I am now at the beginning of my fifth week at The North Wall – which means I am already a third of the way through my placement! I can’t believe how quickly the time is going, and so far everyday has been different. I have been spending a lot of time with Ria Parry (Artistic Director) learning how to run an arts organisation – which varies from day to day. It has involved meetings with various departments in the building and also with other venues around Oxfordshire.
Currently I am working with Amy, our Programme and Marketing Manager on making the venue more accessible. This is involving research and consequently I am making recommendations to update the way the website is structured and the information that is displayed. Following on from D/deaf awareness and autism training last week I will also be putting forward ideas to improve incivility to audiences and artists and making everyone feel more welcome in the building. Some of these changes I can implement whilst on my placement – such as creating a visual story of the building, whilst others may require funding and therefore take a while longer get the ball rolling – such as creating an access register for customers to sign up to on the website.
I also visited Battersea Arts Centre to see a work in progress sharing by SK Shlomo and Matthew Xia. This was really exciting, and a great opportunity to meet some people I look up to in the industry. I also had the chance to visit the Young Vic last week with Ria and Amy as they led a workshop for the genesis network of directors.
Upcoming I will be assisting on HAWK rehearsals, observing several directors as part of the Catalyst residency, and assisting on rehearsed readings during the Alchymy Festival. These opportunities will be invaluable as it’s not often directors get to see how other directors work. I will end my time at The North Wall leading a workshop on a text of my choice and working with professional actors, which I am really looking forward too.
I think it’s invaluable for theatres to sign up to the scheme as this time is so important for an early career director like myself – these opportunities are few and far between. Every day is different and consequently I am learning so much about what goes into running an arts organisation and venue as an Artistic Director. I am also being given the chance to network and gain a deeper understanding of the industry. If you have an interest in one day being an Artistic Director this experience can be shaped in a way that benefits both the theatre and the director.