Lewisham College welcomed Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance alumni Sylvia Darkwa-Ohemeng and Jessica Hung Han Yun, who studied Stage Management and Lighting Design, to deliver a talk to Production Arts students and share their experience of breaking into the creative industry.
The former students spoke about technical and backstage theatre, how different experiences have helped get them to where they are today in their chosen careers, and shared key pieces of advice with Lewisham students aiming to build a enjoy a career within the sector.
Commenting on her visit, Sylvia said: “It was a pleasure to talk to the students at Lewisham College. In the current climate it is so important that they know what their options are both during and at the end of their studies, and it is beneficial for them to hear from those who have been in their position before.”
Following the session, Production Arts student, Reese Maleking, was offered the opportunity to shadow Sylvia during some filming at the Young Vic Theatre. Based on her performance Reese was asked to participate in another project at the Noel Coward Theatre on the set of Dear Evan Hanson.
Reese Maleking, Production Arts student, said: “This opportunity opened my eyes to the backstage work that goes into a theatre production, how this work is done and how challenging it can be. I enjoy watching productions from the audience’s point of view, but having experienced what goes on behind the scenes, I now appreciate the performance even more and I realise that what happens behind the stage can be even more fascinating than the show itself.”
Sylvia Darkwa-Ohemeng, Rose Bruford College alumnus, said: “I feel Reese learned that even though theatre is not working in a conventional way at the moment, we are able to collaborate with other forms of creative outputs. She helped with the set up and clear up of each venue, dealt with props and helped the film crew with the clapper board. The team found her very helpful!”
This opportunity was facilitated by Backstage Niche, a community of freelancers who work in the creative fields of theatre. The team strive to increase representation of minority groups in the industry through workshops, panel talks, theatre trips and more.
Lewisham College offers a range of courses for 16-18s and adults designed to nurture performers and creatives to develop skills in production, performance, media, art and design. The College’s Creative, Performing and Production Arts provision is delivered in partnership with Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance.
Find out more about our range of Creative Arts courses at lewisham.ac.uk/creative-arts.