For UK residents, time spent volunteering with CPR – either for a short, intense period or as an ongoing part-time commitment – offers an excellent opportunity to receive training whilst working as part of the small, creative CPR team that generates and supports a diverse range of activities, programmes and initiatives. CPR also accepts applications from international internship schemes, such as Erasmus and Leonardo, for those who wish to be gain experience in the UK in an arts and humanities environment.
Opportunities exist to gain experience of the various tasks required to fulfill the CPR programme of work: producing events, the administration of all aspects of activities, including general office management, financial and project management, fundraising, publishing and the bookshop.
Previous volunteers/interns have mainly been theatre, performance, anthropology or similar graduates wishing to gain work experience and extend their international contacts. However, being a theatre graduate is not a prerequisite for these opportunities: interest, curiosity, enthusiasm and a hunger to learn, take part and work hard are the qualifications that we seek. Good communication skills and computer literacy are also important.
Volunteers have used their experience as a springboard to become professional artists, administrators or producers in companies and theatres in the UK and beyond, or have established their own company. Examples of the places that previous volunteers/interns are currently working are: Arts Admin (UK), Pacitti Company (UK), Random Dance Company (UK), Theatreworks (Singapore), Landesbuehne Theatre (Germany), Blaengar (Wales), Theatre Alberta (Canada), CounterPULSE (USA).
For further information please contact Helen Gethin at CPR:
Tel +44 (0) 1970 358021 / e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Read what past volunteers and interns have to say about their experiences with CPR
Julia Hackman, Sweden, 2014
Through working with the CPR I have gained skills and experience in arts administration that will prove valuable both to further my own projects and to help me start my career. Freshly out of University, I thought this was just as good an opportunity as any, instead of waiting around at home looking for a job. But the CPR has proved to be so much more, and really has opened up doors for me professionally. It has also increased my knowledge of performance and theatre, and whetted my appetite for making performances in the future. Not to mention all the lovely staff, who made me feel so welcome and appreciated, and who made sure that I would be getting the most I could out of my internship. I would highly recommend anyone interested in the theatre and performance sector, to spend a few months with the CPR – you won’t regret it!
Maria Carneiro, Portugal, 2010
The position of Administration and Project Assistant gave me a real insight into arts management. From the daily survival activities of a company (communication, finance, marketing, fundraising…) to the thinking and set up of an overseas project, I gained awareness into the different aspects of management. It was a great challenge to do this type of work. I am very grateful to all CPR staff for the knowledge they passed on to me, and how kind they were for always trying to involve me in the project, making me feel a contributing part.
Working at the Resource Centre gave me the tools to know how to approach a collection, or simply a box of diverse documents and ephemera. I leant very simple hints that can make a big different when preserving and identifying items. I certainly experienced ways of researching history and writing. I gained the utmost respect for a collection, as well as, for the people who care for them and try to make them living organisms of knowledge and inspiration.
I do not feel this is an end. I believe my experience at the CPR will continue to be very fruitful in the future. I am sure I will continue to apply the skills and the knowledge I have acquired at the CPR. I am sure that even with the geographical and time distance, the CPR’s legacy will keep on living in me for a long time.
KC Hoo (Now working with Theatreworks, Singapore), 2007
“I was unsure of myself and my place in the arts …but now I feel more confident and aware of my strengths, weaknesses and core interests. My internship has been a thoroughly fruitful and rewarding three months”.
Sarah Guice, (UK), 2007
Looking back at the internship I realised how much I learnt and what a good experience it was all round. When applying for Arts Jobs after the internship I realise that the skills I learnt apply to many different jobs and that more doors open. Also the computer software used at the Centre for Performance Research is used by many different Arts Organisations, so to say that I can use these software packages is a key thing. My advice to anyone starting the internship is to get involved with everything and learn as much about the computer software as possible. During the internship my high points was going to Chicester to perform and help with the production side, being apart of the Arts Council presentation, taking part in and doing the administration for the Summer Shift.
Lisa Mildenhall (UK), 2006
I found the CPR internship programme to be an invaluable experience. I worked in various areas of the company’s work but mainly focused on the finance and marketing for the Giving Voice Festival. During my time at CPR I learned a great deal, from basic office skills to more complex marketing techniques. Although the internship was primarily office based there were also opportunities to work with the general public and performance practitioners at the festivals and concerts that I worked on. The staff were friendly and helpful and have taught me a lot and I now feel much more equipped to approach a career in arts administration.
Marc-Oliver Krampe (Dramaturg and Director, Theatre in Essen,Germany), 2006
Working for CPR has been such a magnificent challenge for me which still has a deep impact on me working today. I really appreciated the patience and openness of all colleagues to share their profound experience. What a treat to learn all about the different cultural skills. By the way I also learnt to change a tyre. A very intense and exciting time and also much fun!
Liz Holmes (UK) – member of Shared Experience prior to becoming Company Administrator for Arts Admin, 2004
“Having graduated with a Theatre Studies degree from UWA a year previous, I was of course aware (and rather in awe) of the CPR. I had little clue however of the vast amount of incredibly valuable work and research that the Centre carries out. Without a doubt, my internship was pivotal in terms of career, experience and education. It opened my eyes to the world of artistic management – the vital ‘behind the scenes’ crafting that ensures a performance or event runs smoothly, that ensures that a company get paid and accommodated, that guests get met and warmly welcomed. I also had the pleasure of witnessing masters at work at the GIVING VOICE festival. I was inspired and uplifted by amazing performances and feats of vocal talent. I was encouraged and stimulated at every turn!
