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What does an internship look like in theatre?

There are many different types of internships within the theatre industry, so we’re going to tell you about them in general and also make sure you know your rights.

Internships are similar to work experience but they are fixed-term placements and are often referred to as a 'traineeship'. They aim to give you a better understanding of employment and the day-to-day tasks of the job you’ve chosen. Interns are normally set a number of different tasks to complete during their placement.

Do I get paid if I do an internship?

Employers must pay interns at least the National Minimum Wage - unless the company is a registered charity. You’ll be completing tasks a member of staff would and it's only fair that you should be paid for your work.

An organisation called Intern Aware campaign for fair internships. They protect the rights of interns and encourage interns to be hired for their talent, rather than their ability to work for free.

If I do an internship, what will I get out of it?

  • Explore a career path - you might be unsure if a career in theatre is for you and this is the perfect way to decide. You will see what a career in theatre looks like and what you’ll be doing on a daily basis
  • Getting ahead of the game - internships can make you stand out when you start applying for jobs in theatre, and can be attractive to potential employers. 

Be sure to know your rights within the theatre industry, especially when gaining experience. Internships are great for all the reasons above, but we must highlight concerns around the exploitation of young people. When you get involved in these experience opportunities you must be aware of the impact of low or unpaid work and also ensure you know your rights beforehand.

You can find internship opportunities here.

 

Photo: The Stage - Tiata Fahodzi

Published: 16 May 2019