2019 is our 50th anniversary and we are championing some of the people who help make Scottish Ballet a great place to work. Each week we will introduce you to a different career at Scottish Ballet and the person behind it.
This week, meet Zoe Hayward - Scottish Ballet's Stage Manager. Zoe joined the company in 2013 and plays a key role in taking our productions far and wide, to venues big and small. She gives us a unique insight into life in the wings and shares her experience of being a Stage Manager for a busy touring company.
When did your passion for theatre begin?
I grew up in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, which was surrounded by inspiring producing companies. We had West Yorkshire Playhouse, Opera North… alongside that my school had the most fantastic drama department. You couldn’t go through my school without realising how powerful theatre is.
What does your job involve?
It ranges from being in every single rehearsal and communicating how the production is developing to everyone else in the company, to ‘propping the show’ - that means sourcing, making or buying all the props. And when it comes to going on tour, we’re the ones ‘on the book’ cueing the show. In ballet, we work off a musical score, which means we must be able to read music.
What is the best training you've done?
I did a post graduate diploma in Stage Management at Guildford School of Acting. While I was there I got a placement at Scottish Opera and went on to work with them for several years after graduating. I joined Scottish Ballet as Deputy Stage Manager in 2013.
Do you have any tips for anyone wanting to get in to Stage Management?
Getting formal training is important, a course which is run within a conservatoire or drama school is ideal for getting experience on productions. While you’re there, take every opportunity to do work placements and make links with the industry. You’ve got to put yourself out there and get yourself known.
What is the best thing about your job?
We work with talented people in fascinating places. The work that we help produce is at the very least going to change the way someone feels about their day, and at the very best can change the way someone sees the world - and that’s quite a cool thing to do for a day job.