Colchester Institute Technical Theatre students to gain experience backstage at the Mercury Theatre
- Colchester Institute and Mercury Theatre Colchester announce partnership to improve student access to the theatre’s facilities
- Students will be trained in all areas of technical theatre including lighting, sound, and stage management
The Mercury Theatre Colchester and Colchester Institute have today announced that from September 2016, students on the College’s Technical Theatre degree programmes will have access to the Mercury Theatre’s backstage facilities, to help learn their craft in a professional theatre environment. Students already on the course will have access from September, as well as those signing up to study for the first time.
And the prospects for future employment look good - two members of the Mercury’s in-house technical team, as well as Workshop Manager Rob Parker, are all graduates from the College’s Technical Theatre programme.
One quarter of the students’ taught time in years 1 and 2 of their degree programme will be spent at the Mercury, gaining professional work experience. There is also the possibility of further work experience in year 3. Students will work across all technical disciplines – stage management, lighting, sound, set construction and crewing under the tutelage of Colchester Institute staff, with access to the Mercury’s in-house team.
Mercury Theatre Executive Director Steve Mannix said: “There is a skills shortage in technical theatre in this region – this important partnership with Colchester Institute will help to train the next generation of technicians. We hope that having trained with us, we can maintain a relationship with graduates over the long term, helping to grow their skills and also demonstrate the attractiveness of working here in the East of England.”
Director of Faculty: Creative Arts, Colchester Institute, Andrew Allen said: “We have been offering the BA (Hons) in Technical Theatre since 2007 and the graduates from the course have gone on to work all over the country and abroad. Many of our students have found their first jobs with the Mercury Theatre. This new partnership means that we can enhance the quality of the student experience on the course and ensure that our graduates are ready for the exciting opportunities for work in this growing sector of the economy.”