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Trainee Designer – Theatre by the Lake

Post of Trainee Designer

Theatre by the Lake has always made a commitment to training and development, particularly of theatre workers at an early stage in their careers. The repertoire season, which forms the core of our home-produced work, means that we are particularly well placed to offer training and development for creative staff. We bring an acting company together for 7 months of the year thus offering staff the opportunity to be involved with the creation of six varied productions during the summer months. In addition, this programme provides the trainee with the opportunity to both assist our Resident Designer, Martin Johns, and then progress to take on full design responsibility towards the end of the scheme. These factors, we believe, make us uniquely placed to offer a very valuable and successful training experience – previous trainees have maintained constant employment in the theatre industry and have also returned to work with us on a professional basis.

Post Details & Further Particulars

We are looking for a self-motivated, enthusiastic and hard-working individual who has completed formal Theatre Design training to degree level (or equivalent standard) within the last two years. Ideally, the trainee will have realised both set and costume designs in a theatrical context and have a working knowledge of the processes involved.


To request an application pack, please contact Ali Wylie on 017687 72282 or email ali.wylie@theatrebythelake.com or for further information about the post contact Sophie Curtis on 017687 81108. Please note that applications should include a completed standard Theatre by the Lake application form together with visual images of two contrasting set designs and two contrasting costume designs on which the applicant has worked. The closing date for applications is Friday 15 August.


Interviews will take place on Friday 29 August, and will be conducted by Martin Johns (Resident Designer), Ian Forrest (Artistic Director), Stefan Escreet (Associate Director) and Karen Ann Billington (Technical & Production Manager). Candidates will also be given a tour of the building and have an opportunity to find out more about how Theatre by the Lake’s Summer Repertoire Season works.

Starting Date & Proposed Schedule of Work

The post will begin on Monday 27 October running through until Saturday 25 July 2009. Throughout the scheme, Martin Johns, Resident Designer, will act as Mentor to the trainee.
The suggested programme of work will be as follows:
OCT / NOV 2008:
Upon arrival, the Trainee will have the opportunity to see the full Summer repertoire up-and-running as we reach the end of our 2008 season.
Work as Design Assistant to Martin Johns on A CHRISTMAS CAROL (Theatre by the Lake’s Christmas 2008 Main House production) and work alongside our Trainee Director, Anthony Middleton, on the design aspects of A TOUCH OF MAGIC (a late-night show of magic and readings in Theatre by the Lake’s Studio).

DEC 2008 / JAN 2009:

Initial design discussions with the Directors of the three 2009 Summer Season Studio productions.
Attendance at production and design meetings for Melvyn Bragg’s THE MAID OF BUTTERMERE, adapted by Lisa Evans (Theatre by the Lake’s Easter 2009 Main House production).

FEB / MAR 2009:
Work as Design Assistant to Martin Johns on THE MAID OF BUTTERMERE.
Continue work on Summer Season 2009 Studio designs.

APR — JUL 2009:
Rehearsal/production period for 2009 Summer Repertoire Season. Work as Designer for the three Studio productions plus additional ‘œhands on’ input working together with Martin in support of all six Summer Season productions.
NB. Titles of the six Summer Season productions will be announced in late October 2008.


The salary is £1250 per month.


The Trainee will be required to base themselves in Keswick or the surrounding area for the duration of the post (Theatre by the Lake has a digs list with details of available accommodation in Keswick and the immediate vicinity). Please bear in mind that Keswick is not a place for city-lovers — it is a small rural town in the heart of the Lake District and not the most accessible of locations by train or coach.

As mentioned above, we are ideally looking for someone who has recently completed a Theatre Design course (within the last 2 years). We see the post as a substantial opportunity for a designer at the beginning of his or her career.

Other Terms and Conditions

Standard terms and conditions apply to staff of Cumbria Theatre Trust (Theatre by the Lake). These will form part of a formal contract of employment.

Equal Opportunities

Theatre by the Lake is committed to the development of positive policies to promote equal opportunities regardless of sex, marital status, colour, race, ethnic origin, age, disability, sexual orientation or responsibilities to dependents. The principal criteria for selecting a person for a particular job shall be a person’s ability and the job’s requirements.


Theatre by the Lake is a ‘œno smoking’ building.



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