Is further education necessary for lighting and sound work?

Charlie is wondering if he should stay in school and study.

My name is Charlie and I am 15 and I am looking into doing an apprentice in theatre doing light and sound.

At the moment, I do sound at my school and I help present in my school radio and my local radio.

I’m in my last year at high school. Should I stay on into further education or should I continue into education? If education, what course is better – lighting or sound?

— Charlie Creese

Expert answers

Emrys Green's reply:

​Hi Charlie,

Different routes are better for different people.  It sounds like you’re more interested in sound but you could certainly take a course or apprenticeship that gives you a bit of a mix.  

As an employer of technicians I would be looking for your practical capabilities and experience.  So if you were to go for a college route then I would recommend going for a practical course with plenty of vocational opportunities.

If you are thinking about progressing to a university level qualification then it might help to consider this article available from Drama UK (a site where you can also search for relevant courses): 

Drama UK - Expectations of students starting a university lighting course

For a perspective from a technical theatre apprentice you could also try reading this article on the Arts Award Voice website: 

Arts Award Voice - Apprenticeship overview: Technical theatre

Have a look at both options and definitely have a look at apprenticeships, but you could be limited to what you have around you.

Best of luck!

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