Theatre Hebrides grew out of a community Play project that began in 1997 so we knew from the outset there was a high interest in people wanting to volunteer, particularly when we had a show on. Because actors and crew have to be paid on a professionally fixed rate of pay we knew we would have to rely on the support of volunteers to make other aspects of the Theatre Company viable. As far as possible, we try and give volunteers a development processes so that they can progress and improve their skills during their experience and it’s been very rewarding when we see people eventually being employed into relevant work.
We involve volunteers in a number of different roles – administration, helping in the theatre, stage management, board members etc – it all depends on what they want to do. Actually, I do a lot of the fund-raising for the Theatre Company on a voluntary basis as well – again, we have to do this in order to keep it viable.
Our ethos is to encourage individuals as best we can and we find it pays off as we now have a community of artists in the area who are happy to work with us on various projects.