BA (Hons) Stage Management student Nicole Franks completed a placement with The Old Rep Theatre in Birmingham where she had the opportunity to work on the production of Alice in Wonderland. Nicole answered a few questions for us about the practicalities and benefits of her time on placement.
Where did you complete your work placement?
I completed my placement at The Old Rep Theatre in Birmingham, I got to work on the production of Alice in Wonderland.
How did you secure your placement?
We attended lectures on finding placements and there were a few places that were looking for Stage Management students, Birmingham theatre The Old Rep was one of them.
What kind of things did you get involved with on placement?
I got the opportunity to be the Assistant Stage Manager (ASM) for the show, I was originally only meant to be there for the run of the production itself, but they decided they wanted me to join earlier so I was there from the start of the rehearsal process. Before the production started I had the opportunity to make the props and help paint the set for the show.
Since placement, do you have a better idea of what you want to do when you leave university?
Yes, the experience helped me decide that I definitely want to be an Assistant Stage Manager because I really enjoyed what the role involves, now that I know what to expect from a professional theatre production.
What was the best piece of advice you took from placement?
The best advice I got from placement was always help as much as you can but don’t exhaust yourself. If someone isn’t pulling their weight, it’s best to talk to someone about it and not try to handle all the challenges on your own. It’s an important aspect of being part of the team.
What advice do you have for other students thinking about their placement?
I would advise that, dependant on your timetable, complete a placement as soon as possible – don’t wait too late to sort it out. Also aim high with the big theatres but don’t forget about the small ones too, because working in a smaller theatre has given me such a good experience.
Did you make any good industry links that could help with your career?
I met a lot of new people and I have been offered casual work at The Old Rep, and also work with the designers and directors who worked on the production.