Thea Marsh has volunteered for us for years now and we couldn’t perform our innovative shows without the small army of ushers who volunteer to help us look after the audience each night. Volunteers get a real insight into what goes to make a Creation show, as well as learning new skills and meeting loads of interesting people along the way. Plus you earn free tickets so you can invite friends and family along.
Here’s how Thea has found volunteering for Creation:
The first Creation show I saw was Romeo and Juliet in July 2010, when I was nine years old. I was pretty awestruck, and was looking forward to seeing Rapunzel that Christmas. It was that show, I think, that cemented Creation’s place in my heart… the magic of the mirror tent, the glimmering lights, the puppetry and physicality definitely left an impression on me. From then on, I would always associate Creation Theatre with wonder, innovation and being a little bit bonkers. Over the next nine years I would see a further 25 shows (several multiple times!), attend the Creation Drama club and summer workshops, and do a week of work experience in 2016, where I had my first go at a bit of ushering.
About a year and a half ago, my mental health went into a downward spiral that culminated in me essentially dropping out of sixth form late last year. For a little while, I barely ate or left the house, and spent my time lying in bed staring at the ceiling. I knew I had to do something positive with my life, but I couldn’t quite work out how. I remembered how I’d always planned to do more ushering for Creation, so thought that was worth a try. I went to the website, found the relevant email address and asked to volunteer for Peter Pan. I delayed actually signing up for a shift as I was afraid I would be too anxious to set off in the morning, but eventually I bit the bullet and signed up to go in the next morning.
I was really nervous on that first day, but my fears were unfounded; the team was really welcoming and I soon found my feet. I started by helping to restock the bar, then checked tickets at the door, then guided audience members through the maze of cabaret seating to find their table, then nagged them to move their bags and feet out of the way of the aisles so that the actors wouldn’t go flying as they ran in. I usually find it quite difficult to interact with people, but with a lanyard round my neck to give me a feeling of unlimited seat-indicating power I soon got into the swing of things… emboldened, I signed up for more and more shows, and ended up seeing Peter Pan 28 times! The most difficult part was probably cleaning up after primary schools (‘unidentifiable’ and ‘sticky’ were often key descriptors) but it was always really satisfying to see all of the chairs perfectly arranged at the end of the day.
My favourite thing about Creation has always been the wonderful people, and ushering was no exception; workout exception, everyone I met who was part of the production (Creation staff, North Wall staff, actors, tech crew, other ushers) was absolutely terrific. I had some great conversations, and got lots of great advice for the future. I also got to wear pink sparkly fairy wings, so I was basically in paradise for the entire month. On a slightly more serious note, the opportunity meant I was getting dressed, leaving the house, walking for nearly two hours every day and having actual human interaction with people other than my immediate family. As you might have guessed, I would definitely recommend volunteering with Creation. You get to work with the loveliest people, be part of something awesome and see the show for free!
I am so excited about the shows this summer – Don Quixote has been my favourite book for several years and I can’t wait to see another interactive Shakespeare in the form of The Tempest! I’m also attending one of the directing masterclasses led by Gari Jones, who has directed some of my favourite Christmas shows, such as Peter Pan and Snow White. I’m feeling really positive for the year ahead and can’t wait to see what Creation do next!
Thea Marsh (volunteer and all round superstar)
Thea has been volunteering with Creation for the past seven months and we really couldn’t do shows without people like her and hopefully people like you. Joining the Creation volunteers is a great was to meet new people, have a great experience and of course see shows for free.
If you don’t want to waste any time and want to sign up straight away email firstname.lastname@example.org . If you would like to get involved but want more details find out more information here.
There will also be a volunteer information evening with Pimms ( or a soft drink alternative) and chips if you want to come and meet the team and ask any questions.