When I received the email saying that Westacre Theatre had accepted my work experience application, to say I was delighted would have won the award for ‘Understatement of the Century’. Having been a regular at the theatre’s young people’s workshops for a grand total of six months, I was over the moon to have been given the opportunity to spend five working days – from the 13th to the 20th July – in what I can quite safely say is my favourite place to be. At the time, I hadn’t the faintest idea of what Isobel and Andy would have me doing, but I was certainly all set and raring to go.
A few weeks later, I was sent another email, containing my schedule for the week, my first glimpse of what I was to experience. The range of work was wide to say the least – I could see I was going to be doing everything from helping out at the ‘Jazz Picnic’ the theatre had organised (what on earth was a jazz picnic?) to working on the theatre grounds (gardening… at a theatre?). Still, not being one to question my ‘employers’, I decided to find out what all this was about when I started working.
I must say, being the Westacre veteran that I was starting to consider myself as, I was surprised at how little I knew about what happened there. There is so much more to the theatre than what I had already seen. I discovered that there were important events to be assisted with, exhibitions to be put up, cataloguing to be done, and that other very important stuff (that I can’t say I understood) happened in the ominous ‘office upstairs’.
However, through all the laminating, rehearsing, set-preparing, hats, and cups of tea, I realised that the theatre works in the most amazing way. Everyone chips in, everyone does a bit of everything, like lots of little cogs that interlink together to make the whole clock run smoothly and beautifully. The experience was what can only be described as an eye-opener, and one which I am very grateful for.
Westacre Theatre isn’t quite like any other. During my five days working there, I was truly made to feel like one of the team, as if I had been working there as long as any of the professionals. The site, combined with the people who dedicate so much of their time to bringing it to life, are what make the place so charming, so wonderful, a place I have, quite literally, fallen in love with. Whatever you’re looking for, whether it’s somewhere to learn more about the world of drama or if it’s purely for a good night out, I recommend you pop down to Westacre Theatre. I can assure you, you will be far from disappointed.
By Naomi Thorp, Year 10 Work Experience student, July 2014