Work Experience Diary | Shania “the best place for anyone creative”

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

That first day, I just remember being incredibly uncertain of myself. Completely unsure that I would even like it, I’m more of a performer myself, and in the weeks running up to my placement, I was plagued with this unyielding thought that I would hate it here. That being part of the actual machine of a theatre would bore me, make me run into the hills, never to return. But it didn’t – make me want to run for the hills – and I liked it – being part of the machine of a theatre. Well, this theatre, the Bush.

Overwhelming. That’s the only way to describe it, really. The great sense of acceptance upon meeting everyone. Understanding the amazing work they do here. Seeing everyone in the office return each day with an unbreakable desire to do the best job they possibly can. Finding out that this atmosphere is more for me than I previously thought. Feeling valued as a member of the team, even though I’m just here for a week. The knowing that I’ve been crazily lucky to have gotten this placement. It was almost too much to process. But now that I have, at the end of this extraordinary week, all I feel is great loss that I won’t be back here on Monday.

Undoubtedly, my favourite part of this journey has been attending a workshop with This New Ground Collective, a choir for people with learning disabilities in and around Hammersmith & Fulham, which is also a Bush Theatre Associate Company. Recently, they began a project with the Bush, and attending that workshop was such an honour because I got to see, first-hand, the impact of the project on the members of the choir. It was a humbling experience and I look forward to seeing their success in the future.

“its view of people with learning disabilities is refreshing and honest”

But, getting to watch a performance of Jellyfish, the current play showing in the Studio, was also wonderful. I love the portrayal of Kelly, the heroine, who has Down’s Syndrome. I think its view of people with learning disabilities is refreshing and honest, completely different from the stereotypical depiction seen in film and television. Of course, the issues raised in the play and the subjects faced by the members of This New Ground Collective, have certain parallels but I think this only made my experience more meaningful, more significant. I got to engage with these problems intensely and it was eye-opening.

Even seemingly mundane occurrences, such as getting to sit in on a weekly Operations meeting, was great for me – I really felt included. The ease of communication between the departments, learning which departments need to communicate more than others, being a small part of it, all helped me understand the process.

It’s safe to say that I’ve loved my time at the Bush, it’s the best place for anyone creative. Truly. I really wish I could stay. But, alas, the journey of anyone working in the creative industry is ever-changing, I guess.