Today, the 100th Trident Stage Hand student will complete his two-week work experience placement at Jersey Arts Centre, charting the legacy of the partnership with Careers Jersey.
Trident is a unique opportunity for Year 10 and 11 students across all Island secondary schools to experience working life as part of the curriculum.
The role of the Stage Hand involves working on a range of technical and maintenance tasks, as well as gaining experience in the box office and marketing department. The 100th student, William Castille of Hautlieu School, describes his experience: “I’ve really enjoyed my two weeks working at the Jersey Arts Centre and have learnt about so many different aspects of working in a theatre, including: lighting, sound, set and working in the box office. In particular, the street dance show, Boogie Nights, taught me a lot about preparing and working on a show. I will never forget my time here.”
Steven Laffoley-Edwards, Stage Manager and Deputy Director at Jersey Arts Centre has monitored the progression of past Trident students “We jokingly say, when we first meet with our Trident students, that if we can’t put them off working in theatre during the time they are with us they are probably destined to work in the Arts and this has actually proved to be the case. Quite a few of them have entered the theatrical world professionally, indeed a number have even returned to work at Jersey Arts Centre itself – not just in Stage Management but in Marketing and Administration as well.”
Two such examples of students whose careers have tracked through from their Trident work experience are Suzie Foster and David Munns. Suzie, who was a Trident student in 1998, joined Jersey Arts Centre in 2000 as the very first Apprentice Stage Manager before heading off to Bristol to study. Since then her career has taken her to the Edinburgh Festival, to the West End on ’One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’ and even around the schools of Jersey with two successive Arts Centre TIE Projects.
David Munns, who was placed as a stage hand for Jersey Arts Centre in 2005, went on to be offered a one year placement as JAC Apprentice Stage Manager in 2008. He stayed in contact with the theatre throughout his undergraduate studies at Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts and since graduation he has secured employment as a stage manager on Royal Caribbean cruise ships.
Trident Manager, Deborah Midgley said that “we are very grateful to the support Jersey Arts Centre has shown Trident over the past 23 years. Trident work experience provides local students the opportunity to gain basic employability skills and helps them to make considered vocational choices. In the last 10 years alone approximately 9,500 students have taken part in Trident work experience”. Trident is always keen to hear from employers who can provide two to three week placements for 14-16 year old students.