Always been passionate about acting and performing arts? This is your chance to gain professional experience with the largest Theatre In Education (TIE) company in Italy
Submitted by Cameron | November 22, 2017
As a newly qualified EFL teacher with a passion for acting, Teatrino sounded like the perfect project for me. The chance to explore Italy, experiment with teaching English in a fun and innovative way, and a means of keeping up my childhood passion - and to be PAID for it, quite respectably as well?! Well, safe to say, it sounded a little too good to be true.
Meeting the other actors and the other members of the EDUCO team in the gorgeous sunny town of San Remo was probably the highlight of the whole experience. Even in January we were strolling around in t-shirts - apparently winter doesn't exist there! The other actors were all from different backgrounds - some teachers, some actors, some fresh out of university, or even school! A wonderfully diverse bunch with different skills to learn from.
Tour itself can be... interesting. It's wonderful to see so many places, and really explore, but it can be quite exhausting bed-hopping every night. However, the office staff are all lovely and really look after you when you're on tour, you can contact them with any problems whatsoever.
The actual work is as challenging as it is rewarding. The kids are mostly fantastic, and Teatrino is the highlight of their school year. Whether you've got crazy 5 year olds who really ought to be having their afternoon nap; or you've got teenagers with ripped jeans and act like they're too cool for school - they're all a real joy to teach. And just one day isn't enough in some cases. Many people who came from acting backgrounds were particularly worried about the workshops, but it's mostly just a matter of practice makes perfect. And that half and hour absolutely flies by.
The challenges of the job can't be understated though, and any potential applicant should really ask themselves the following questions:
1. Can I live on the road? - You really do live out of a suitcase for 6 months, and that suitcase will be crammed with 3 others and a shedload of props, costumes and set into what ends up looking like a very tiny van! So pack light, and prepare for a lot of bed hopping...
2. Am I a 'people person'? - Your tour group will become your family, and yes you'll probably have your little spats here and there, so you need to make sure you know your coping mechanisms. Because when you're working all day, then bundled in the car together AND quite possibly all sharing one room, it can get a little claustrophobic.
3. Can I commit to 6 months abroad? - Yes you get almost a week off for Easter, but other than that, you're out here for half a year. You need to make sure any medical conditions are under control, and there are no dramas going on back home that will have you ready to hang up your boots and leave your tour group a man (or woman) down.
4. Can I live on a budget? - The first month is the hardest, as you go from being paid weekly in rehearsals to having to wait 4 weeks for your first pay cheque - and believe me, when you're in San Remo for the rehearsal period, saving your wages doesn't even cross your mind! Eating out in Italy can be very cheap, but if you want to save a bit of extra cash, invest in a kettle and buy packets of fresh pasta to boil in a plastic bowl. Not exactly glamorous, but sometimes you really are staying in the middle of nowhere and restaurants may not be in abundance...
5. Do I like working with children? - Sounds like a stupid question, but it is important that you enjoy working with kids. If you don't, you'll likely be miserable. Italian kids are some of the most charismatic I've ever worked with - sometimes not in the ways you might like! But at the end of the day, you're with them for a 1 hour show and a 30-45 minute workshop, then you never see them again. So try and make the experience as positive as possible!
Manage your expectations is the main piece of advice I'd give anyone - the only people who haven't enjoyed the job are those who didn't quite understand what they were signing up for. You'll have good days, you'll have not so good days. But one things for sure - every single day is a totally unique experience.
A dream job
Submitted by Francesca M - Oxfordshire United Kingdom | October 22, 2017
Working on the Theatrino 2017 tour was one of the best experiences of my life. We were trained by some fantastic senior Actors, and taught about the methodologies by the inspirational long running staff.
The tour was one of the most wonderfully challenging, stressful but incredibly rewarding experiences I could have wished for. The days are long, the work environment is always in very close proximity, but at the end of the day you are in one of the most beautfiul countries in the world and having so much fun in and out of work! The children that you meet and work with along the way are great, Italian kids are definitely very unique, full of energy and hilarious.
If you are an actor/teacher/facilitator who wishes to improve your physicality, speech speed and use of gesture, look no further. With this melodramatic pantomime style theatre you will throw yourself around the stage and in the classroom with energy you didn't know you had, and understand the ways of speaking and gesturing to communcate language with non native english speakers.
Being on tour the office staff are really attentive and take great care of all the actors. The tour pay is a fair wage. You are provided with accomodation and breakfast every day. You are provided with a tour car which becomes your home, and you have adminstrative and financial responsibilities to carry out on the road. If you are a driver, you learn to drive in a country where the drivers are crazy. If you can drive in italy, you can drive anywhere. Working with your tour group you learn things about yourself, how to compromise and how to work as a team.
If applying for this job I feel there are certain questions you must ask yourself first;
1. Do I love working with kids.
2. Can I cope with the tour life. Living out of suitcases, bed hopping with the same 4 people every day, and being away from home for 6 months in a country where not everyone speaks your language.
3. Am I able to take on multiple responsibilities. E.g. backstage, on stage, driving, communicating etc.
4. Do I like italian food. (Trust me theres lots of it, it's easy to get sick of pizza and pasta when you're on a budget, but it never gets any less delicious).
If you feel as though you are a person able to cope with all of these things then this is definitely a job for you. I can't reccomend the job more. It's life changing and full of excitement. No two days are the same.
