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Alumni Careers Stories – Hattie Collins

Hello! My name is Hattie Collins and I graduated from Warwick in 2016 with a BA in Theatre and Performance Studies I then went on to do a Masters in Writing for Performance at Goldsmiths, in London. Now I work at Theatre Alibi in Exeter as the Marketing and Development Assistant. I am currently part of the Theatre Royal Plymouth’s ‘EggBox’ writing group in which we receive a seed commission to write a piece of new work.

Things I wish I’d been told whilst at university:

  • Rejection is going to come in thick and fast from job applications when you leave. BUT having ‘Warwick Theatre Studies’ on your CV really does help. I ended up getting some interviews when I left which I definitely put down to the name Warwick has. Understandably, I missed out on getting the jobs because of the lack of hands-on experience I have within the 'industry'. So, keep plugging away, and get experience wherever you can. Eventually you’ll have the name behind you and the experience too (which is what I’m hoping anyway!). I’ve worked in cafes, an entertainment agency, on reception at an advertising agency, as a receptionist at a sales agency whilst waiting for my 'break' into the theatre sector - to keep myself happy at the same time as having these jobs I was volunteering at theatres and creating my own work in my free time.
  • University is one of the only opportunities where you’ll be given time to explore your interests within theatre with more freedom than you’ll get once you leave. Make the most of the facilities and the resources (i.e. the people around you who are actors, set designers, producers, technicians, writers) they might not be around when you leave, and certainly not for free!
  • So, if you want to make work at uni, do it! If you’ve never written a play before but want to give it a go - do it! Try and discover what you’re best at whilst you have time to explore it with the security net of university around you.

About where I work at the moment:

Theatre Alibi is a theatre company based in Exeter. They have been making work from their base in Emmanuel Hall for over 35 years touring throughout the UK and even internationally. Mostly, the work is for children and young audiences - predominantly going into schools - but sometimes adult work is toured too. Despite and in response to the pandemic, we have a project called ‘Down to Earth’ going into schools in the South West from Oct - Dec 2020.

A bit about ‘Down to Earth’: A response to 2020, ‘Down to Earth’ tells the story of Janet, an astronaut who has had enough of being in space. Feeling cooped up, missing the people she loves and fearful of the constant danger, she decides to make a run for it. In desperation, she heads for home in her little space pod. Only she gets her sums horribly wrong and finds herself in a primary school playground…

What is my role at Theatre Alibi?

I am the Marketing and Development Assistant at Theatre Alibi. I help spread the word about all our projects!

Some of my responsibilities are:

  • Managing creation of publicity materials for the projects (photography & filming)
  • Creating promotional material for Alibi. For example, ‘documentary-esque’ videos that can be sent to funders to show the amazing work Alibi does.
  • Maintaining the website
  • Running the ticket systems and bookings
  • Overseeing the design and creation of print for all projects (flyers, posters, banners, programmes, etc.)
  • Managing the mailing lists
  • Managing social media
  • Managing press - writing press releases, and setting up interviews with Nikki, the Artistic Director

Working at a small theatre company is amazing because you have a defined role, but undoubtedly you are able to pick up things from other areas and contribute to the wider running of the company in some ways (sitting in on rehearsals, project planning and feedback, etc). When I left university, I never thought I would be working in marketing and gaining the experience in arts specific marketing that I am, but I now absolutely love it and feel immensely grateful to work where I do.

If anyone wants to send me any other questions, please do: hattiecollins5 at hotmail dot co dot uk