Bizarrely it was at The Bike Shed Theatre in Exeter where I first heard of Pentabus Theatre Company. They were on tour with their show ‘This Land’ and on realising they were based in my home county I got in touch about work experience as soon as I could.
Fast forward to Monday the 15th August 2016.
My first day at Pentabus was packed with a tour of the building, an introduction to the computer system and work with the database, with an artistic element of a script reading in preparation for the Artistic planning meeting on Wednesday. I was introduced to software such as ‘Audience Finder’, ‘Mailchimp’ and ‘Canva’ which I’ll likely use again in the future so it was brilliant to be introduced to it - It’s more interesting than it sounds, I promise.
The most valuable part of the experience for me came when I got to send time with each of the team members to talk about their role in the company, from producing and directing to finance, budgets and funding. They were all excellent in explaining the tasks they deal with day to day and gave me valuable advice on where to get experience and the kind of things to expect from each of their roles.
I had the chance to get involved in an artistic planning meeting where we crowded around a table in the main hall to discuss plays. The meeting was a brilliant way to see how the company deals with new writing which they are sent. One by one we discussed what we liked or didn’t like about the play we had read and it was interesting to see the various approaches to critiquing a script.
My very short 3 days at Pentabus was such a valuable experience as an insight into the running of a theatre company and in particular a rural touring company. Rural touring (look up the National Rural Touring Forum if you haven’t heard of it) is an exciting area of theatre which I’ll be following throughout the final year of my degree. The team were so friendly and I’d definitely recommend work experience here.
Thanks to everyone at Pentabus!