What does volunteering in theatre look like?

The main thing to know is that the term 'volunteering' stands for 'a person who works for an organisation without being paid.' If you complete volunteer work, you'll be working completely for free and you will not have a contract of employment like interns. However, there are certain policies in place to protect you and the organisation. These policies state that both you and the organisation are aware of the expectations of both of you. Volunteers are not eligible for National Minimum Wage as you’re participating by choice, but you'll have more flexibility with your working hours and this can be great. 

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Do I need any qualifications or experience to apply?

You don't need any qualifications or experience to apply. You just need to be willing to participate and get involved. This will show your determination and passion for theatre because you want to learn new things and get involved in different aspects of theatre despite not being paid.

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If I do volunteering, what do I get out of it?

  • You'll gain confidence. You'll be trying something new and taking on a new challenge out of your comfort zone. You may even learn something you didn't know before
  • You'll get a chance to meet new people and make connections with them. You can exchange contact details with the people you meet as they may be able to help you in the future with advice, upcoming job roles and work experience. You may be able to do the same for them
  • You'll get to be part of a theatre community. This is a good way to stay connected with the theatre industry in your spare time and get involved in things that are coming up

Volunteering is 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 volunteering opportunities here. 

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Photo: Alex Brenner

Published: 16 May 2019

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