Last month The Berry Theatre announced its partnership with Hedge End based company SPI Lasers. This new partnership celebrates the organisations’ shared passion for supporting the career development of young women in Hedge End. As part of the partnership, six students from Wildern School were sponsored to shadow professional theatre company Stuff and Nonsense during their production week for Christmas show Puppet Panto at The Berry Theatre.
This was a rare opportunity for the students to have hands on experience of working on a professional production week amongst industry creatives. The students were immersed in all aspects of authentic theatre life throughout this exciting week, taking part in physical and vocal warm-ups with the actors, painting set, programming lighting cues, shadowing the sound technician and assistant director, hanging set, puppeteering, creating a trailer for the show and crafting puppets of their own. All these activities were carried out under the guidance of the theatre company’s highly skilled team who were also able to offer a deeper understanding of their job roles and career journeys. The students also enjoyed focused conversations around marketing and branding, the reality of life as a performer and outreach/education work within a theatre context.
Overall the week provided a rich opportunity for practical learning combined with valuable insights from experienced professionals that have strengthened their knowledge of theatre production and should support the students in making career choices in the future.
The students said about the week,
“I learned how hardworking each role in theatre is.”
“I learned different lighting cues and how to programme them.”
“This week has made me very confident in what goes on in a production week.”
Jane McGibbon Producer for Stuff and Nonsense said,
“The girls from Wildern School have been a delight to work with. It is not often that companies open up their doors during production week, but the girls have very much thrown themselves into this unique experience and are taking every opportunity to engage with the team and the activities.”
For more behind-the-scenes photos from the week, follow The Berry Theatre’s Instagram. You can also find out more about the partnership here and book tickets for Puppet Panto which runs from 15th to 31st December here.