Have you ever considered a career in theatre but asked, what can I do? or what roles are available? Find out in our new What I Do series!
The theatre is a very exciting and creative place to work with an extensive array of possible career choices open to you.
Here at the Octagon there are lots of team members that work behind the scenes and we will be highlighting some of their roles in our new blog series What I Do
Each week we speak to a different member of our Octagon team who will give you a fascinating insight in to their position here at the Octagon and what they enjoy most about their role.
This week we speak to Catt Belcher who is a Producer here at the Octagon.
What does your role entail?
Producers do all sort of things and every producer has a different definition as to what they do depending on the organization they work for, or if they work freelance creating their own shows.
As Producer for the Octagon, my job is to work closely with the Artistic Director to curate our seasons of work. I’ll gather the rights to do a play, construct budgets, and oversee the hiring of a creative team and cast of actors.
I work with everybody to make sure we stay on track to hit all our deadlines, and work as well as we can together.
I also commission new plays and look after talent development – helping new artists to grow and create their work.
How long have you been in this role?
I started at the Octagon one year ago, and it’s gone so fast! I can’t wait to begin working in our brand new building.
Did you undertake any specific training/get any specific qualifications to help you in this role?
I realised I was super interested in the process of organising a show and connecting fantastic group of artists when I was working at the bar of a local theatre.
I checked what this local theatre could offer to emerging producers and realised I could ask their Producer for some guidance by just sending over an email!
I took on a little bit of work experience in my free time and created my shows with my own theatre company for a few years.
After that, I was lucky enough to land a job at the Royal Exchange Theatre and then Sheffield Theatres where I trained by working as an Assistant Producer and Talent Development coordinator.
What’s a highlight of your job?
I love working really closely with the Artistic Director to bring together groups of brilliant designers, actors, writers and more to create great work. It’s so much fun to have an idea for a production, and then bring more brains on board to see it develop into something magic for audiences.
Do you have a favourite production you’ve seen/been involved with at the Octagon?
I loved working on Treasure Island, our 2019 Christmas show. The music was so catchy I still find myself humming it occasionally!
Do you have a favourite production you’ve seen/been involved with at another venue?
There’s too many to choose from!
One of my favorites was Caryl Churchill’s Love and Information at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre, directed by Caroline Steinbeis. The play is made up of hundreds of short scenes, and the creative team choose which ones to include and in what order to create their own story.
The set was a huge lit wall with different windows in where characters would appear accompanied with an amazing custom soundscape – it was so fast, memorable and different to anything else I’ve seen.
Can you tell us about something particularly memorable that has happened to you at the Octagon?
I think, for me, it’s the number of times visiting staff/artists have a connection to the Octagon – it seems everyone has their own anecdote about the place! For example, a freelance director working here recently had met their spouse working here years ago and was now coming back to direct one of our main productions many years later.
If you are interested in a career as a theatre Producer, we have included links below to some external sites to find out more: