How you can help SMA to create a healthy and representative workforce for theatre and live events in the 21st Century

SMA student visits include FE colleges, as well as visits to schools and career fairs when we are able. This is an invaluable opportunity to reach people who may not otherwise consider working backstage or on live events – perhaps because they are not aware that these careers even exist

Last year we brought our outreach work to AAPTLE, and to a broader group of backstage and on-stage colleagues who can speak for the wider theatre community

Recently we heard from students at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama who have started a project which complements and fits very well with our work.

The Central group are creating a large portal space full with information, videos, templates and more, aimed at getting 16 to 18-year-olds interested in technical theatre.

“At this age you are deciding what to do next, university, apprentices, jobs and, unless you have already gone to a drama college, back stage jobs are not very well known. We want to provide lots of engaging information and tips on how to apply to drama schools as well as basic knowledge on every back stage theatre job, in order to encourage young people to look into working in the arts. The key part is having all this information in one place, which then allows for personal discovery across the whole website as well as making it something that can be taught in schools/after school clubs.”

Once the project is up and running, the group will be approaching A-level drama classes and colleges that they are in contact with, encouraging them to use the resource and promoting weekly online technical youth theatre sessions.

The SMA will also create a website space to hold these resources, and we hope that perhaps AAPTLE might eventually be able to host the resources as a one-stop shop.

We would love as many members and colleagues who are able to get involved; personal testimony is the very best way to inspire new entrants who might otherwise never consider Theatre and Live Events work.

The Central group have resources now to help create video materials from industry professionals They would love to hear from colleagues who are willing to give half an hour or so of their time to film a short video of themselves answering some questions to do with their field of work. For each job role they would like to create a video gallery of professionals talking about top tips, fun stories and why they love what they do. Real life people talking about what they love is the best way to inspire and educate the next generation. They would like to hear from early career Stage Managers as well as experienced colleagues, and people from all departments.

They are also hoping to gather back-stage footage of people at work and are reaching out to theatres and companies asking for any footage they have that we can use, and credit. The plan is that the first thing you will see when going onto the website is an inspirational video of backstage professionals at work, with footage, snippets of interviews and voice overs.  

Can you help the group with this exciting project?  Please contact Bethany Dixon at CSSD if you can help.