Heb amheuaeth, roedd fy nghyfnod o waith dros-dro yn drobwynt o ran gyrfa, profiad ac addysg. Agorodd fy llygaid i fyd rheoli artistig – y grefft hanfodol ‘y tu ôl i’r llwyfan’ sy’n sicrhau bod y perfformiad neu’r digwyddiad yn rhedeg yn ddidrafferth, ac mae hynny’n sicrhau bod y cwmni yn cael eu tâl a’u llety, a bod y gwesteion yn derbyn croeso cynnes. Liz Holmes
Having gone into the internship ‘blind’ to the multi-faceted world of Arts Administration, it’s only really now I’m fully integrated in that world that I realise how the CPR started me on the first rung of the ladder – I am now Assistant Administrator for Shared Experience Theatre Company.
Electa Behrens (USA), 2002
“The Centre for Performance Research is a unique multi-faceted organization. As an intern, I have had the opportunity to learn about the complex administration of an international company, participate in workshops and events, utilize their unique and extensive performance library and gain personal friendships with the experienced practitioners of the company. My time here has been both greatly inspiring and challenging. The work requires energy, creative thinking, positivity and humour and the rewards are life-long. I recommend this work to anyone with a desire to be an integral part of an ambitious artistic community. The potential to create and initiate are large – don’t pass up this chance.”
Sarah Brady (USA), 2002
“An internship at CPR offers intense training for the artist-academic-producer. It is the ideal environment in which to gain professional expertise while immersing yourself in the study and practice of performance. CPR helped me attain marketable and variable skills for the arts world while focusing my research interests by giving me access to resource materials, artists, workshops, academics, and more. Everything I learned at CPR has informed my career, from pursuing a PhD, to becoming managing editor for TDR, to co-founding a New York-based nonprofit Irish studies organization where I now produce conferences, a journal, and public events. I wouldn’t have had a clue without the experience that Judie Christie, Richard Gough, and CPR were able to provide.”
Siu-lin Rawlinson (UK), 2002
In the final week of my internship at the Centre for Performance Research I was offered a position as Visual Arts Assistant at Cornerhouse, Manchester. Prior to the internship I had struggled to get to interview stage. I am certain that it was down to the broad range of skills that I developed at CPR that I finally secured this opportunity.
Judie Christie helped me to structure my part time internship so that over the course of six months I gained hands on experience of archive management, research, fundraising, marketing and project and financial administration. I was also given the chance to assist on a weekend workshop in Theatre for Development and to take part in the Giving Voice Festival, which was the most eye-opening fortnight I have ever spent!
The internship was often challenging but thoroughly rewarding. It has opened doors for me, but more than that, I have come away with an invaluable experience of working within a successful Arts Organisation, a much greater understanding of the scope of Performance Art and some very good friends.
Misha Myers (USA), 1998
“It was the Centre for Performance Research that first drew me to enrol on the MA in Theatre and the World at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth because of the unique and multi-faceted resources they provide, such as producing innovative, intercultural, and inter-disciplinary conferences performance festivals, workshops, and maintaining one of the best archives of world performance books, videos, and a range of other documents. On top of all this they even offered to help support my burden of overseas fees with a work exchange bursary, further demonstrating their commitment to international exchange. I was honoured to work as a part of this visionary and ambitious team at a crucial crossroads in world performance practice and research. My internship at CPR gave me an opportunity to utilise and exchange the skills, experiences, and networks I had already established as a mature student and professional practitioner, while continuing to broaden and develop. Over the two years I worked at CPR I worked on numerous projects, but my final act was one that certainly was pivotal in launching my research and practice in my current role as a Lecturer at Dartington College of Arts, and in my embarkation on a PhD. Producing a platform of performance as part of the 5th Performance Studies Conference: Here Be Dragons and assisting in producing an International Performance Festival of renowned international performers has led to on-going collaborations and dialogues with the practitioners I met through this experience, amongst many more countless rewards. I won’t say the work was easy, but the team’s great appreciation for food, sense of humour and abundant creativity helped when the going got tough.
Michael Stubblefield (USA), 1995
“I chose to do a MA in Theatre & the World at the Universty of Wales, Aberystwyth BECAUSE of the Centre for Performance Research. Prior to beginning my studies I had already volunteered as a workshop assistant for the Giving Voice festival in the Spring of 1995. That impressive experience led me to the assistantship and the Theatre & the World program. The CPR is a unique organization that is consistently chewing on the boundaries of theatre and performance and the internship is a one of a kind opportunity to work alongside such a brilliant and inspired team as the CPR staff. As an intern, I was constantly challenged through working on many different projects from fundraising to conference/event support to the archival of rare documents and ephemera. Because there are so many projects ‘in the works’ at any one time, it is quite possible to learn an assortment of new skills while also playing an integral role in the functioning of one of the most important non-profit arts organizations in the world.”
Scott deLahunta (USA), 1992
“In the Autumn of 1991, while pursuing my Masters at New York University and on the advice of mentor Norman Frisch (former Wooster Group dramaturg who also worked with CPR) I met CPR artistic director Richard Gough to discuss the possibility of doing an internship as a part of my studies focusing on intercultural performance. He suggested I joined them for a year long internship starting in September 1992.
The experience turned out to be a pivotal one for me. Over the next two years, I had the unique opportunity to be involved in the organisation of innovative and interdisciplinary projects such as Performance, Ritual & Shamanism (1993); Devising & Documentation I (1993); and Performance, Food & Cookery (1994).
The CPR directors Richard Gough and Judie Christie gave me not only the opportunity to help organise and manage projects such as these, but they invited and expected me to be engaged creatively in their conception as well.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that CPR was much more than just a part of my education at New York University. It provided the fundamental point of synthesis where academic and scholarly approaches came into contact with artistic and cultural practice; a perspective which almost a decade later is still inspiring my approach to performance.”