Hello, I’m Holly Dye, I’m in 6th year at St Paul’s and I’ve had the pleasure of doing Work Experience at the Rep Theatre for the past week.
On Tuesday we started off with a Tour around the theatre and met everyone in each department. It was interesting being shown around and helpful being introduced to everyone we’d be working with throughout the week and it was nice seeing familiar faces as we went around. We then got to sit in on a rehearsal with Scottish Dance Theatre for Kingdom. At first, it was really confusing as when we walked into the studio there were lots of bamboo sticks being tied together as well as people dancing. Once the rehearsals started again we learnt that the bamboo sticks were for the dancers to climb on and throw about. It was really fun watching the rehearsals and being able to see the dances come together bit by bit. Then we went to watch some Ensemble Rehearsals for And Then There Were None, and then after that we got to watch the Community Youth Theatre rehearsals for their production of Ernie’s Incredible Illucinations. During all these rehearsals, we had to sit in the audience very quietly so we didn’t distract the group which was quite hard as I’m very chatty but the rehearsals were really good to watch so that kept me from talking.
We started the Wednesday off by joining Amanda and the Inform theatre group. This was a lot of fun as we just got to play lots of games with them and be a bit silly. It was a lot of fun and really enjoyable as everyone in the group was extremely friendly and happy to have us there. Inform are a group of actors with learning disabilities and so it was insightful to spend a period of time with them actually getting to know them and see them in this sort of environment. We then went on to Stage Management which I found lots of fun. We were given a short talk about what stage management actually is and what it is they do. We then got to go to the Paintshop and make a toy soldier for And Then There Were None. I found this really interesting as I didn’t know that stage management actually made some of the props etc for shows. We then got shown around the prop cupboards which are basically big cupboards full of everything you could think of (and the kitchen sink!) It was funny looking through the things and finding such random and odd stuff. After lunch we went to Sound and Lighting. I wasn’t expecting to find this as interesting as I did. First, Ian showed us the different types of lights they used and explained what they did. We then got to play about with one of the lights and gobos (a weird metal shape stencil that fits in front of the light to make a shape) which was a lot of fun. Then we got to look at the lighting and sound desks, this was good as we got to sit in the chair and play around with the different lights in front of the stage seeing which colours we could create. We also got to see the sound desk and play around with that a little which was also really interesting as on first glance it looked really complicated but once it was explained a little, it was a lot less intimidating.
On Thursday we were thrown straight into something a lot more practical than other departments had been, and messy, Scenic Design. First of all Leila showed us around the Paintshop a little and explained how a few of the things had made their way into the workshop and what shows they had been used for. We then got to do something a bit messier - paint pieces that will later make up a giant dinosaur. It was really fun being able to get stuck in and get messy with the paints a little and I found it funny thinking that when I go to see the production of And Then There Were None, I’ll be able to point proudly at the stage and say “I painted that giant dinosaur up there.” After lunch we went to Press and Marketing to write up our blogs (which is what I’m doing now). I’ve found it good being able to write up a blog as it means I will always have this to read back and remember what I did here.
On Friday we joined Amanda and the Illuminate Ensemble. It was a lot of fun. They were all so friendly and I’d worked with the group before so it was made even nicer by the fact that a few of them recognised me still. We played a few games with them and it was just really about having a laugh. Illuminate are a group of adults with learning disabilities and so it was good to spend time with such a different and diverse group. We then went to Wardrobe where we got to look around all the clothes and accessories and try on different costumes. I enjoyed trying on all the different hats and took lots of photos in them. I also really enjoyed being able to look at all the different costumes and shoes and coats and also being able to try things on and be a bit silly.
I’ve had such an amazing time over my four days here and would recommend it to anyone, whether they are interested in a future career in theatre or not. It has been a really insightful time and I’ve loved having the opportunity to be backstage and experience each department and what they all do. Thanks to all the staff for making this a really fun and memorable experience. I’ve had the best time doing my Work Experience here and would love to do this every week.