National Theatre’s technical training programmes for young people return for 2023

Two free programmes for young people interested in learning about technical theatre and offstage careers in the creative industry return this year. Applications are now open for the Young Technicians Programme which offers the chance for young people aged 14–18 to develop technical skills and learn from top industry professionals.

The 14-week Young Technicians Programme will run on Tuesday evenings between 5th September and 12th December 2023. These practical sessions take place on site at the National Theatre and offer young people training in sound, lighting, and stage. Interactive workshops include learning how to put a sound system together, learning about rigging and automation and how to use a lighting desk to programme lights for shows. Participants will work with leading National Theatre professionals to develop their practical skills and learn about the various roles that exist backstage and off-stage.

The NT’s Nationwide Young Technicians Programme has also been running in Manchester and the East Midlands in partnership with HOME in Manchester and the Nottingham Playhouse to help create pathways into technical roles across the country. Through these programmes, over 160 young people have been able to explore theatre making skills over the past six years.

After completing the programme, participants have access to the Young Technicians alumni network to further support the next steps of their careers. This network offers members access to specialist workshops, show visits and continued work opportunities. Four Young Technicians alumni will be working backstage on the NT’s River Stage Festival this year, supporting across the James Cousins Company weekend (16–18 June) and Hackney Empire Young Producers weekend (30 June–2 July). Supporting the sound, lighting and stages teams, they will see the festival from planning to fruition and help with setting up DJ decks and mixing live bands, operating lighting effects and managing busy turn arounds.

The NT’s Stage Management Programmealso returns for the first time since 2020. The programme offers young people aged 16-21 an insight into the world of theatre and an opportunity to develop practical skills applicable for stage management roles. This course will take participants through the role of a stage manager in all aspects of a show, from rehearsals to performance and runs for 6 weeks from October 2023. Applications open from 15th June.

Zoe, 17, who participated in the National Theatre Young Technicians programme in 2022 said:

“I did get what I wanted out of the programme and more. At the start, I knew I’d learn a lot from this experience, but didn’t realise how much I would learn about technical theatre.”

Aimee, 17, who also participated in 2022 said:

“Young Techs was really fun. I had an absolutely brilliant time. It was lovely getting to know everyone, meeting all the different National Theatre workers”.

Alice King-Farlow, Director of Learning and National Partnerships at the National Theatre, said:

“It is always a joy to welcome young people to the National Theatre to learn practical theatre making skills as well as build confidence and transferable skills for future careers. We want young people to feel emboldened and have accessible avenues into creative careers and seeing our Young Technicians alumni come back to the National Theatre to work on projects like the River Stage Festival is a great testimony to the impact of these programmes.”

The National Theatre is committed to diversity and priority will be given to groups currently under-represented in the field of technical theatre. This includes young people of colour, deaf, disabled and neurodivergent people, people from working class backgrounds, and women and non-binary people.

No prior knowledge or experience is required to apply for these programmes.

Applications for the Young Technicians Programme are now open and close on Monday 19th June.

Applications for the Stage Management Course open on Monday 15th June and close on Monday 17th July.

To apply, visit the NT Website.

Written by Theatrefullstop