Did you know that the RSC employs around 950 people, and most of them work backstage? From Box Office to Paint Shop, Marketing to Stage Crew, the range of careers available in theatre is diverse (see here for a long list of job roles we have advertised for over the last 12 months).
Work Placements at the RSC
We know that there is a massive demand for work experience in theatre - sadly, it's impossible for us to accommodate all the requests and applications we get.
From time to time, our backstage departments do host work placements, which we design to provide learning opportunities and practical experience.
Work placements are aimed at people looking to gain experience alongside their higher education studies or after their university course. As we are a busy working theatre, we can't offer placements all year round, but we offer them when departments have an exciting project to be involved in.
Work placements are a learning experience, not a job. They are offered on an unpaid basis.
Find out more about the work placement scheme.
A backstage career?
There are various routes into a career working backstage in a place like the RSC, and a lot depends on what area of backstage theatre you want to work in. Some jobs require qualifications, some need formal training, and others can be learned on the job by starting in an entry level position.
The Conference of Drama Schools has published a guide to careers backstage (PDF). It contains an overall view of career structures within the different specialties and has details of training courses
Getintotheatre.org helps you find out about the huge variety of careers in the industry, career opportunities, work experience and training ·
www.drama.ac.uk offer useful careers advice and guidance to accredited courses within the theatre industry
We've put together some careers guidance notes (PDF downloads) on the jobs we get asked about the most:
You can also see some of our staff talking about how they started their careers in theatre as part of the Think Theatre video interviews, and also see our series of behind-the-scenes 60 second videos for glimpses into the fascinating world of theatrecraft.
A career in performance
If it's an onstage career you're really interested in, you probably already know that it's a fiercely competitive industry.
It's not all glamour – most actors work extremely long hours, and to very demanding schedules. They can frequently experience long periods of unemployment.
The Conference of Drama Schools have also created a Guide to Auditioning & Interviewing, which you can download as a PDF.
At the RSC, we are unable to offer work experience in Acting, but we frequently host workshops such as Play in A Day and Theatre Days.
The RSC is working with 96 amateur theatres across the UK, to create their own RSC Open Stages production in their own venue. With productions taking place between April 2014 and April 2015 many of them are already in rehearsal.
Find out more about Open Stages, and an amateur theatre taking part near you here. Although there is no substitute for professional training, we believe that for anybody interested in a career in theatre, taking part in amateur theatre is a brilliant opportunity to gain invaluable experience, as well as have great fun.