Welcome to the TheatreWorks Ambassadors’ Blog! Here at the TheatreWorks Ambassadors’ Programme, we hope to provide avenues for volunteers to develop themselves beyond their volunteering stints, to grow and increase their capabilities in different areas of interest. As such, this blog was introduced as a platform for volunteers to hone their creative writing skills and share about their volunteering experiences.
We have been conducting interviews with our Ambassadors to find out how they think and feel about their volunteering experience with TheatreWorks! For today’s interview, we caught up with Chermaine Cham. Passionate about the arts, let’s find out more about her thoughts towards TAP!
“The smallest details make the biggest difference in ensuring a pleasant experience for the audience/participants.”
– Chermaine Cham, TheatreWorks Ambassador
Tell us more about yourself. How did you get involved in arts volunteerism?
Hi, my name is Chermaine and I am a Year 2 Theatre Studies undergraduate at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Before my foray into Theatre in NUS, I was never in touch with any Theatre or drama clubs. Learning about Theatre in NUS intrigued me and I wondered what was out there in the Theatre scene in Singapore. As such, I started off by volunteering, to better understand the behind-the-scenes work in a professional Theatre company.
Do share with us your experiences volunteering with TheatreWorks. How does it make you feel?
The most impressionable volunteering experience was for the TheatreWorks 24-Hour Playwriting Competition. I saw how much effort was put into the planning of the competition and it was interesting to meet playwrights and gain insight to the challenges thrown to the participants.
What are some of your takeaways as an Ambassador?
I get to meet a lot of amazing people and make friends. I also learned a lot about managing logistics and customer service. The smallest details make the biggest difference in ensuring a pleasant experience for the audience/participants.
What do you hope to see in the future as an Ambassador?
I look forward to meeting more like-minded people through volunteering at TheatreWorks and also give back to the Arts scene in Singapore.
Can’t get enough of our interviews with Ambassadors? Here’s our past interviews with Khaw Han Chung and Amy Jelsma!
Do keep a look out for more upcoming interviews with our Ambassadors! Interested in arts volunteerism? Join our TAP family here today!
Our conversation with our past ambassador coordinators continues! Passing on the baton from last year’s conversation with Louisa Vilinne to Lee Wei Ting, here’s an insight of her role as an ambassador coordinator and her experience through TheatreWorks Ambassadors’ Programme (TAP). Scroll down to start reading more!
…It is a refreshing experience to get to know [people from different walks of life].
– Lee Wei Ting, TAP’s Past Ambassador Coordinator
Do share with us your role as Ambassadors’ Coordinator.
As the Ambassadors’ Coordinator, I managed the volunteer database as well as the Ambassadors’ blog. I worked closely with the TheatreWorks team to understand the required manpower needs in each production and coordinated the volunteer call. I would also often communicate and work alongside Ezzat (TheatreWorks’ Engagement Executive) to organise volunteer recruitments and engagement programmes as an extension of the volunteer opportunities. I would also be present on days of the production to brief volunteers on what they can expect from their duties and to assist in these duties myself.
How has this experience changed your views on arts volunteerism?
I always had the perception that only those who are keen supporter of the arts would find time to volunteer in arts related events. However, through my experience as Ambassadors’ Coordinator, I have actually come across people from different walks of life. They are either volunteering out of curiosity or are avid volunteers in different fields of work themselves (E.g. Sports: ASEAN Paralympics Games 2015, Marathons etc.). It is a refreshing experience to get to know them. Some of them told me that besides it being their first time volunteering at TheatreWorks, it was actually also their first time being involved in the arts! They also shared how new an experience it was for them to view the performance space before a show, to manage late comers cue and, the best of it all, standing in to catch the performance itself!
It was through my experience as a coordinator that made me realise the value of arts volunteerism. Arts volunteerism is not only an indication of the amount of support and dedication people have to the arts industry. It also serves as a platform for the public to be introduced and engaged with the arts. Therefore, it is important for volunteer managers like myself to cater to these group of volunteers. What I learned is that it all goes down to the basics of a volunteer experience. It is important for volunteer managers to familiarise volunteers about the event, and explain certain technical terms which may only be familiar with art goers (Eg. stage right, stage left, latercomers cue etc.) This can reduce the risk for any miscommunication and increase the efficiency of work to be carried out on days of the production. As volunteer opportunities may be several non-art goers first step into the arts, it is important for volunteer managers to look into shaping an accessible volunteer experience. This helps volunteers have the room to explore and not feel intimidated in a field which they may not be familiar with. The best outcome? They may eventually become art advocates as well!
What were some of the challenges you faced as Coordinator?
Being wary of the wide age group between some volunteers and myself, I was worried that volunteers would not be convinced of what I had to say to them. Initially, I find myself wanting to sugar coat my words whenever I spot volunteers behaving inappropriately when they are on duty (Inappropriate behaviours such as checking their phones, slouching and hiding at a corner). I did not have the guts to confront and correct them. However, after some time, I realised that this worry of mine may be of negative influence to younger volunteers who are volunteering alongside the older volunteers. Younger volunteers who may not realise the consequence of such behaviours may eventually imitate them and this comes as a result of my fear to take proper action. I reflected after the first two shifts which I was involved in and came to a conclusion that it was crucial for me to present my stand clearly and most importantly, to avoid having double standards when treating the volunteers.
