My route into a Theatre career - Sarah Brigham

As we prepare to open Educating Rita on Friday 17 February, we've been asking our staff to share their stories about education and how they got into their theatre career. This week, we spoke to our Artistic Director and Chief Executive Sarah Brigham.

I trained at Bretton Hall and was very lucky that my degree allowed me to explore Theatre Making as well as Acting and Directing. When I graduated I worked first as an actor mainly in theatre but also Radio, TV and as a workshop facilitator. I toured across the UK and Europe.

I then realized I wanted to understand the business from both sides so I went to work for a small theatre company where as well as going on the road as an an actor and director I also got the chance to learn about funding, partnership work and how to put young people’s voices at the centre of the work I make. We developed two really key projects in my time there which worked with specific communities and this has influenced who I want to make theatre with and for ever since.

I left there to work at York Theatre Royal as their Youth Theatre Director which gave me the chance to understand making midscale work and how buildings operate. Whilst there I also carried on freelancing with companies like Red Ladder allowing me to make professional studio scale work alongside my work at York.

I moved onto Dundee Rep to become Associate Director where I led the Creative Learning Team and was given the opportunity to direct professional work and be a part of the Senior Management Team. I then moved to The Point to become Artistic Director where I learnt what it was to run a building (and open another one as we opened a second theatre whilst I was there) and it’s there that I really honed my understanding of artist development and how to support emerging artists. Whilst at The Point I also launched my own theatre company and undertook some freelance directing to keep my creativity alive whist I learnt the business side.

I moved to Derby Theatre in 2013 as Artistic Director and in 2015 became CEO and Artistic Director. I now enjoy combining the creativity of directing with the day to day basis of running the theatre and my passion of supporting Young People and emerging artists.