Volunteering opportunities at Iris Theatre

Ideal for recent design graduates, we strive to match the next generation of theatre markers with our team of emerging designers through these volunteer opportunities:

Production Assistants

Interested in the inner-workings of theatre productions? Our Production Assistant placements are ideal for those interested in being in the thick of the action!

Front - of - House Volunteers

Be a part of the show team! If you’re interested in gaining any work experience in customer-facing roles, theatre management or just want to be a part of the fun this summer then front-of-house is a great, low commitment option for those who are interested in a bit extra but don’t want to commit to set hours. Ideally suited for work-experience and recent school leavers.

Set Construction Placements


We are looking for four design or carpentry students who are keen to gain more practical experience in set construction to join the Set Design and Set Construction team for our Summer Repertory Season 2019 as they create and deliver the scenic designs for our two new productions: Hamlet​, directed by Daniel Winder and The Hunchback of Notre Dame​, directed by Vanessa-Faye Stanley. The team consists of makers and designers who work collaboratively with the Director and Heads of Departments (Producer, Lighting, Sound, Costume and Stage Management) in realising, constructing and finalising the set. Planning for the Summer Season is now in full swing and the Director is already in the process of developing visual concepts for each production. These will be transformed initially into broad set designs and then specific ideas ready for construction which will commence in May 2019.

Learning outcomes:

✓ Using hand and power tools for a range of materials proficiently, such as the chop and table saw, welder an angle-grinder, paint sprayer and various other equipment. (Further training and health and safety procedures will be provided)

✓ Joinery skills

✓ Carpentry skills

✓ Translating a design into practical construction plans

✓ Using and handling wood and other materials to best deliver the design

✓ Leading on individual or team projects

✓ Collaborating with a team

✓ Supervising the work of others who may be volunteers

Desirable skills:

This is a challenging assignment and is best suited for determined individuals who enjoy creating imaginative, larger than life artwork. It is a wonderful opportunity for four talented individuals to get immersed into an ambitious professional production within a supportive environment. You will be using your creativity and practical skills to support the realisation of the designs, specifically focusing on set construction.

✓ Resourceful and imaginative with a can-do attitude

✓ Some experience of scenic art and stage design (this can be on university projects)

✓ Some experience of using hand and power tools

✓ A good design flair


Placement Dates

There are two sets of dates available. Chosen candidates need to be available for the following periods (for a minimum of 3 or 4 days per week):


Tues – Thurs on the following weeks:

  • 21st – 23rd May
  • 28th – 30th May
  • 4th – 6th June
  • 11th – 15th June
  • 18th – 25th June

Hunchback of Notre Dame

Mon – Fri throughout the following period:

  • 1st July – 2nd August


Set Design and Construction meetings may take place prior to these dates, to which you will be invited to attend.

Production Dates

HAMLET will run from 19th June to the 27th July 2019.

THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME will run from 1st August to the 1st September 2019.


Whilst on the placement, you will be responsible to our Set Construction Manager Nigel Winder, who will be your mentor. You will also be responsible for construction volunteers, who will come support your team on an ad hoc basis.

Nigel Winder, BA (Hons) 3D Design, has led the placements at Iris Theatre for the past six years. He has 40 years of experience teaching set design, construction and scenic painting for various institutions. He is also a Teacher of the Deaf and an Associate Member of the British Dyslexia Association.

Many previous placements have moved on to more senior roles leading on set design such as Valentina Turtur (set designer on Treasure Island in 2016, placement on Pinocchio in 2015), and Amber Scarlett (set designer on Much Ado About Nothing in 2016, Pinocchio in 2015, placement on Richard III in 2014).


Please send the following documents and information:

✓ A CV

✓ A short covering letter of no more than a single side of A4

✓ A completed equal opportunities form, CV and covering letter can be emailed to summer@iristheatre.com.

The equal opportunities form can be completed online here.

Please insert SET CONSTRUCTION PLACEMENT ​as the subject and please indicate which production you are available for.

Deadline for applications: Wednesday 15th May. Interviews will take place later that week.