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Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Interning with Education 
By Megan Smith  

I have just completed my six week internship in the RSC’s Education Department following completing a degree in Theatre and Performance at the University of Leeds. It has been an incredible opportunity and I have learnt vast amounts. I am particularly grateful to have been given an internship that is attached to a specific project that I can really get my teeth into.  I hope to pursue a career in an education department of a theatre or arts organisation so this internship was perfect! My main task was to assist with the 2012 Regional Schools Celebration. I played a large part helping with the administration of this event and helping to facilitate this two day event.  I was also responsible for evaluating this event which involved carrying out interviews, writing reports and presenting my findings to the Education Department.

A task I thoroughly enjoyed was producing the programme. I worked closely with members of the Graphics department and really enjoyed editing sections of text in the programme and choosing effective images. During the actual event, I was ‘a buddy’ for the day, which meant that I was responsible for ensuring the schools knew where they needed to be throughout the day, guiding them through their technical rehearsal and cuing them on stage for their performance and curtain call. I was partnered with a year seven group from Toot Hill School in Nottingham, whose rehearsal I had watched the week before. Their piece was beautiful and it was great chatting to the students and teachers and seeing their obvious new found enthusiasm for Shakespeare’s texts and for some students simply their new found love of theatre. 

As well as my role assisting with the Regional Schools Celebration, I was also able to gain an insight into the wider work of the Education Department, gaining an understanding of projects such as I, Cinna The Poet and the Young Company’s Production of Henry V and the YPS King Lear Tour. During my time with the department, I learnt vast amounts about arts administration and how an education department on this scale operates. I have a strong interest in the work of theatre education practitioners and hope to one day carry out such work. I was able to participate in a workshop exploring Othello with AS level students and a workshop with year six pupils unpicking the themes of Macbeth, which was extremely fast paced and I was fascinated by just how much material the students were able to get through in just an hour.

A highlight of my time in the department was taking part in one of the Teachers Courses which was led by practitioner Miles Tandy, exploring how to approach Shakespeare’s texts with early years classes. It was fascinating discovering Miles approaches and techniques along with several primary school teachers.

During my internship I also shadowed the deputy stage manger and assistant stage manger for Julius Caesar and spent time with one of the company’s assistant producers as I wanted to gain a broad insight into all elements of a professional production as in the future I hope to of facilitate young people’s performance events. Completing an internship with the RSC in my chosen field has been invaluable and extremely useful for my future career. I would strongly recommend it to anyone wanting to advance their knowledge and skill set, everyone in the education department was hugely supportive and I had a fantastic six weeks!

Image - Megan presenting students from Toot Hill School in Nottingham with their certificate for performing in the 2012 Regional Schools Celebration. Photograph by Ruth Marshall