Work Experience Diary | Calum

Before coming to the Bush, I had only been immersed in the artistic side of theatre. I was simply given a script, told to learn my lines and did whatever the director wanted me to do until opening night. After my most recent production, I took a step back and got a much needed perspective on theatre. My curiosity was diverted to ‘what actually gets a theatre and play to function?’ I wasn’t oblivious to the importance of the work that goes on behind the scenes, however, I could not say (at the time) I had any knowledge on it.

My work experience at the Bush Theatre exposed me to much more than I could’ve imagined. Similar to a self-supporting bridge, the Bush helps the community across into a world of contemporary, gritting theatre promoting the diversity of London on the stage. When one piece however, is removed from the structure, it could all potentially come falling down. Each of the seven departments I worked with holds equally important roles in the running of the organisation.

On the first day, the literary team had me read and write a report on a possible future play. The redrafting, editing and decision making was completely new to me. Nevertheless, the task and discussion afterwards was intellectually engaging and promoted analytical skills beyond that within a classroom.

The admin department tested my planning skills with the booking of flights and hotels for the Canadian Arts Summit. This task proved more difficult than I initially thought. In spite of that, Madani will arrive in Charlottetown… eventually. Furthermore, producing taught me about show budgeting and got me doing a job on casting.

The most hands on day (literally) was front of house. I learnt the universal skills of coffee and cocktail making. The point was stressed that it is very quiet in the holidays and you can only really fully appreciate the struggle of being a bartender when there is a show night! Marketing generally oversees customer-to-theatre relations and advertising.

Finally, there was community and development. I researched supporters and got a taste of the Bush ‘family’ and the community projects they have running. The final day’s cocktail party with a nearby elderly home was a lovely way to finish a brilliant week.

The insight I gained into the running of a theatre was honestly outstanding. Only after a concentration such as this will you be able to fully appreciate all aspects of the stage. Furthermore, another large benefit from the work experience is the transferability of the skills I have learnt. The functionality of the aptitudes aren’t confined to theatre; it gives you exposure to a diverse set of careers. I cannot endorse the Bush Theatre enough for this opportunity and would recommend the experience to anyone wanting to gain knowledge on the ins and outs of a theatre company.

Interested in coming to the Bush Theatre for work experience? Check out this page.