Shona’s Placement

19 Jun 2017, Posted by Harriet Meeuwissen-True in Uncategorized


The first day of work experience is always a nervous adventure for anyone. For me the nerves kicked in when I left my house, mainly because I was late setting off as usual. But after two bus rides I made it and was soon welcomed into the building and its friendly environment. Today’s been mostly office stuff, I have my own little desk in the corner where I have been designing props and helping advertise the upcoming youth theatre production. The day has been very chilled, we’ve all been doing our own thing, Harriet has been giving me jobs to do and teaching me how to do them. I have learnt about the quieter admin side of running a theatre company, the company only contains four members of staff who arrange and organise everything. This experience is helpful to understand the other side of theatre making that isn’t often acknowledged, it may not be as exciting but is just as important to learn about.


It’s been another chilled day in the office, I’ve been doing lots of little jobs around working towards the youth theatre performance. This morning I was given the chance to read through their script, and even write out one of the scenes which needed adding in. It’s interesting to see how the production is being created; the young people get to devise each scene themselves which Harriet then types up into the script. I’ve learnt how rehearsal workshops are planned out with Harriet and been able to see what everyone else gets up to in the office, as the other two members of the company have been in today. Today has been another insight into the reality of working in a theatre company.


Today’s was a lot more practical; I was able to observe the rehearsal processes that take place at Interplay. In the morning I was given the chance to sit in on a rehearsal for Tarzanne, everyone was very inclusive, not minding a 17 year old giving suggestions about changing moments in the performance. It was great to see how Steve, the director, worked with the cast: making sure any issues were dealt with and working on the finer details of the performance. This gave me a lot of insight into how a professional company works, especially with ensuring the production is adaptable for the road. Over the afternoon I was able to go home for a little break before getting back on the bus and return to Interplay in the evening to experience working with the LS12 (youth) Theatre company. It was lovely seeing the young people’s talent and energy, and helpful to see how Harriet worked with the group to get so much done within the three hours of blocking and rehearsal time. I worked with one of the girls to help her block her monologue for the piece, it was amazing to see her enthusiasm and ideas for what she was doing.  Today was a great to experience the more practical and exciting aspect of theatre making by seeing how other people from different ages and experiences work with their passion for theatre.


Mainly today I have doing some design for the LS12 Theatre show, trying to figure out a clever way to incorporate canteen tables into a minimalist stage design.  Much of my day was filled with researching and sketching out designs, which has been a lot of fun as I’m really interested in theatre design but never really had a lot of chance to get a much experience. After a nice little lunch break in Armley park, I returned to my sketching before two of the youth theatre members turning up to work on a song for the performance. The girls have written the lyrics themselves and been working with a local singing teacher, Rachel, to create a tune and finish the composition of the song. It’s great to see how the young people are doing different extra things for the performance.


Last day blues will soon set in when I leave Interplay today. It’s been a pretty quiet day; I’ve been trying to find post offices with Harriet to drawing the symbols on to recycling bins and creating a worksheet for the youth theatre’s tech team (just to have something that links into theatre). It’s been a really informative week giving me an insight into the different jobs around theatre making, involving admin, directing, designing and community engagement. I’m so grateful to Harriet, Tom, Steve and Andrew for allowing me to temporarily  join their little team, especially Harriet who’s let me shadow her for a week. The experience has been great and I’m looking forward to  seeing LS12 Theatre’s production in three weeks time as well as other Interplay performances in the future.


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