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Meet Carys Wehden

Theatre has always been an important part of my life. I was inspired from a young age by my primary school teachers and by theatre companies who would come to our school to perform for us. Theatr na nÓg was one of the theatre companies that came to my school, and from that moment onwards I can remember thinking how I wanted to be involved in the creative and magical world of theatre. 15 years later, and here I am embarking on a Masters degree in Arts Management at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. I have an undergraduate degree in Drama and English Literature from the University of Birmingham and I feel that my dream of working in the world of theatre is finally becoming a reality.

As a Welsh speaker living in Wales, I really want Welsh arts to be the focus of my career. Having done work experience with the BBC and Sherman Theatre in the past, I wondered whether I could return to my childhood and do work experience with a theatre company that I have admired for many years. This August, I managed to secure 5 days work experience with Theatr na nÓg. The experience confirmed for me that the Arts is the industry that I want to work in, especially in theatre, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Theatr na nÓg. While I was there, each member of the team spent time describing their role and responsibilities and I received first-hand knowledge on the inner workings of a theatre company. As an audience member, we only see what is on stage in front of us, when in reality so much hard work and detail goes on behind the scenes months prior to the performances.

I found Kate Williams’ job as Theatre Manager and Nancy Sheterline’s job as Marketing & Communications Manager particularly interesting. As this was my first insight into a theatre company, it was fascinating to learn about marketing strategies and to see how production budgets are calculated. I really enjoyed researching for potential funding for Eye of the Storm, and I also enjoyed helping Nancy by researching and compiling a spread sheet of useful press contacts. During my work experience I was lucky enough to sit in on rehearsals for The White Feather. It was so exciting to see what happens during the first stages of rehearsals, and it was really lovely to meet every member of the cast and crew. As much as I enjoyed watching the rehearsals, I couldn’t help but feel myself being drawn back to the office, to see if there were any tasks that I could help out with. Although the creative process of a production is so interesting, I have discovered that I am better suited to the more strategic and logistical side of things.

I would like to thank Theatre na nÓg for allowing me to spend time at their theatre company. I really enjoyed every second of the experience and what I have learnt is invaluable. I now feel confident going into my Masters degree as I know a lot more about how a theatre company works. I look forward to seeing all of the wonderful future productions by Theatr na nÓg and I hope that many more young people are inspired by their work, just like I was.

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