Running a Fringe venue

 1 February 2011

Louise Rogers runs 'C Venues', one of the largest Fringe venues in Edinburgh. She describes her work, and explains how volunteers can develop their interests in the creative industries.

"I'm the General Manager for C Venues, and I'm also the producer of C Theatre. I've always worked in theatre. I went to Birmingham University and did a degree in Dance, Drama and Theatre Arts, and then after that I did a year at drama school, as a postgrad.

"I had worked in venue management before and I wanted to run a venue that was part of the Edinburgh Festival as I love the festival."

Being a manager at the Fringe

"It's a very hectic role. It's very busy, but very rewarding. Long hours, but you get to be part of the festival, which is fantastic.”

“I'm in charge of looking after everyone, so that's all the different departments: press and marketing, box office, the administrative department. And then being the point of contact for all the companies, as we're a created venue.

"That means that we've watched or met with all the companies who were on here before and we've actually chosen them to come and be part of C Venues.

"I think that's what makes us unique. We are willing to let people do something different, to help them find some crazy space that they want to perform in.

“I work year-round alongside Hartley Kemp, Artistic Director of the company. For the months surrounding the festival, we have a huge team that comes on board. It's a whole year of creating one giant jigsaw puzzle."

Getting into theatre work

"The main satisfaction that I get from my job is seeing a lot of young staff coming through the door to get more experience.

"Often what happens, is year on year, those staff members come back and move up the chain. Or they'll see something happening at the festival and they'll think, 'Actually, I really want to be a lighting designer', or 'I really want to be a producer', or 'What I really want to do is act'.

"Then the following year they'll come back, as a company or as something totally different. I think that volunteering within C Venues gives them a great basis to develop their career.

"Nowhere else would you get the opportunity to rig lights and help build a building and meet companies. It's a fantastic networking place."

Being part of the festival

"The main satisfaction I get from my job is seeing a lot of young staff coming through the door to get more experience."

“As well as all the established professional companies that come and sell out year on year, it's the student companies that are starting out that I get the most satisfaction from.

"It's a very hectic role. It's very busy, but it's very rewarding. It's long hours, but you get to be part of the festival, which is fantastic.”


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