This week, the year 10 GCSE Drama students had the exciting opportunity to participate in a ’sound and lighting’ workshop at Theatre Royal Stratford East. The workshop included informative talks about careers and how things work in the backstage side of theatre. We were also able to hear some personal experiences from the head of lighting and sound, how they got into this as a career and what young people can do to consider it as a career.
This opened our eyes to a side of theatre we weren't too sure about, giving us a deeper insight led to design and tech careers in theatre. However, this industry is dominated by men, with women still facing a broad range of discrimination in the industry. Emma Wilson, who is the Deputy Director of Technical and Production at the Royal Opera House said: “Through discussions with colleagues industry wide, I know I am not alone in experiencing the exclusion placed upon us by the practice of silent treatment, our voices being ignored, being blanked both alone and in front of colleagues, and being spoken over in meetings.” This really highlights how gender-based discrimination is something that remains in the theatre industry today.
Despite the challenges that women face in design, the world of theatre is becoming a more equal and inclusive place. There is still work to be done but more and more voices are speaking up about making the community a space that contains equal opportunities for all. Technical Theatre is not a “mans only” job and women should have the opportunity to shine in that role as well. So, a clear message for everyone who is interested in being involved in design and theatre, don’t be afraid! Design is a career path open to everybody and is something that may allow you to explore paths that you didn’t know were an option.
Written by Anya
Edited by Tasnima