You can download our comprehensive production information pack by clicking here.
Please note that the Finborough Theatre does not programme any work that has been produced anywhere in London in the last 25 years (including transfers from other venues), and only programmes full runs of four weeks or longer.
Voluntary Positions (“Internships”)
The Finborough Theatre welcomes volunteers who wish to work with us.
We can only accept volunteers who can work with us for at least two months, for at least three days a week, usually in the evenings, including at least one weekend evening per week. Please note that – for insurance reasons – we do not offer work experience placements for anyone aged under 18.
Please note that all volunteers undertake a four week introductory period concentrating on administrative duties, box office management and day to day maintenance. Everyone follows the same programme, regardless of background or previous experience. We use this probationary period to get to know you better and assess you before potentially specialising later in addition to the basic administrative and box office duties. While every effort is made to make our volunteer programme a valuable and rewarding experience, everyone working at the theatre is expected to perform a variety of tasks, not all of which will be glamorous.
Founded in 1980, the multi-award-winning Finborough Theatre presents new British writing, UK premieres of overseas drama, particularly from the United States, Canada, Ireland and the English-speaking world, music theatre and an idiosyncratic selection of unjustly neglected work from the last 200 years. The Finborough Theatre focuses not only on the play, but on the total theatrical experience - regularly attracting the finest emerging directors and designers to work with award-winning actors.
The Finborough Theatre volunteer programme offers practical experience, and are also deliberately designed so that volunteers can also continue with paid employment at the same time if they wish. We seek bright, creative, reliable and self-motivated individuals of any age and background.
As the Finborough Theatre is such an intimate space, we have found from many of those who have also volunteered for other venues that they get considerably more out of the experience of working with us for the simple reason that they are immediately thrust into the heart of the action, and get to closely interact with our staff and visiting professionals.
Many of our previous volunteers have gained excellent paid employment through the experience gained working with us. The Finborough Theatre enjoys an enviable reputation – and a recognizable name – with theatre employers. Many of our former volunteers are now working in high profile positions in UK and overseas theatre. Many have also formed their own theatre companies together with other professionals and volunteers they have met through working with us.
On successful completion of a four week introductory period where you will take a hands-on role in the running of an multi-award-winning Off-West End theatre, we endeavour where possible to provide you with opportunities that directly relate to your specific theatrical interests. Please note that opportunities to progress (in addition to the continuing basic administrative and box office tasks) are dependent on successful completion of the four week introductory period , and the needs of the theatre and our productions. Opportunities to progress have included assisting directors, designers, producers, technical management, stage management, press, marketing, social media marketing and publicity, casting, and reading for our Literary Department, subject to passing our Literary Department’s Plays Test (scriptreaders for the theatre are generally selected from people who have volunteered for us first). Volunteers who show an interest and capability in taking on greater administrative responsibility may also have the opportunity to take on Assistant General Manager positions.
Volunteers working with us are also invited to our invitation-only Finborough Forum during the period they are with us. The Finborough Forum are regular monthly meetings featuring Q&A sessions with a wide range of industry guest speakers, followed by a chance to socialise with professional theatre practitioners.
There are also three mandatory commitments for all volunteers – the late night get out and/or get in once a month, distributing leaflets and posters for at least three days during their time with us, and one leaflet stuffing session once every four months.
Each volunteer will also have access on request to mentoring advice from Artistic Director Neil McPherson (who has more than 30 years experience in professional theatre) to provide support and advice on pastoral issues, personal development to help prepare them for a career in professional theatre and obtaining paid employment elsewhere.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
When do you accept applications?
At any time. We are particularly interested in volunteers for quieter periods like December and January.
How do I apply to be a volunteer?
Please see below.
How long does a voluntary position last?
We can only accept volunteers who can work with us for at least two months. Most volunteers stay for about three months, but many have worked for six months or even longer.
Are voluntary positions full time?
We ask volunteers to commit to a minimum of three evenings a week, including at least one weekend evening per week. This enables volunteers to get the most out of the projects they are working on and to feel part of the team, but also gives them the freedom to carry out other paid employment at the same time. For volunteers working on productions, the time demands may be considerably more.
When are interviews held?
One interview day a month is held, usually towards the middle of the month.
What if I am not able to attend the interview day?
Normally, we would delay your application until the next month's interviews. We may be able to conduct Skype interviews for non-London based candidates only.
Do you not offer internships?
We do not offer structured internships in the traditional sense of the word, as the volunteer programme is geared to the needs of a busy professional working theatre. If, however, following your time with us, you wish to use the word “internship” or “intern” on your CV or resume to describe your time with us, that is absolutely fine.
Do I need a work visa to apply?
No. Voluntary positions are unpaid roles and you do not require a work visa.
Do you offer acting or directing internships?
No, although many people committed to acting and/or directing have found volunteering with us a useful and productive experience. It can be particularly useful for aspiring directors who have recently graduated to gain experience in a professional theatre environment.
Is there a probationary period?
Yes. There is a four week probationary period for both us and the volunteer.
I would like to work with you, but am not sure what jobs would suit me best?
If accepted as a volunteer, we will work together during the introductory period to discover which position would suit you best. We want to find out what areas of the theatre you are particularly interested in or intend to make your career. We try and tailor jobs to fit your interests and aspirations wherever possible (within the constraints of the theatre's needs).
