At the beginning of 2020, a dream of mine came true. In January, I started a job as a facilitator as part of a theatre company. In my previous blogs posts ‘The power of art’, I glazed over the positive impacts I saw our work have on different groups within the community. Through this post, I’ll be focusing on the positive and negatives of working as part of a theatre company. Before starting in my role, I had no previous work experience working within a theatre company. Henceforth, I had no expectations of what to expect. The theatre company I worked with consisted of three members. None of us had worked together, nor had experience working as part of a theatre company. We were informed we would be facilitating workshops in different groups through society and then left to our own devices.
Through our contract, there were so many positives. The people I worked with definitely made it. With it being a small company, we had to rely on each other. We were able to bounce our ideas around, inspire each other and be there for support. Our relationship as a company was especially important as none of us had any previous experience. Therefore we learnt, experimented and succeeded together. With having this well-defined relationship, it helped create more positive experiences with our workshops. We were then able to change and adapt our sessions based on a specific look. Our workshops, therefore, were smooth running, adaptable and enjoyable to both ourselves and all those involved. I loved experiencing new surroundings and meeting new people. For me, a newfound love for working as a theatre company and new skills blossomed through this experience.
As with any experience, this work also came with a couple of negatives. Unfortunately, our experience was cut short because of COVID. As a company, we were lacking on the experience front. This made us feel slightly unprepared. We were going into this work as novices and therefore needed some more guidance. Ultimately we were learning on the job and this did leave us in a vulnerable place. I think this transition could have been made easier if we had specific training before starting in the role.
Before starting work at the theatre company I had never considered it as a pathway. Yet since coming to the end of this current contract, myself and another creative have started work on setting up a theatre company. This work has broadened my horizons, opened myself up to new skills, and allowed me to experiment with something new. My top tip for anyone looking to work as part of a theatre company would be to speak to others who have worked within it, research and develop your facilitation skills, and do something you have a love for.
Have courage and be kind!