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Creative Employment Programme Case Study

Case Study: Lizzy Davis Trainee Drama Facilitator at Burnley Youth Theatre

Lizzy's Story

After graduating with honors in Theatre Studies I looked to move into my first paid role within the creative industry.

My role has been extremely varied and so rewarding. I lead drama workshops, produce and direct productions and stage manage events. I work with colleagues to re-jig scripts, ensure the technical element is correct as well as sort props and costumes. I have event managed Artisan Markets and other events involving the community which raises the awareness of the Theatre.

I work in partnership with external companies, universities and businesses. I am also taking a group of young people down to Plymouth to showcase a production at the Indra Congress which will be an amazing. I am learning to bid-write which is an integral part of this sector and I am doing a lot of the marketing work via social media. I have learnt to use new systems including Hoot Suit and Mail Chimp and my overall ICT have improved.

Thanks to the Internship I will now be able to get a career within the Arts sector due to the experience it has given me. The hands on experience has been priceless. My confidence has risen so much and I doubt myself much less. I have even started applying for roles in London, and I would never have done that 6 months ago. I have learned what I like and don’t like within the role – and I now know leading workshops isn’t the direction for me.

Getting used to working full time in such a busy environment and being able to juggle and multi-task has been great. I feel I have matured over the last 6 months and no longer have that "student mentality". I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t done this Internship.

The team have been fantastic and really supportive. It has been stressful however, I have learned to deal with this and the experience has done so much for my professional progression.

I am now being taken on as a Duty Manager and Arts Administrator following my Internship. I will also look to do freelance work.

About Burnley Youth Theatre

Burnley Youth Theatre is an established charity which actively encourages young people to engage in the arts. Their mission statement is to creatively inspire and challenge young people to take their next steps, whether this is in the arts sector as a participant, audience member or professional. The importance of working with the Creative Employment Programme (CEP), offering an internship for a Trainee Drama Worker, is paramount to the core beliefs of the organisation. We want to give young people real life opportunities to get into the creative workforce. The CEP has enabled us to do this and has enabled Lizzy the ability to learn how an arts organisation operates from the inside.

Lizzy undertook the Trainee Drama Worker role within the organisation which focussed on initially supporting delivery of workshops for children and young people aged 0 – 25 years before then being given the opportunity to lead her own set of workshops. She has been able to practice her understanding of theatre by working as the Stage Manager on a number of youth theatre productions before directing her own theatre piece ‘Another World’ which she will be taking to the Indra conference in Plymouth in May.

In addition and through negotiation with Lizzy she gained arts administration experience, supporting the writing of funding bids, event managing our Artisan Market fundraising event and working front of house.

During the six month internship Lizzy has brought great enthusiasm and new ideas into the organisation. She quickly became a member of the staff team and worked hard to learn and deliver the best for the children and young people who come to the organisation. She has been a great asset and will have a great career in the arts.

As an organisation we have been well supported by Lancashire County Council and the other members of the consortium. Being a part of the programme has enabled us to share learning, experience and questions with others and feel truly supported. We look forward to continuing our involvement in the CEP and would highly recommend involvement to other organisations. This programme has the potential to change the lives of these young people, giving them access into a sector which is exciting and inspiring.

Quotes from Lindsey West, Executive Director:

“We have valued the support given by Lancashire County Council and Creative Lancashire to help us make a difference to the career prospects for Lizzy”

“The Creative Employment Programme has helped us to support one very talented individual for her first step on the ladder for a career in the arts”

“We have thoroughly enjoyed having Lizzy as an intern within our organisation, she’s brought fresh new ideas into the organisation and has worked at 100% every day”