Volunteering in the New Venture Theatre
As a Charity we are reliant upon our volunteers to help make productions and support all the activities behind the scenes that make us good at what we do.
To get involved, read about the areas (below) where volunteers make fantastic contributions to our theatre! In many cases, you don’t need experience – just enthusiasm! We welcome students or those planning on working in the theatre industry; the skills learned, and commitment demonstrated can be valuable in the jobs market.
We have a code of practice in equal opportunities that actively encourages diversity in our volunteers.
There are 3 main aspects to the theatre:
Productions - This includes anything from acting to building the set.
Production Support - This will include Box Office and Bar
Theatre Support - This includes fundraising, general publicity etc.
There are many ways to be involved in productions. Acting, Directing. Production Management, Backstage, Technical, Set, Promotion,
Acting – the most obvious. All NVT productions have Open Auditions. Anyone can audition, but they will need to become a member if cast. Our auditions are announced in our Newsletter and on our website.
Directing – If you have experience as a director, we welcome proposals for each season. We have ‘Proposal to Direct’ window that runs from November to February for productions in the following October to July season. Details can be found on the website during this period. If you are not experienced as a director but would like to get involved, you may be able to assist a director in a production first.
Production Manager – The Production Manager manages the administration of the production, while the director works with the creative aspects. The Production Manager coordinates rehearsals, the organisational aspects of each role and manages the production budget. This role requires knowledge of the theatre and how a production is developed. More details of the Productions Manager’s role can be found in the Production Manual on our website. If this role is of interest, you may wish to assist a Productions Manager first.
Backstage – This covers a number of roles.
Stage Management – The Stage Manager (SM) is an organisational role, often working with a team of Assistant Stage Managers (ASM). The SM is involved in a production throughout much of the rehearsal period as well as during each performance. More details on the role of the Stage Manager can be found in our Production Manual.
Props – There are two aspects to Props – Organisational and Design. The organisational aspect is identifying, sourcing and providing the props required for a production – the NVT has a considerable range of props. The Design aspect is to design & create specific props required for a production. This can crossover with set building, which often includes building bespoke furniture.
Costume – There are two aspects to Costume – Organisational and Design. The organisational management of costume is sourcing the appropriate costume for the production – we work with some excellent costume organisations locally, which helps with this. The Design aspect can range from alterations and modifications of existing clothing to designing and creating bespoke costumes. This can crossover with props design for some more bizarre costumes.
Hair & Makeup – This is more a creative area and can range from basic makeup and hair styling to more elaborate designs, possibly using prosthetics.
Lighting – There are 3 aspects to lighting – Design, Rigging & Operation. Design & Rigging are often, but not always, undertaken by the same person, as they do correlate. For rigging you need to be confident using ladders and working at heights. Operation can be involved in the setup along with rigging and has the ongoing role throughout the latter rehearsal and performance period. Whilst the operation is often quite straight forward and good sense of timing is necessary.
Sound – There are 3 aspects to Sound – Design, Creation & Operation.
Set Design – This can be anything from a realistic box set to a surreal almost stage and is dependent on the vision of the Set Designer and Director. This creative role can require some past experience, but working alongside other designers is a great opportunity to gain great insight.
Set Building – Set building is working as part of a small team. Depending on the set design this could involve setting up flats, building furniture etc. Some DIY or woodworking experience may be useful, but not essential.
Set Painting – Set painting will again vary depending on the set design. Some will be DIY type painting whereas sometimes it will need some artistic skills.
Publicity – This requires the creation & coordination of publicity content – text, images etc. for all regular publicity routes and any specific ones tailored to the specific production. Deadlines are pre-set for all publicity requirements. More details on this can be found in the Production Manual on our website.
Photography – This includes taking and providing publicity images prior to the production and dress rehearsal images for the website, archives and in theatre display.
Poster & Programme – This has both design and organisational aspects. The design is to create poster images and programme design that reflect the play and the director’s vision of the production. The organisational management is to ensure all content for the programme is collated and the poster, flyers and programmes are printed by the set deadlines.
The main difference between being part of the Production and Production Support is that the support functions are constant for each production / event. The dominant aspects are Front of House and Box Office.
At every performance we need people to help on the bar. Serving and taking interval orders before the performance, serving during the interval and after the performance. This also includes the Steward in the auditorium during the performance in case of incidents. Training will be given, as required, for all aspects.
If you are interested, please contact the Front of House Coordinator
Serving in the Box Office is a great role at the centre of what is going on at NVT. You are the first person that our theatregoers meet. You welcome them to the theatre, sell tickets and programmes, provide information to the customers and to support your fellow front-of-house volunteers. You are doing something which is critical to the theatre: no box office, no tickets, no money, no theatre! Ideally you would be free to cover one box office shift per production (as a bonus you also often have a chance to get a sneak preview of a play by watching the Dress Rehearsal).
The Box Office Manager is ready to train you and support you in this essential NVT volunteer role.
If you are interested, please contact the Box Office Manager
Keeping the theatre running as an organisation has other aspects to it. These include Publicity, Fundraising, Archive, Membership and Volunteer management, Props, Building Maintenance, Health & Safety, Artistic Management, Production Planning, Finances, Coordinating Acting Class & workshops, Newsletter, Website etc.
Most of these are organised by people in specific roles, but a number have teams working with them on specific areas. Previous experience outside theatre can often be very useful in some of these aspects of the theatre.
If you have an interest to be involved in any of these areas listed above your first contact would be the volunteer coordinator.
Get in touch -