Many Welsh or Wales based arts graduates are finding this current period especially difficult. Their usual opportunities to meet agents, prepare for final year exhibitions or productions may take place later in the year or sadly not at all. To raise awareness of the diverse talent graduating this year GTC is offering any Welsh or Wales based graduate the opportunity to be showcased on our website. If you are interested, please do get in touch.
Hi Carys-Haf great to meet you, can you give our readers some background information on yourself please?
Hi there! I’m a Welsh speaking Stage Manager based in South Wales, currently in my final year studying Theatre Design and Production at UWTSD Carmarthen.
During my time at university I have undertaken many exciting work experience opportunities – Theatr Na’Nog, Hay Festival, UWTSD Perfformio, National Theatre Wales and Rondo (S4C). During my second year I was offered my first professional employment as ASM (Bookcover) with Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru on their production of ‘X’ at the National Eisteddfod in Llanrwst.
I love the theatre and being a Stage Manager. To tell you the truth I enjoy every aspect of the technical and creative side. I’m prepared to work hard to learn and develop my skills. I’m upbeat, enthusiastic and enjoy working with others, believing that a positive, understanding work environment is of benefit to all. I am an organised person (I love lists and risk assessments) and always ensure that my job is done to the best of my ability. I thrive on the challenges and variety that theatre has to offer. You can find out more about me and my work to date here
So, what got you interested in the arts?
My grandmother and grandfather had a great love for music and theatre. From a young age they took me to the theatres in London to see shows as they were released. My parents being a little off the wall took me to shows such as Rocky Horror, Return To The Forbidden Planet, No Fit State Circus, storytelling and I’ve been to many belly dancing haflas (very theatrical). I’ve loved them all.
Choosing drama as a GCSE and A Level subject made me realise that I was ‘made’ to be in the theatre, however, maybe not acting. Although I have taken part in many shows it has always been the production side of theatre that interested me most.
Can you tell us about your creative process?
Being a Stage Manager means that I constantly have to be creative – fitting shows into smaller spaces, sewing up tears on costumes – finding a different way to get information out because of technical problems, the list is never ending and always different.
As a young Welsh artist graduating during a very difficult period what investment and support do you think is required to enable your career to develop and prosper?
I can’t believe how many opportunities have been put online, and being in lockdown has given me the opportunity to take advantage of these. I have written an online showcase, spoken to several industry professionals and am looking into free online music courses offered by the Open University. All of these provide a great opportunity to get my name known and will be of benefit to my career.
A range of arts organisation and individuals are now working online or finding new ways to reach out to audiences. Have you seen any particularly good examples of this way of working?
I’ve loved all the different opportunities that have been made available and have found that Twitter is a good resource to get information.
The Other Room is offering one-to-one zoom meetings with their creatives. This was a great opportunity where I was able to talk to the producer and ask him for advice.
Sherman Theatre offer workshops and the opportunity to showcase yourself on ‘Your Platform’ (this is for anyone in the industry not just graduates).
I’d recommend that everyone in the industry make the most of this time – get out there, learn something new, grab this opportunity while you can!
If you were able to fund an area of the arts in Wales what would this be and why?
I would like to make the arts, especially theatre more accessible to all by funding shows in deprived areas. Lets get the whole community involved. Let’s produce these shows in Welsh and English.
What excites you about the arts in Wales?
The arts in Wales are diverse – from small rooms at the back of a pubs to the Wales Millennium Centre, outdoor events to festivals. Wales is progressive and vibrant. We’ve got it all and in two languages.
What was the last really great thing that you experienced that you would like to share with our readers?
I just love the theatre and have loved all the productions I’ve worked on so far. I was recently the Stage Manager for my Main house module at University. I worked on the play RAGE directed by Peter Doran and Lynne Seymore. What an experience working with such brilliant directors. Working on a play so intense and as fast paced as RAGE was exciting and calling a show was a new experience for me.
Thanks for your time Cays-Haf. Carys-Haf is also on the social media platforms below