Leading UK theatres unite to promote careers backstage


This autumn, many of England’s major theatres and live music venues will open their doors to an estimated 19,000 school children in years 9, 10 and 11, to demonstrate the wealth of career opportunities available in offstage and backstage roles.

Creative Choices, a unique annual programme of careers events, aims to give young people a hands-on insight into the work that goes on behind the scenes, including, box office, casting, community theatre, costume, directing, event management, finance, front of house, lighting, live projection, playwriting, programming, promotion, props, set design, sound, stage management, theatre in education, theatrical make-up and venue management.  Among the many prestigious venues taking part are the National Theatre, London, the Lowry Theatre, Salford, the Royal Opera House Production Workshop in Thurrock and the Salisbury Playhouse.

Commencing on 2nd October with the National Theatre, London, running until 23rd November with the Richmond Theatre, London, the free workshops will be hosted by some of the world’s leading live theatre professionals. In addition to technical demonstrations, the events offer detailed advice about the range of careers available in theatre and live music, plus up-to-date information on training, workshops, job opportunities and qualifications.

Creative Choices, now in its 4th year, builds on the growing success of previous years’ events which in 2011 were attended by 2,650 children and their teachers from 125 schools in 33 different venues. A total of 5,000 students and teachers have attended events to date. 

Pauline Tambling, Creative & Cultural Skills Director at the National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural said: “Current research shows increasing demand for backstage staff in technical theatre and live music.  Employment in the industry increased by 21% between 2010 and 2012.  This is the largest increase in employment numbers across all our creative sectors. But for every performer who appears on stage, there are 3 people employed in supporting roles behind the scenes.  Many young people are simply not aware of the technical and supporting roles that contribute to the success of the UK performing arts sector. Creative Choices aims to give them a taste of these roles and to equip them with the information they need in order to get into these professions.”    

Teachers can book at www.creative-choices.co.uk/events.

School Leadership Today