Backstage Production Arts student works with Bear Pit Theatre

6th December 2022

A Backstage Production Arts student from Stratford-upon-Avon College is working with The Bear Pit Theatre for their Christmas production.

Scarlet Davis, 19 from Evesham, is working as an Assistant Stage Manager (ASM) for Roald Dahl’s The Twits which runs at the theatre from the 2nd to the 10th December.

Scarlet outside bear pit
Scarlet outside The Bear Pit Theatre

Scarlet learnt about the opportunity from her lecturer, Lou Millward. She has always wanted to work backstage and was keen for any work experience that came her way.

She specifically likes Stage Management: “I’m organised, good at management and really enjoy being a leader.”

For the production, Scarlet has undertaken Assistant Stage Management (ASM) duties as well as prop collecting and making.

Scarlet had assistance from her fellow students from the College to make a whole host of props

Stage Manager for the The Twits, Ann Loscombe, is really pleased with Scarlet’s work: “Scarlet has been committed and focussed during her time with The Twits. She has had some good ideas and voiced them well. When we needed certain props making, Scarlet volunteered her fellow students and has been a go between to inform them of what we need and tell us how they are getting on. It has been a great collaboration.”

Ann continues with detailing why having an ASM is so helpful: “The Bear Pit is an amateur theatre, and everyone works on a voluntary basis. As Stage Manager you end up doing things that would be handled by other departments in a professional theatre. One of my jobs is to record where and when everyone comes on and goes off stage. As this production is in the round, that means there are four possible entry/exit points. Scarlet has helped me by noting when and where the children enter/exit to provide a comprehensive list for the Chaperones to use during the run, as all children need to be escorted to the stage and the Chaperones must be waiting for them when they leave. Scarlet has been able to help in various other ways, such as prompting the actors with their lines during rehearsal while I make notes. It is teamwork.”

Ann details why having a Backstage Production Arts student has been particularly helpful: “Having someone who is interested in backstage and has knowledge of how things work has been great. Scarlet understands what needs to be done and how to do it. I haven’t had to explain things too much and she has a good rapport with the cast and production team. I feel pleased that we have been able to give her some real-life work experience. It will be great to have Scarlet backstage working with us to ensure everything runs smoothly.”

Pamela Hickson, who was a founder member of The Bear Pit, said: “We always welcome students who want to gain hands-on experience working in theatre for whatever amount of time they can spare; for one show, or for two or three. We are always really pleased to see young people set off on their chosen career, knowing that we were able to give them a helping hand along the way.”

Scarlet has enjoyed preparing for the show: “It has been amazing watching the actors bring the script to life and has been wonderful working with such a great group of people.”

Find out more about the College’s Backstage Production Arts course: SUAC Onstage