We at Greenwich Theatre pride ourselves in programming theatre that is accessible and representative of its local and wider community. We plan a year-round programme of established and emerging theatre here in the Royal borough of Greenwich that supports artists in taking their work around the world. The development of new work is always at the heart of what we do.
As with most of our industry, we’ve had a tough last 18 months, but our resolve is still built with the commitment to provide opportunity for upcoming talent. It’s with this in mind that we bring you our Top 5 Tips series.
In this series you’ll hear from our team working within their specialities. We’ll share our experience and expertise, which we hope will guide you in the development of your careers within or event outside of the industry.
Read the Tips below, then why not drop us an email, or comment on our social media to let us know what you think. Our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram links can be found at the foot of this page. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
James Haddrell is the Artistic Director of Greenwich Theatre. He discusses Tips that reward you.
James explains his Tips for actors and producers here:
- Actors – this business is tough, so reward yourself for any success – getting an audition, getting a recall, doing a great self-tape – it’s not just getting the part that deserves a reward!
- Actors – remember, in any audition, you’re auditioning them as much as they’re auditioning you. Take the pressure off yourself!
- Actors – if you’ve had a good audition experience, regardless of the outcome, drop the casting director a line and thank them. We remember things like that…
- Young producers – if you don’t ask, you don’t get. A lot of theatres in this country support artists outside of formal schemes – get in touch and tell us what you need. We just might be able to help.
- Theatre-lovers – after the two years that we’ve just had, it’s the newest emerging artists that are most at risk of being forced out of the industry. Buy a ticket for a fringe show or an emerging company and support the stars of tomorrow.
Find out more about James here
Lucie Morgado, Greenwich Theatre Marketing Manager, explains the importance of knowing your audience.
Lucie outlines Tips that supports branding and planning.
- Build yourself a social media presence and start interacting people who make similar content.
- Establish some sort of brand identity and stick to it, so that you become easily recognizable.
- Work out who your target audience are and think about what will entice them specifically to what you’re selling.
- Try to plan ahead/schedule the delivery of content so that nothing is rushed or feels reactive.
- Hone your network of reliable creatives who you can reach out to on a project basis. eg a trusted photographer, graphic designer and PR consultant.
Get some insights into Lucie’s career here
Jennifer G. Robinson is the Digital Communications Officer with insights into social media usage.
Jennifer provides guidelines around improving productions’ online presence and being press-ready.
- Create a credible Media Kit/Press Pack/EPK (electronic press kit), which should include high-resolution images of the cast (in and out of character) and crew, biographies of cast and crew; log-lines/synopsis, strong production posters of varying dimensions and sizes. Oh, and cut a trailer…or three! Once you’ve collated your assets, you can create the document using canva.com or if you’re feeling adventurous, Photoshop/Indesign. You can even use Powerpoint! Then store the document in an easily accessible/shareable place, i.e. dropbox, Google drive, wetransfer are some examples.
- Create a website – and if not a landing page will do. Easy to use and relatively inexpensive sites such as wix.com and Squarespace provide excellent starter examples.
- You don’t have to sign up to all the social media platforms going! Research your audience and make decisions from your findings about choosing your social media channels, then be consistent in posting content; consistency is key.
- Many new productions start out with limited budgets and as a consequence may find it difficult to curate the contents of a Media Kit. You can mitigate challenges with photography, videography, copy writing, editing and so on by building relationships with graduates and their educational establishments through reciprocal agreements.
- It’s important to add promotional/marketing activities to your planning from the get-go. Thinking about how you’ll promote your production after the event could affect your sales/audience targets negatively. So, from the script-writing/reading process, marketing should be mapped out for when then curtains rise (so to speak).
Find out more about Jennifer here
Catherine Nolan is our Front Of House Manager, who explains the need for CV adaptation.
Catherine explains why a well-crafted CV that shows off appropriate skills is important in securing industry roles.
- If you want to start getting involved in theatre then volunteer at a theatre (Get Into Theatre is a great resource for this!). Getting a foot in the door will make you more hireable and it may change your mind about where you want to work!
- Lots of companies no longer take unsolicited CVs so go to their shows and watch their social media for roles.
- Want to work Front of House? Great! FOH departments need warm and friendly staff more than they need people with a specific skill so make sure your CV and cover letter show this off.
- Want to change positions in a theatre? Ask your manager or the manager of the department that you want to move into. We will schedule time to develop people’s careers through different roles at the theatre.
- Work at lots of different theatres, as everyone runs their building slightly different! I worked at four theatres before I became a FOH manager and have taken the good and learnt from the bad from lots of my previous workplaces.
Catch up on Catherine’s varied experience here
Caz Hampton, Greenwich Theatre’s Technical Manager, is unafraid of heights for good reason! Her industry Tips are as follows.
- Have a good idea about how you want to use your technical time. A schedule sent ahead of time really helps us make the most of your time in the theatre.
- Take a look at our website, our tech specs are listed under “theatre hire info”
- Don’t be afraid of heights! Our dock door (which is at stage level) is 5m from ground level. Our Gantry is about 7m to the stage and our Grid is about 9m to the stage!
- Just Park is your friend whilst visiting us. Unfortunately we don’t have any parking available to us and the pay per hour car park can be pricy if parking for a while. It’s advised that you look at pre booking your parking to save some money before you come.
- Bring a pedometer! There’re a lot of steps in Greenwich Theatre, its surprising how many flights of stairs you can climb in one visit.
More background into Caz’s career are here
Simon Francis, our Executive Director, has been generous by offering Tips in two areas of a possible theatre career.
- Organise a simple read through with as big an audience as you can find. Then from the back, watch the audience not the actors. At the point they start to fidget, that’s the scene you need to improve.
- Before writing anything ask yourself, what’s this for? Get clear on that and stick to it.
- Write little and often. Try not to spend too long on one idea unless it’s progressing. Be prepared to let go of an idea that’s not growing.
- Be prepared to spend money on your development. Organise a read through properly. Paying professional actors in place of helpful friends will see unknown character depth revealed.
- When submitting to a venue or company for comment, send to people who think like you do. Don’t just fire it out to everyone. Remember that an opinion, even from someone you admire, is just one person’s view at one moment in time.
For people thinking about a career in theatre:
- Now is a great time to get into theatre. There are a lot of entry level opportunities so get through the front door work your way up.
- Take the work you’re being paid for seriously. “I’m an actor just working in the bar till I get a break” – no, you’re a barperson. First step to being an actor is to be authentic in everything you do.
- See more shows. Might seem obvious but going to small local events and fringe theatres will help you find what it is that you’re honestly interested in.
- Rather than job search at a particular time, find a venue or company that you want to work for and check their vacancies continually until the right opportunity comes by. Be prepared to wait.
- One constant in my experience in theatre work is that things will always be changing. You will be part of that. Even in a small role be ready to have a big impact on the place where you work.
More about Simon’s background can be found here
More updates from our other team members coming soon. Stay close for updates!
Greenwich Theatre brings another in-house production called Alarms & Excursions, a fraught look into the dynamics of technology in our lives. You can watch this play directed by James Haddrell and adapted from a Michael Frayn script from 11th February. Click here for more details and ticket information.