New year, new season

Saeran Rowland

Faculty: Arts, Law & Social Sciences
Department: School of Performance
Category: Staff

7 February 2018

Two actors, dressed in period clothes sat on chairs in a field. They are bent over, as if being blown by the wind.

It’s been the sort of hectic start to the New Year where, even though I haven’t always felt super busy, time seems to fly away from me anyway.

What’s even more unusual is that despite January feeling like a very long month (as I’m sure my bank account would agree), somehow we are already nearly at double digits in February! Our new season is starting this week with We Are Brontë, and the whole season promises to host a wide range of shows that I am looking forward to. I am doubly excited for our spring season because it coincides with one of the most important tournaments in the Rugby diary…The Six Nations! (I know, I couldn’t be any more stereotypically Welsh if I tried). I will be making a conscious effort to tone down the rugby talk and the ridiculously over-the-top surge of patriotism that seems to only surface on match days.

Dere 'Mlaen Cymru!

So far it’s been mostly business as usual at the Mumford Theatre and Ruskin Gallery, with preparation for the start of our spring season keeping me busy. It’s been a great chance for me to get more experience putting the information for shows on our website so that they were ready to go on sale. It has allowed me to become more familiar with both the Sitecore and Spektrix systems and how to make the information accessible on both of them. It was a steep learning curve for me finally being able to wrap my head around the slightly more confusing aspects (price lists being a major confusing factor at first). I also had my first try at using InDesign.  My colleague Anthony very patiently ran me through the basics, and I’m fairly confident with doing some bits and bobs on it now (if you’re going past the TV screen outside the Mumford and see advertisements for our shows, some of those snazzy ads were made by yours truly!).

There was also the slightly less glamorous side of preparing for the new season, and that involved a lot of labelling and stuffing of envelopes. I have to admit, that aside from the threat of being buried in a mound of envelopes with no escape and the endless paper cuts, it was immensely satisfying seeing the stacks all ready to be posted to our customers. It’s even more satisfying now when I’m working on the Box Office and receive a call from someone who has just received our brochure, making the couple of days where our office resembled a game of giant jenga, well worth the pain.

These aspects of preparing for a new season are all relatively new to me because the majority of the preparation was done for the Autumn/Winter season by the time I began work in September. Being able to see how the gradual accumulation of information from companies has gone into preparing the various means of getting the word out about our upcoming shows, has been very insightful, and I’m grateful for the skills I’ve learnt along the way.

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