Torch Theatre employs UWTSD Graduates for their upcoming season.

For many years the University’s Set Design and Production department has established a fantastic relationship with the Torch Theatre in Milford Haven that provides work experience and placements for current students, which then turn in to employability opportunities for graduates.

George White has been employed at the Torch Theatre as a set builder & technician. He was firstly out on tour working on their recent production ‘Carwyn’ and now returned to the theatre to start working on their upcoming panto ‘Beauty and the Beast’. He said:

“I focused my third year on both set building and lighting and it’s a real pleasure to go straight into employment where I can enjoy working on both my specialties. The encouragement to apply for the job at the Torch came through my lecturer, Dave Atkinson. He inspired me to chase my ambition to work across two fields of specialism (set building & lighting) and through his guidance I gained the correct experience to have the confidence to step straight into work.”

Beth Elsbury was offered the role of an assistant stage manager at the theatre at the end of her final year as a student at UWTSD whilst touring there with her final year production. She added:

“My taught skills are being put into practice; our third year of real shows has really prepped me for what to expect in industry. It’s been a great experience working with The Torch Theatre so far. It’s great to be able to put what I’ve learnt into practice whilst learning more along the way on a project of this scale. I’m proud to be a part of such a great production where I’ve met so many talented and welcoming people and am really looking forward to getting started on the Panto season.”

Rebecca Evans is also working at the theatre as an assistant stage manager, and is grateful for the support she had from her lecturers.

“Thanks to my lecturers Dave and Stacey, I got the experience to not only study within the industry but work in it also. These industry connections and placements enabled me to be ready to start my first job after graduating, working at the Torch Theatre. The team has been very welcoming, and I am already looking forward to working on the upcoming panto season. However, I couldn’t have done it without my peers and lecturers. The opportunities of work experience presented through all our years of study has been a big help.”

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When Laurie Peric was at the start of her third year at UWTSD she gratefully accepted the invitation to take a work placement at the Torch Theatre as a scenic artist. Coming from a trade background as a mature student and upskilling into theatre she felt it was important to build on her strengths. Laurie found that juggling between her studies and working in a professional environment was only achievable because of the training she had been given from the course.

“Following on from my placement, I was asked back to the Torch throughout the year, to work on outside projects for companies, such as Theatr Na Nog on their touring shows. This gave me the opportunity to work with other designers which strengthened my confidence and understanding of my role. This year’s autumn in house show for the Torch has been the production of Noel Cowards Private lives, set designed by Kevin Jenkins for which I was again the Scenic Artist. The result has been a great success for the company and fantastic portfolio opportunity for me. The team of lecturers from my course even after graduation have been an ongoing support for me by providing workspace on Campus in partnership on projects with the Torch, or just being that phone call away. All I can say what a great journey I’ve had so far, and remember you are never too old to follow your dreams.”

UWTSD’s Set Design & Production lecturer Dave Atkinson said:

“We have a long-standing working relationship with the Torch Theatre, not only do they work to a high standard, but every year also they welcome graduates to get a first job under their belt. Our Set Design & Production course is always evolving to match the needs from industry which means we create work ready, multi skilled practitioners. Our stage managers can make and repair props and costumes, our set builders know how to rig lighting equipment and so on, meaning our versatile graduates are skilled and employable.”

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