What do you wish to see in TAP in the future?
I wish to see a greater variety of volunteer roles in TAP in the future! Currently, most (if not all) volunteer duties revolve around Front-Of-House (FOH) duties. Volunteers may be skilled in areas such as media and publicity, props design and web design which TheatreWorks may find helpful with. Through such opportunities, volunteers would not only have a chance to hone their skills, they will be allowed to showcase the best of their abilities through such industry related projects as well!
Find out more about our past ambassador coordinators, Sara Lau and Louisa Vilinne, through the conversations below!
Interested in getting more insights and fulfilling experiences in the arts industry? Click HERE to join our TAP family right now!
On 28-29 July, we presented She Ain’t Heavy, She’s Reaching Into Space, conceived and performed by Eng Kai Er and Faye Lim at 72-13! Here’s what one of our Ambassadors, Nur Shahirah, had to say about the performance.
We have been conducting interviews with our ambassadors to find out how they think and feel about their volunteering experiences with TheatreWorks! For today’s interview, we caught up with Amy Jelsma. Passionate about the arts, she has volunteered with TheatreWorks on a number of occasions. Let’s find out more about her thoughts towards The Ambassadors’ Programme!
“Volunteering for theatre in this way provides me an opportunity to learn about important issues”
– Amy Jelsma, TheatreWorks Ambassador
If you are brimming to be involved in the arts, here’s your chance! Coming up in July and October, we have many volunteering opportunities for everyone. So, save the dates now!
She Ain’t Heavy, She’s Reaching into Space
28-30 July 2016
72-13 Mohamed Sultan Road, Singapore 239007
Front-of-House duties (To assist in crowd control, ticketing, collation of feedback forms)
The 24-Hour Playwriting Competition
Dates: 30-31 July 2016, 4pm-4pm (You can choose to work in specific shifts)
Event assistants (To assist in crowd control, collation of feedback, tend to participants’ needs)
6-8 October 2016
Front-of-House duties (To assist in crowd control, ticketing, collation of feedback forms)
More details of these programmes and volunteering opportunities will be available soon. If you have any enquiries, do feel free to contact TheatreWorks’ Engagement Executive, Ezzat, at email@example.com
We hope to see you soon!
Recently, TheatreWorks presented one of its main season programme Under The Volcano from 21 – 23 April 2016 at 72-13. We had some Ambassadors who came to help out for front-of-house (FOH) duties, and they were able to catch the show. One of our Ambassador, Kerrine Goh, shared with us her thoughts on the performance.
We are excited to share another volunteering opportunity for our upcoming production
Under The Volcano!
Based on one of nature’s deadliest disaster that killed over 30,000 people, this piece explores the lives of the people most affected – those who lived at the heart of disaster. Using dance, martial arts and music of the Minangkabau culture, this gripping dance-drama relives the devastation and rehabilitation following the disaster. The message of ‘Under the Volcano’, that connects all natural disasters in the world is as true today as it was in 1883: To survive in this world one must depend on the help of others.
TheatreWorks Ambassadors’ Programme offers numerous opportunities for everyone to get involved in the arts. Whether you’re an avid theatre-goer or even if its your first time venturing to the theatre, we warmly welcome you to join us.
Geraldine Loh, one of our new Ambassadors, shared with us her virgin experience in the theatre while helping out during Between Consciousness.
I was fortunate to have the opportunity to volunteer with TheatreWorks for their show Between Consciousness. Besides volunteering at front of house, I also got to catch the performance by the first prize winner of TheatreWorks’ 24-Hour Playwriting Competition with the audience.
As part of TheatreWorks’ efforts in expanding the knowledge and capabilities of our ambassadors, exclusive preview of productions are arranged for our ambassadors before the show is staged to the public. This opportunity, made available to all ambassadors, aims to equip them with better knowledge of the production, and expose them to different artistic directions, which they may not have witnessed before.
For instance, the preview of Between Consciousness, was arranged exclusively for our ambassadors on 13 February. Keen to know more about what you can expect from the play? One of our Ambassador, Eugene Ho, shared his thoughts on the show as well as his experience at the preview.
“The piece hit me in ways I didn’t expect. The initially bright and energetic performance both complemented and contrasted the heavier overtone of the script, and many powerful moments were conveyed”.
To understand how our ambassadors feel and thought about their volunteering experiences at TheatreWorks, we are conducting a series of interviews with numerous TheatreWorks ambassadors. Starting off this series will be the interview with Khaw Han Chung, a NAFA student pursuing his Diploma in Arts Management. Passionate about the arts, Han Chung has been actively volunteering for many local arts events. Let’s find out more about his thoughts towards TheatreWorks’ Ambassador Programme (TAP).
I always believe that every art community have their stories to inspire people.
– Khaw Han Chung, TheatreWorks’ Ambassador