Alex Wyatt is the company manager at the south London theatre. She tells Georgia Snow about her work at Tara Arts, which specialises in cross-cultural productions.
What does the role of general manager at Tara entail?
It covers a couple of aspects that the same role might not at another theatre. Because we are quite small, it covers quite a few different areas. I do a lot of the admin side, but also all of our front of house, which covers the bar, the volunteers – basically what a duty manager would also do, I take that on as well at the moment. What helps is that I’ve done many different roles [at Tara]. I’ve been here since December 2013, and people have been coming and going so I’ve fi lled in for various roles along the way while working my way up.
How will Tara’s new theatre, opening in September, affect the company?
For a start we are bigger than we were before, and we’ve now got multiple performance spaces, which we didn’t have previously. We’ve got a lot more options, and are now able to have two performances running at once. We can also hold more people so we can make a bit more money. We can use our space in a better way for hires as well, which we weren’t able to do before. So we can have a show on in the theatre and also hire the studio upstairs, so it will bring us a bit of variety that we can work with.
What is your career history?
I studied drama at college and university, and did theatre studies at the University of Winchester, so I did quite a bit of acting, but decided it wasn’t for me. I enjoyed my time doing it but I like to have a bit more stability. I didn’t actually start off working in theatre, I did quite a lot of various other bits – some retail and admin roles, a bit of childcare. I didn’t go full-time into theatre for two years, until I started here, but it was always something I wanted to work in.
Do you enjoy working for a company that has a specific remit in terms of the work it produces?
It’s so unique and it’s so niche because there is no other theatre that does the work we do. That’s certainly a massive appeal and it’s been so interesting to work with a company that is that little bit different. We are so rooted in our community and have done a lot of work locally, in places like the Henry Prince Estate [in Wandsworth, south London], and community work in our area. We do a lot with the local businesses here as well, so it’s not always your typical theatre that we stage. It’s a little bit outside the box.