’ approach to auditions anyone can get a shot at being part of nationally recognised youth theatre.

National Youth Theatre Website

Performance Innovations – A project designed to give “entrepreneurial skills and develop innovative and enterprising practice with performing arts practitioners.” This is a course aimed at graduates from performing arts courses, to enroll on the ‘Performance Innovations’ course to give a boost to your understanding of developing work, promoting it, and exploring ways of development. What makes this course so unique is that it is grounded from a practical perspective – you will create performances and work within the course, but also learn what to do with this beyond and in the ‘real world’.

Are you seeking a successful career in the Performing Arts? Are you thinking of setting up a company or similar? Then Performance Innovations might be for you.

I can’t quite do what this course does much justice, so I advise you to actually read about the course yourself here.

If it sounds like something as a graduate you are interested in – then they are holding a seminar/information event on the 18th January at the London Metropolitian University. All the details can be found on their website.

International Youth Arts Festival Submissions – Working with the Rose Theatre in Kingston this festival promotes the arts in all it’s forms coming from the younger generations. It’s great to see a festival dedicated to putting the lime light to those people who are going to be the next theatre makers and essentially our future of arts. The festival running in July 2010 is a week long, at the Rose Theatre and is sure to be a hit this summer.

Applications are open until 31st January to take part in the festival. If you’re between 0-25 years old and have a performance / event / creative flair you can apply to be part of the festival. They are also accepting applications from adults with work based for young people. There really is no restrictions for applications, and they welcome all arts related performers/performances or arts producers/managers.

Pleasance Scratch – The Pleasance Theatre possibly best known for their comedy work at the Edinburgh Festival is slowly gaining a reputation for their work in contemporary theatre and dance. Last year they were part of the SUSPENSE Festival, the first London puppetry festival in 25 years, and later in 2010 they will be the venue of choice for the Cloud Dance Festival a thrice-yearly contemporary dance platform for new and emerging dance companies. Now the Pleasance Theatre are launching a Scratch night for new and established theatre companies to try out their devised work.

Scratch nights are a great way to experiment with new work in front of an audience who understand that what they are seeing is a work in progress. Feedback is sometimes provided, so it’s a great opportunity to get involved from an audiences point of view too.

If you’re interested in performing at the Pleasance Scratch then email cassandra@pleasance.co.uk with a brief outline of the work (20 minutes worth).

Internships – A quick look at the Internships available for this month in theatre

BAC – Comms Intern – 11th January
Oval House Theatre – Theatre Intern – 8th January
Tara Arts – Press and Marketing Intern – 15th January

If you know of any other opportunities you feel are worth a mention then please either give me an email for future posts, or just leave a comment below.


Internship’s The Thing

November 4, 2009

Trends come and go. In everything, there is a trend. So, perhaps unsurprisingly trends are readily coming and going within the theatre world, and none more prolific than that of internships. There appears to be a steadily growing number of internships around theatre and the arts popping up each month, and it looks set to stay.

Whilst theatre internships are a great way for participants to get hands on experience within a certain role in theatre, it is gradually getting more alarming by how many internships are currently being advertised for. A few years ago internships were hard to come by, and now, it would appear even the smallest of companies are offering them.

The question is then, does the value of an internship drop because of the vast amount of internships which are available out there? Much like how there has been steadily growning talk how the number of school leavers taking up university places are causing the affect of a degree to mean less, and now a masters is the thing to have, or rather, the thing to get you anywhere.

When applying for a job after doing an internship, do you get any points for being slightly higher up than others because you have done an internship with a company? I’m not quite so sure that this is the case anymore… where every small to large company is offering an internship, it has to surely affect the number of people applying for jobs in the arts. If the majority of people are doing internships, then the majority of people will have them, so does it actually get you anywhere?!

Of course there will be varying degrees of arguments over this opening of theatre internships across a wide sector, yet it seems clear that the main reason behind this has to be money. What with the United Kingdom still struggling to get out of our recession, and employment figures dancing around a rock bottom low, securing jobs in any industry is proving hard. So how does a company get extra support, and fulfill certain demands within their work, without having to add a x amount of salary to the table… the answer, an internship.

Internships are not paid, however often a company will pay for travel expenses or lunch – or indeed, sometimes nothing. The participant of the internship will be assisting a certain department or person within the company, and effectively will be an extra pair of hands to help out – a pair of hands that doesn’t cost thousands of pounds each year.

I might be making it out that the thought of internships are a bad thing, and that companies are cashing in on voluntary work, but this is of course not true. Internships are a great way for someone to get a step up into an industry that they are interested in working in. It gives them experience professionally and also connects them to industry professionals. So, it works in everyone’s favour. Or does it?

A quick look at an arts jobs site such as ArtsJobs.org.uk and you can see the extent of the amount of internships available. Last week alone saw a total of 14 internships for London alone being advertised. This is an astronomical figure, as each of these internships means one less of a paid job. Does this mean that the jobs that are becoming available are being swamped by applicants? Yes. Often a simple box office or admin role within the theatre being advertised will gain 300 plus applicants, a figure which is a certain sign of the times.

Whilst theatre internships offer great work experience the impact that it is having upon the jobs sector is becoming more clear, only time will tell how much so.

Thinking of doing an internship? Then check out A Younger Theatres Guide to Internships