Bootcamp finishes on a high

12th April 2024

Creative Venue Technician Bootcamp students have celebrated completing their programme by hosting a performance in Stratford-upon-Avon College’s Willows Theatre.

After taking part on a 12-week training course, participants were able to utilise the skills developed by working with a range of industry professionals in top live venues and theatres to produce, perform and run a version of the play Lungs by Duncan Macmillan.

bootcamp group
The bootcampers put all their skills to use in their final production

The performance was a shortened adaptation of the play and completely organised and overseen by the bootcampers who had to run the lights and sound, stage manage and organise costume, set and props.

The show was a huge success, showcasing incredible talent in terms of design and execution.

The bootcampers led on every part of the show from production to performance

Sophie Jolly, Bootcamp Manager, commented: “This performance marks a significant part of the Bootcampers’ journey – it is a culmination of three months of dedicated skill-building, networking, and self-confidence growth. Their performance was enjoyed by our venue tech partners, family, and friends. It reflects their outstanding teamwork and determination. Achieving such high standards in such a short time is a testament to their hard work and collaborative spirit.”

The Co-Director of the play and bootcamp participant, Phoebe Benson, was incredibly proud of the cohort’s achievement: “It has been fantastic! It has been so special to create something completely self-driven by the bootcampers. It was such a collaborative experience, utilising everyone’s independent skills and specialities into a learning and nurturing experience. And the most important thing, everyone enjoyed it!”

She also detailed how the overall bootcamp has impacted the final production: “The skills developed on the Creative Venue Technician Bootcamp have 100% impacted this project. Building confidence, meeting people, utilising resources and taking advice from top creatives and technicians from the industry has supported our learning process and we are better for it.”

The Bootcamps by Stratford-upon-Avon College and Solihull College & University Centre are run in partnership with the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), with funding from the Commonwealth Games Legacy Enhancement Fund.

The College’s run a variety of courses for adult learners and the free creative bootcamps on offer focus specifically on upskilling or reskilling those who wish to progress or begin a career in the creative industries. They offer a productive and effective way to grow talent and develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce by allowing learners to build a solid foundation of skills technically and gain experience by working in a professional environment.

The Creative Venue Technician Bootcamp has allowed participants to work with incredible industry professionals in top live venues and theatres including the Royal Shakespeare Company, Birmingham Hippodrome, New Hampton Arts Centre (NAC), The Halls Wolverhampton, The Grand Theatre Wolverhampton, Arena Theatre Wolverhampton Uni, The Birmingham Rep, B:Music, Midlands Art Centre (MAC), Digital Garage and Warwick Arts Centre.

Bootcamp participant Mark Smith detailed why this experience has been so beneficial: “Being part of the Venue Technician Bootcamp has allowed me to meet likeminded individuals who all have a creative common goal – to thrive in their own individual spaces, giving each other support in any way we possibly can. I’m grateful for the opportunity and hope experiences like this continue for those who really want to succeed in their careers, and at the same time, network and meet new people who may help and support them on their journey.

Being on the course has increased my ability and confidence to delve deeper into my passion for live music, events, sound engineering, recording, and the visual side of all the above, including theatre.”

Find out more about the College's Bootcamps: Bootcamps