What does work experience in theatre look like?

Work experience is a short term placement in an organisation which gives you a feel for the role. It also helps you see what a day in the life looks like for someone who has that particular job. As part of your work experience you’ll likely carry out only a few important tasks, and will mainly complete other tasks such as assisting, making tea and coffee and photocopying etc. It will give you a chance to observe and see what you could be doing in the future.

Do I get paid if I do work experience?

Some work experience placements are paid and some are not. It is up to the organisation and depends on what tasks they will get you to do. Generally, work experience is usually unpaid because it’s over a short period of time, however you will often be reimbursed for your travel and/or lunch costs.

If I do work experience, what will I get out of it?

Nothing impresses an employer more than seeing that you’ve gone out of your way to gain work experience and improve on your skills. This shows enthusiasm and dedication to your future career. There are many benefits of work experience such as:

  • You can improve on the skills you already have and gain new skills to add to your experience
  • You can get a feel of a typical theatre work environment
  • It will give you a chance to meet new people within the industry and these people (often referred to as contacts) can give you positive references for future jobs
  • Work experience looks really impressive on your CV and stands out to employers. It will also give you great things to talk about in your interview
  • The organisation you’re working with may be so impressed with you that they may offer you a position in the company. This is always a bonus!

Work experience 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 work experience opportunities here.


Photo: The Stage - Tiata Fahodzi

Published: 16 May 2019