Aspiring young theatre producer, Bronagh McFeely, from Londonderry, has joined the team at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast as an apprentice producer under the Stage One Apprenticeship Scheme.
The appointment was made in association the Stage One, a UK charity offering hands-on training and development opportunities within established producing companies for outstanding entrepreneurial individuals.
Bronagh is one of three regional apprentices and will spend the next year working closely with the Lyric Theatre which was chosen by Stage One as the host venue for Northern Ireland.
The apprenticeship is a paid role with the salary funded entirely by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Luke Johnson. In addition the appointed producers also receive a bursary to allow them to travel to and from London to take part in additional mentoring and training provided by Stage One.
Bronagh, a drama graduate from Queen’s University, Belfast, and former Theatre NI employee, will be given plenty of hands-on experience at the Lyric and will be exposed to high-quality, professional work, as well as being able to develop the commercial aspirations of the venue through co-productions and touring.
Welcoming her, Jimmy Fay, Lyric executive producer, said: “Bronagh is a dynamic and highly motivated individual. She will gain invaluable experience in her apprenticeship producer role here at the Lyric and I look forward to working with Bronagh to programme a highly varied and busy 12 months of theatre, music and events.”
Joseph Smith, Stage One’s Chief Executive, said the organisation was delighted to be able to support Bronagh.
“Since its inception Stage One has fulfilled a vital need in the industry and we are thrilled that we are able to work alongside The Lyric to host an outstanding apprentice this year,” he said.
“Through its programmes Stage One provides rigorous training, mentorship and support for new, independently minded producers looking to pursue a career in commercial theatre. Theatre producing can be a daunting business: there is no manual and the best training is to dive in, take the risk and seek the reward. We wish Bronagh all the best in her apprenticeship and are looking forward to catching up regularly at our training events over the coming year.”
The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is the principal funder of the Lyric Theatre.
Gilly Campbell, arts development officer for drama and dance, said: “Congratulations to Bronagh in securing this valuable opportunity with Stage One and also to the Lyric Theatre for being chosen as the host venue for the region.
“It is vital that our young people are given access to high-quality, meaningful work experience within the creative sector in order to sustain the skills we need now and in the future. I wish Bronagh every success as she embarks on the next step of her career.”