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CDS to publish backstage careers guide

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Aspiring technical theatre workers are to be offered a new insight into a career in the performing arts, through the first ever Guide to Careers Backstage, published by the Conference of Drama Schools.

Sponsored by The Stage and the Royal Opera House, the booklet is free and aims to give an insight into working behind the scenes in theatre. The guide covers areas such as lighting, sound, broadcast, flys, stage engineering, logistics, costume, wigs and makeup, with entries written by people working in the industry.

Speaking at the launch of the book, newly appointed CDS chairman Alastair Pearce commented: “[This is] essential work and consequently work absolutely essential that makes training of the highest quality. The colleges that make up the CDS undertake training of that quality by educating the next generation of backstage professionals… to my mind this guide symbolises that excellence.”

The book includes a focus on 12 staff at the opera house and also gives a section to each of the schools in the CDS offering backstage training.

ROH chief executive Tony Hall commented: “All of us here take very seriously the skills that the opera house has. It is a quite incredible place to work. You know about the skills you see on stage but all those skills that go into making these performances happen are absolutely key to what this place is about and any chance that we’ve got to share those skills, to help people develop those skills, enthuse people with those skills, we’re absolutely up for.”

Free copies of the guide can be ordered from French’s Theatre Bookshop, www.samuelfrench-london.co.uk. A downloadable version of the guide is also available at www.drama.ac.uk

Meanwhile, Rose Bruford College’s Alastair Pearce has replaced Vladimir Mirodan, who retires, as chairman of the CDS, while Drama Studio London has been admitted as a new member.

George Kitson remains president of the organisation, while Raphael Jago has been appointed as vice-president. Maggie Kinloch from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, LAMDA head of studies Sarah Rowe and stage management and technical theatre course director Rob Young were also elected to the board.

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