Work Experience Diary| Hana: “I’m incredibly lucky to have had an insight into this world”

Our work experience student Hana tells us about her time at the Bush Theatre.

It sounds a little cliché, but I can honestly say I’ve had a wonderful week of work experience at the Bush Theatre. Obviously when we think of theatre we tend to focus on what happens on stage, in front of an audience, but there’s so much indispensable work done behind the scenes which makes that experience what it is, and I’m incredibly lucky to have had an insight into this world.

One of the best aspects of my brief time here has been the atmosphere: everyone has been lovely and welcoming, so that even when I’ve found the work stressful (read: front-of-house), I’ve really enjoyed it. The structure of the week has enabled me to spend time in every department, learning about everything that goes into both producing top-quality work for everyone, and keeping the theatre a space for the local community.

On Monday, after a tour of the building by Holly and some quick introductions, including to the office cats and dog, I was enlisted into the Community Department to find out about the work the Bush does in the local community, and read the script for Caryl Phillips’ Strange Fruit (which I then saw on Wednesday- perks of being an usher). I discussed the play with Holly, and planned a community project inspired by it, which helped me understand the vital work the Bush does in the local area beyond staging shows.

“As someone hoping for a career in writing, the opportunity to practise and get feedback from an industry professional was invaluable”

After experiencing this community work first-hand by sitting in on the reading group on Tuesday morning, I spent time in what was probably my favourite department- literary. Ifrah asked me to read the script for an upcoming show, Collapsible, which I know is going to be brilliant, and then to write a creative response to it; as someone hoping for a career in writing, the opportunity to practise this and get feedback from an industry professional was invaluable (and fun!).

Wednesday was spent in front-of-house; while customer service doesn’t come naturally to me, it was still interesting to find out how coffee machines actually work, and I enjoyed greeting the incoming audience as an usher. Strange Fruit is a deeply harrowing play, but hugely important, and all aspects of the production really came together to make it an amazing performance. On Thursday I had a tour of the area by Jess from the Admin Department, and gained an insight into the practicalities of theatre by planning a trip for the staff; the afternoon was spent planning a themed dinner in the Development Department.

I’m currently writing this piece for Marketing, on my last day here. I admit that I didn’t expect to be so sad to be going, but I’ll really miss it. I’m so grateful to everyone here for having me and sharing their work with me, and for making it such a lovely experience. I’ll definitely be coming back here to visit in future!

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