Every year we open the Playhouse doors to a number of students on Work Experience to give them a flavour of what life is like behind-the-scenes at Oxford Playhouse. Here, Elena Browning talks of her time at OP...
There hasn’t been one moment this week when I’ve sat and thought to myself; “I wish I’d gone somewhere else for work experience”. With such a mixture of different activities, the opportunities to learn new things and improve my communication skills, and all the lovely people I’ve had the chance to work with, choosing to do my work experience at Oxford Playhouse was definitely a good idea.
Over the week, I’ve been able to do so many different tasks and work with lots of interesting people. On Monday, I had a tour of the whole building and met all the people who worked inside. It was really interesting to find out about the different departments, although there were a lot of names to remember!
On Tuesday, I worked in the ticket office serving customers, and although this was nerve racking at first and there was a quite a bit to learn and remember, with the help of the team, I found myself booking tickets for customers confidently. It turned out that the hardest part for me would be getting the tickets out of the ticket machine!
On Wednesday, I joined the marketing team to help advertise the plays that will be on show in the future. They were really kind people, who were willing to answer all my questions and give me some good advice for the future. On the Wednesday evening, I was given the chance to help with the ushering of a show, a task I happily accepted (and not just because the task came with being able to watch a show for free!) and the team were lovely and welcoming. I was given the job of selling programmes, which were thankfully a nice, rounded price of £2.50, meaning I wouldn’t have to engage the mathematical part of my brain all that much!
Arguably the strangest part of my work placement week took place on Thursday when we made food faces! It’s now clear to me that Oxford Playhouse is full of surprises! These food faces were for a top secret project that you are sure to see more of soon. It was great fun to let out my inner child on a week where I was supposed to be acting mature and like a grown up!
Over the whole week, in the afternoons, I was able to assist with the creation of costumes for an upcoming show, and apart from poking myself countless times with the needle, being able to help out was really fun, and it’s been great to see all of the costumes coming together.
Over all, I really have had a wonderful week- people have been so welcoming towards me, made me giggle and given so much great advice and ideas for the future, while teaching me and helping me to learn everything I can about what goes into getting a show onto the stage. I’ve found out how interesting life in the theatre can be when you’re off the stage rather than on, and how passionate people are about putting on a brilliant show and making the Playhouse accessible and open to everyone that they can.
I’d like to say thank you to everyone who has worked with me this week - I would definitely recommend doing your work placement at Oxford Playhouse - there is no way that you will regret it!