Get Into Theatre is founded on the belief that all young people should have the same opportunity to pursue a career in theatre. The website removes barriers by providing an accessible and practical advice resource for young people and careers advisors.
In 2016 a report commissioned by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, Centre Stage, found that one of the main issues preventing young people from BAME and lower-income backgrounds from pursuing a career in theatre was the lack of information about the on and off-stage career opportunities, support and experiences that the theatre industry offers. Get Into Theatre addresses this need.
Emmanuel Kojo, actor and former Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation Scholar, said:
‘Get Into Theatre is a platform that is a must. When I wanted to pursue a career as an actor if I had not had the right teachers around me who guided me and showed me that there are drama colleges, I would never be where I am now. A platform like this allows people like me, who don't come from a theatre background, to find out the vital information to help you understand the different ways of getting ahead of the game and looking at different routes into the theatre business, whether backstage or in front of the audience. It is vital!’
Andrew Lloyd Webber said:
‘I am delighted to see this one-stop-shop for theatre careers being launched today, making one of the key recommendations of the Centre Stage report a reality. I passionately believe a career in the arts should be accessible to all and that young people with an interest and passion for theatre are able to easily find information on the training and tools they need to succeed. It’s vital that talented young people from diverse backgrounds find a way through and ensure theatre remains as vibrant as the populations it serves. This is just the start. I urge all those who have been successful in the industry to get behind this careers initiative and spread the word.’
Get Into Theatre has been developed by The Stage and is funded by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, UK Theatre and Society of London Theatre (SOLT). Prompted by Centre Stage, the 2016 report into the pipeline of diverse talent in the sector, and research into the needs of the off-stage workforce conducted by UK Theatre and SOLT, the website will directly combat the lack of diversity, training and awareness of routes into the industry that has resulted in its misconception as a high-risk career choice.
Working to combat these issues, Get Into Theatrewill place a particular emphasis on supporting underprivileged young people, especially those from ethnic minority backgrounds, who are less likely to have a personal industry contact to help them navigate their career path.
Cassandra Chadderton, Head of UK Theatre, said:
‘We must invest in and value our off-stage workforce now if it is to continue to thrive in the future. Get Into Theatre will give all young people considering a career in theatre the clear and practical advice they need, and help theatre to attract a more diverse range of people to the industry - improving our relevance, and our resilience, in the long term.’
Khadija Raza, Set Designer, said:
‘Get Into Theatre helps to demystify what working in theatre is actually like and opens up the possibility of finding out about the many backstage roles that exist. I think something like this would have been vital when I first discovered theatre as a teenager. To have had this wealth of information and support would have been an excellent resource.’
Get Into Theatre will work alongside other careers initiatives, including: Inspiring the Future of Theatre, which since launching last year has recruited over 1000 industry ambassadors to go into schools and talk about off stage careers; Theatrecraft, the UK’s biggest careers event for off-stage roles; the Creative Careers Programme; and Stage Sight, a peer to peer collective working to improve diversity.
Date Published: 02 May 2019