Fall in love with Italia
Submitted by Matteo - Monash | October 11, 2017
I applied for Theatrino from Australia, not really thinking I'd end up being selected to come across half the world and get to meet thousands of Italian kids, but I was, and for that I was very happy. Thus began the confusing process of organising Visas but once that was done, it was smooth sailing all the way over to Italy. Rehearsals were such a memorable and fun experience: getting to live in a fancy Italian hotel for three weeks on the riviera. I have so many treasured memories from this time. Rehearsals are easily the hardest and the most exciting time of theatrino. Eventually we all got sent off in our groups and began to settle into a routine. The first few weeks are a strange adjustment to being in a smaller group and travelling through Italy and learning it's remarkable ways. Eventually though you begin to settle and relax and you have so many fun experiences along the way. Apart from meeting so many awesome kids and teachers, we got to go to Gardaland (Italy's best theme park), club all over Italy, make friends with tons of random curious Italians wondering why some random Brits are doing ballet in their Piazza, and eat the best food from the country that's best at making food. All in all, it was a fantastic experience with my Theatrino family, and I'm going to miss them tons!
Teaching & travelling? What could be better
Submitted by Megan - Airdrie Canada | September 27, 2017
I applied for Theatrino 3 months before I graduated college on a total whim. Being Canadian, I was half way around the world, had no idea the process of applying for a visa, and little hope I would actually land a job getting paid to travel Italy. Yet, a few short months later I was on a flight across the Atlantic to start one of the most life changing journeys of my life. I was welcomed into the country by 30 mostly British actors, and we started to learn the huge repertoire. The Theatrino shows are unlike any other performance I have been apart of. Each show is written specifically to fit in with the curriculum of the grades you will be performing for each day. While this sounds like a daunting task, you have your tour group and senior actors helping support you through the 3 weeks of training. By the time you are sent out on the road you will know exactly what you're doing.
The shows are fun, creative, and give you a chance to share your training, though my favourite part was the workshops. After most shows our group would split off taking a group of kids back to a classroom to teach them the grammar structures used in the shows they just watched. Despite the hard work, days you don't want to get out of bed, missing home, there is nothing more rewarding than watching a child finally put together a proper sentence, or be able to ask you a question in english with no help. Theatrino not only gave me an amazing opportunity, but was able to inspire me to continue with this type of work in my future.
Now, the work is amazing, the company is supportive, but you can't beat getting to travel Italy. As I mentioned above most of the actors do come from England, but if you are applying as an international actor you can not beat this experience. Coming from Canada, Europe is a dream destination for so many people and the culture is so different from my own. Being able to have weekends, and breaks to explore the "touristy" destination was amazing, but the true experience of this job is getting to see the places most other North Americans haven't even heard of. At the end of my tour I can easily say I have been to over 100 Italian cities. Having people around that speak no english, walking streets of tiny towns, and hearing about the culture straight from your students is something you can't get simply as a tourist.
So what are you waiting for? Go apply, pack light, and get ready for the craziest 5 months of your life.
Teatrino changed my life
Submitted by Theatrino Actor 2016/17 - Sanremo | September 25, 2017
I initially applied for Theatrino back in 2015 when I was living in London as a recent MA Theatre Graduate failing to find any acting work. I applied for Theatrino because the perk of being able to perform every day whilst touring round a beautiful country was too much of an amazing opportunity to ignore. I was invited to an audition in Pineapple Studios, London and for me, it was the most fun I'd ever had in an audition. There was no monologue to learn, just fun improvisational games and exercises to participate in which was a reflection of just how amazing this company's ethos is. The day I was accepted as an actor for their Standard Tour, was the day my life changed for the better.
From the moment our first day of rehearsals started in beautiful San Remo, a Ligurian city situated on the Italian Riviera, I knew that this job was perfect for me. Alongside 30 actors, we were introduced to the largest repertoire I have ever had to learn, but with the help and support of our Senior Actors we managed just fine. My favourite shows are the original comedy sketch shows, which play with teaching grammar structures in a fun way. I was able to develop my comedy skills, put my stamp on the characters and really learn how to lose all inhibitions and just have fun with it.
Working for Theatrino has been the most unique experience of my life. To me it is not a job. It is a completely immersive experience that has affected me not just as a performer but also as a human. It has completely transformed my perspective and outlook of myself and of the world. Touring and living with the same people day-in-day-out for 6 months is truly insane. But it's also incredible. You learn to be completely in tune with one another, sensitive to each other's rhythms and needs, and from my experience, we were lucky enough to become a family. Of course it has its difficulties, and at times it can be very suffocating, but part of the reason I continued working with Theatrino is because I was lucky enough to find three other actors who I worked so well with and who I wanted to continue to collaborate with through this type of wonderful theatre. We started out as a tour group, and we became an ensemble. And that very ensemble, continued on to the Fall Tour as Senior Actors, Co-Directors in January for the 2017 cast, and then on to an exclusive tour of Sicily this year.
When I first started working for Theatrino, I was only supposed to be completing the 6 month Standard Tour. However, here I am almost two years later, having completed 4 other tours, being promoted to Senior Actor and now be a part of the Didactic Team in the collaboration of new and exciting theatre projects. This just goes to show how truly rewarding this experience is.
If you are reading this because you are interested in working for Theatrino, I urge you to apply. Trust me, it's an experience you don't want to miss!