Is there an age limit?
For legal and insurance reasons, you must be 18 or over. There is no upper age limit, and we welcome older applicants.
Do you take applicants from overseas?
Yes, as long as you have an excellent fluent level of written and spoken English.
What should I wear?
Dress is normally smart casual to casual. It helps if you have some clothes for dirty work or painting.
Do you offer paid positions?
We regret that as the Finborough Theatre is a completely unsubsidised venue and a registered charity, we can only offer work experience on a purely voluntary basis. Although we are currently fundraising at present, we cannot pay expenses of any kind. Please note that we make every possible effort to work round your personal circumstances, so a lack of funds should not dissuade you from applying.
Can I work a second job to support myself?
We do everything that we possibly can to work around your paid work commitments. We only ask that if you agree to a schedule that you honour it absolutely.
Can I still claim Job Seekers' Allowance if I am a volunteer?
Yes, as long you continue to actively seek employment alongside your role as a volunteer and you notify your Job Centre of any expenses you are being reimbursed.
What is my legal status as a volunteer in regard to national minimum wage?
As a registered charity, volunteers at the Finborough Theatre are legally classed as "voluntary workers" and are therefore exempt from national minimum wage legislation. The legal position of our volunteers has been agreed and confirmed by HMRC, following a a lengthy consultation process with them.
Can I receive academic credit for my volunteering?
If volunteers wish to receive academic credit for their volunteering, it is the volunteer’s responsibility to make arrangements with the sponsoring institution. Academic credit is up to the discretion of the volunteer’s college or university. We will provide the sponsoring institution any necessary reports or evaluations.
How flexible are the hours?
We are happy to work around your schedule wherever possible. Please note that working in theatre is rarely a “9 to 5” job and a degree of flexibility is required. We do expect that if you agree to a schedule that you honour it absolutely.
I'm not from London. What about housing?
Past volunteers have found affordable housing by staying with relatives or friends, finding a share, house-sitting, etc. If you don't have housing prospects already, you should be prepared to deal with it before committing to a voluntary position. We regret that we can’t find accommodation for you.
Is prior experience required?
We look for people who have demonstrated a passion for working in the arts and who are at a point in their careers/education to strongly benefit from the experience we offer - but enthusiasm and commitment is more important than experience. We encourage applications from from any personal, academic or professional background.
HOW TO APPLY
Please e-mail us at email@example.com
Please include the following, and please note that you are unlikely to get an interview unless all of the information below is provided:
- A CV / resume.
- Full details of your availability including when you would like to start and end the position, how many days a week you can commit to etc. Please provide actual dates of your availability to start and end your volunteering.
- A Personal Statement. This statement should be 500 words or less and include information on your career objectives and how you expect to achieve them, what you expect from volunteering at the Finborough Theatre, your experience and/or education in theatre, the qualities you possess that recommend you as a candidate for a voluntary position. Your personal statement is a chance to reveal information about yourself that may not be represented in your CV.
- Please note that letters of recommendation are not needed initially. If you are granted an interview, we will ask you to provide the names of two references.
- You do not need to specify which areas you may like to work in as this will be discussed on successful completion of the introductory period.
- Please write your subject line with the word "Volunteer Application" and then your name, e.g. "Volunteer Application Walter Plinge" or " Volunteer Application Mary MacLeod".
Please have a look around this website to learn more about our work. Please refrain from calling us unless we have called you. Instead, use e-mail to ask questions and/or follow up on your application.
You will normally hear from us within a few days of your application. Shortlisted applicants will then be invited to our interview day. If you are unsuccessful, we are sorry that we cannot give you individual feedback.
If you do not receive a reply within seven days, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that this email address is only to be used if you have not heard from us after a period of at least seven days.
Send your application in the first instance to email@example.com
If you have any further questions that are not answered above, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We welcome enquiries from directors. Please see the Theatre Hire link above.
We regret that our Resident Assistant Director Programme is no longer running.
We advertise casting opportunities for our productions primarily using The Spotlight casting breakdown service. Please ask your agent to submit you.
We regret that we cannot send casting breakdowns to individual actors.
Please don't send unsolicited CVs and photographs, either by post or by email, as we don't have the storage space to keep them.
If you don't have an agent, please visit our Productions page where all forthcoming productions are announced and submit yourself about six weeks before the production by post. However, a submission in answer to a specific advert is always preferred and more likely to get you an audition.
Please post any submissions, using ordinary post, not registered or recorded delivery. Please do not email, phone or visit.
If you would like us to see you in your work, please see the Invitations section below.
We do nearly all our casting using The Spotlight, so please do ensure that your CV on Spotlight is kept fully up to date. It would be helpful to keep it updated regularly with your current and forthcoming availability, and especially helpful to include details on where you trained and for how long a period.
If you have a production which you want us to see, please do send us an invitation. We will do our very best to send someone, although if we cannot reply to your invitation, it does not mean we are not interested and haven't taken note of your work. Please also note that we do not have the resources to offer any feedback on your production; and we do not transfer productions from other London theatres, so whilst we are very happy to see your work, we will not be able to offer you a transfer. Please email details only to email@example.com
As an unfunded theatre, we regret that we do not have time to grant interview or questionnaire requests for dissertations or academic projects. This website should be able to answer most of your questions. The archive of the Finborough Theatre is placed with the Theatre Museum.