The order of things: Management Team
25 March 2018
Lily James catches up with Francesca Russo to find out what it’s like being part of the NSDF Management Team
LJ: What does your role at the festival involve?
FR: There are so many different jobs you get to do as part of the Management Team. Last year I was a venues deputy, which meant I helped carry out Front of House safety checks before each performance, opened the house and communicated to the venues manager when a show went up and whether there were any delays that prevented the show starting on time. I also got to help out with front of house, staffed workshops, and met and greeted visiting artists.
And what opportunities are available to the Management Team during the festival?
When you’re not on shift, you have free time to go watch the shows and discussions, take part in workshops, and then spend the evenings usually in the pub before heading to one of the events (the Quiz Night is taken very seriously so get yourself a competitive team!). I think this year is going to be different so I’m really excited to see what sort of jobs we’ll get to do.
How did you first get involved in NSDF?
I found out about NSDF on Twitter and thought it would be a really great chance to meet other creatives, and spending a week surrounded by amazing theatre sounded like the dream. I had the best time and wanted to experience it all over again!
Which workshops really stood out for you last year?
Last year I attended Chris Grady’s Surviving Edinburgh workshop. I was co-producing a new musical at the time that was going to the Edinburgh Fringe in the summer. I’d never been to the Fringe before so I really didn’t know what to expect, but going to the workshop gave me such a good insight into the process. It was great to be able to get advice from Chris and I also got the chance to chat with other creatives going up. We ended up discussing ways in which we could market each other’s shows and stand out on the Royal Mile, and the workshop really helped me understand what the target audience was for the show I was producing.
And are there any shows that have really stuck with you?
I enjoyed all of the shows last year but the one that still sticks with me is Celebration by Emergency Chorus. The show opened with a silly string fight, had live music and really fun, moving choreography. It made me so incredibly happy; I’d never seen anything like it before. I got to see the performance twice as I was working at their venue and I loved how they invited a different special guest to the stage each performance to talk about a moment in their life – in one of the performances the special guest [Kate Wyver] invited the audience to start singing with her and it was a really beautiful moment.