When Stage Two at Norwich Theatre Royal launched its Young Producers programme for 2018, it gave a group of 16-25 year-olds the opportunity to gain hands-on learning within the theatre. This year-long programme has the added excitement of a new festival being organised and run by the group. The festival Taking Spaces: Facing the Future runs from 16th–18th November at Stage Two and the group are developing events which include: A Night of Short Plays, an Open Mic Night and an Art Exhibition.
Taking Spaces is about using the area you have and creating something from nothing. Working collaboratively within the Norwich theatre departments and the young producers, they have to keep up with the motto of ‘act on your instincts- get involved’ and getting out what they put into the programme.
The programme provides training opportunities for the participants called Skill Up! These include event management, marketing, stage management and the technical side of theatre to give them a real understanding in the different job roles and then demonstrate those skills by putting on their own festival.
They have a chance to see different performances throughout Stage Two and the Norwich Theatre Royal Auditorium by stewarding or using a Young Producers Card which helped them broaden their understanding of the theatre’s programme by giving them the opportunity to watch lots of shows. They meet weekly to ensure they are hitting their deadlines, and have searched for artists and acts to be part of the festival while also keeping within their theme. The producers are also getting hands on experience about how to create posters in a professional manner and the process of distributing them out around Norfolk.
We spoke to Festival Coordinator and Young Producer, Megan:
What does your role involve?
I’m responsible for making sure that everything is running smoothly. I liaise between project leads and the Community Participation Team making sure everyone is hitting their targets and their workloads are manageable. A large amount of what I do involves making sure everyone is communicating with each other.
What is the most challenging aspect of being Festival Coordinator?
Getting hold of people and working around other people’s commitments. Many of us have part time jobs or are studying alongside being on the Young Producers Programme so making sure that everyone’s schedules align up nicely can be quite a challenge especially to get everyone in the same room at the same time.
What’s next for Megan?
Hopefully getting a job I’m passionate about where I can use the skills I’ve learned through the Young Producers Programme! I’m hoping to stay on for the 2019 year of Young Producers as well.
Find out more about the festival at ntr.org.uk/TakingSpaces