Theatre Craft is the biggest non-performance careers event in London. Giving 16-25 year olds the opportunity to take part in workshops on Directing, Lighting, Marketing, Stage Management, Producing and more! Exploring a MarketPlace bursting with leading theatres, education providers and businesses that keep theatre going beyond the stage. If that isn’t epic enough, experts from the biz provide 1:1 help to those in search of a career in their field. All of this for FREE. The best part of this event was meeting an incredible amount of hugely enthusiastic young people, hungry to make their way in to the industry.
Tips for Young Directors
Ed Stambollouian graduated with an MA in Theatre Directing from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, he has been working on shows such as BLUSH, Don’t Waste Your Bullets On The Dead and Invisible Dot Ltd’s Birthday Bash. Experience in both assistant directing and directing shows, Ed had a huge amount of knowledge to share. His 10 Top Tips included…
- Choose Assisting Carefully – ensure there is something in it for you when assisting, whether you love the directors work or the actors involved, perhaps the play is by one of your all time favourite playwrights. Don’t worry about getting stuck in assisting, all experience is good experience
- READ – new plays, reviews; consume plays and write to theatres to see if you can read plays for them
- Collect People – As you work with people, make strong relationships with great Stage Managers, ASMs and Actors. You will need them in the future
- Escape London – seeing shows in different countries, or just different regions will help explore all the wonderful variety of performances that are on offer
Ed’s last wise words of wisdom were, ‘Make your own opportunities, develop a thick skin and be brave’
Off West End to West End: Developing as a Producer
James Quaife told us ‘how it is’ in his workshop on Producing; letting the cat out of the bag on all the West End goss and making it clear just how much hard work goes into producing. It may seem blindingly obvious, but as a producer – always read the script. Great opportunities to move from Off West End to West End come from producing plays at Trafalgar Studios, the Park Theatre and Southwark Playhouse. You will need to be hungry for funding and up for asking investors for money. If this isn’t you, then producing is not your path. However if you love getting stuck in, pass Theatre posters and think ‘of course that wasn’t a success, look at it’ then you’ve got the creative eye to take a show to the top. If you get the chance, work backstage early on – its a fantastic opportunity to understand all the mechanics of a production, and respect those who work on them. If you are looking to produce, companies such as Stage One are a great place to start.
James’ final words of wisdom were, ‘Stop Talking About It and Do It’
Signs of Life, Directing and the Art of Leadership
Dan Ayling has assisted with the likes of Katie Mitchell and has learnt from her and others on how to lead when directing. It’s a role which can often be seen as a dictatorship, this doesn’t have to be the way. Learn how to lead your performers, using what makes them tick. Plays should be fun (hence the word play), look to find fun in your process. Stop, Look and Listen – this can be applied to the process of rehearsal as well as the road, look at what you have to work with and determine the process from there. Always prepare, there is nothing worse than turning up to rehearsal without any ideas or research. Ayling also recommends seeing as much art, music and dance as you can as these all have a role to play in theatre. To be a great assisting director, listen and absorb the energy from the director, don’t try and challenge or take over. If you have the right people in the room, directing will be effortless.
Dan’s alliteration of wisdom, ‘Perfect Planning Prevents Pathetic Performance’
As well as these unique workshops, we explored the MarketPlace for some friendly faces. As well as bundles of freebies, these companies were signing up young people to volunteering programmes, workshops and future projects.
Join THEATRE CRAFT in 2017 for another buzzing event, you can find out more details about the day and sign up here: THEATRE CRAFT, BEYOND THE STAGE
Check out @ScatterOpinion and #TheatreCraft to see what the attendees thought of the day!
♥ Thanks to the fantastic Theatre Bloggers for the invite and to Theatre Craft for having us along to join in the fun!