This week is Careers Week, and so we thought we'd talk to the Theatre Hullabaloo team about their roles, their journeys, and any advice they have for those interested in a career in the arts.
How would you describe what you do at Theatre Hullabaloo?
I am the Programme Coordinator at The Hullabaloo, so I look after everything to do with the programme each season. That includes confirming details for the visiting companies that make up our programme of shows and looking after them while they are here, researching national celebration days so I can organise some craft activities under that theme and planning our big take over days – we’re currently finalising plans for A Hullabaloo in Wonderland in a few months time!
How long have you been working here, and can you tell us a bit about your career journey?
I joined Theatre Hullabaloo as the building opened so I’ve been here for about 15 months. Before this role, I was (and still am) a Freelance Theatre Producer for a few companies based in Newcastle: New Writing North, Wunderbar and Greyscale Theatre Company. I worked with New Writing North for just over five years producing their touring adaptation of a children’s book that visited community venues across the north of England each year as part of Durham Book Festival. I worked with Greyscale to help produce an autobiographical show by a local artist that is now touring I believe. With Wunderbar I worked on a massive variety of arts projects, from ‘Edicure: the edible manicure’ to ‘Opera Helps’, an agony aunt project that responded by sending opera singers to visit people in their homes. Before I found my feet as a Producer I worked at Gala Theatre box office which gave me a great base knowledge of arts organisations and I worked as part of the Arts Development Team for Durham County Council on seasonal events that started my love of working big scale events. My career journey to date has been across about 6 years I’d say and it still changes from job to job.
Sarah in our Creative Play installation, Dreamland
What does your average day look like?
My days are massively varied because my workload covers a variety of projects. If we have a company arriving to set up, I’d meet them and show them around the building making sure they had everything they need while they’re at The Hullabaloo, then at some point I’d sit and watch the show.
Every day is different but I start every day going through emails first thing with a cup of tea and checking over my list for the day.
What’s your favourite thing about working at Theatre Hullabaloo?
I love the variety in my job and working with people that are real experts in their field. I also get to watch really amazing children’s theatre as part of my job!
What’s your favourite thing about working in the arts?
I love knowing how to make things happen, whether that’s a one-day event and working on everything that goes into making that day happen for lots of people to experience, or meeting the company who dreamt up a really clever set as part of their show! Since working in theatre, I now enjoy watching theatre outside work and working out how everything happens. The arts generally are so important for everyone to have in their lives so if I can bring joy to a family by making a paper snake with them for them to take home then that’s a good day.
What advice would you give to students who hope to follow your career path?
It’s hard work, particularly freelance work but there are so many opportunities to learn and build on your knowledge and experience. If you work hard and be the best you can be, your reputation will take you in exciting directions. Also, there are loads of transferable skills within arts jobs and you can start piecing together your dream job by trying different roles in different organisations.