What you can do at the Swan

We have a reputation for presenting a diverse range of high quality plays. We are proud of that reputation, but not complacent.  We always welcome new actors to keep our productions alive.  If you have years of experience, we can throw you straight in at the deep end.  If you have never trodden the boards before, we will train you.  Interested in joining us on stage?  It's easy!

Our directors know their plays inside out.  They guide actors, help with interpretation, characterisation, movement and projection.  They have a vision of how their play will look. The set designers, lighting and sound engineers turn this vision into reality.  We have 3 rehearsals a week for 6-7 weeks, plus planning.  With 6 plays a year, we are always on the lookout for new directors with fresh ideas.

Production Assistant
This is the Director's right-hand, providing the vital link between all areas of a production. Good man-management and organisational skills are called for here, from making sure the cast turn up for rehearsals on the right night to co-ordinating production meetings to dealing with any other snags which might occur along the route to Opening Night.

Stage Management
The stage management team are the people who ensure a production runs smoothly. A good stage manager must be calm in a crisis, patient with frayed tempers and understand everyone's problems. A stage manager needs to be flexible and have a working knowledge of all departments including technical, directing and acting. 

Set Design
The set designer designs an acting space which:

  • Supports the action of the play (entrances, windows, stairs, etc.)
  • Maintains the safety of the cast and crew
  • Creates the right mood and feel for the play as the
    Director sees it
  • Allows the audience to see all the action, but nothing else
  • Can be built by the Set Builders

The results can range from:

The realistic:
Funny Money

Funny Money Set

The stylized:
Vincent in Brixton


Defining a space:
Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night Set

Set Construction
The set builders turn the Designer's concept into reality. To lead the set building you need to be highly skilled but to assist you need only the willingness to have a go.  You know a good set when it is completed by the presence of the Actors.

Lighting and Sound

We need people with technical knowledge and ability to design and operate lighting and sound equipment. We also welcome new people who are interested in learning these areas.


As part of the backstage team, you will help with scene changes, and costume changes. It's a good way to learn about Stage Management, too.


The props person finds the correct props either from the company's prop store or elswehere. Ebay has become a popular source! We also value people who are good with their hands and can actually make props as well!


Costumes can add a sense of reality to a show. Done well, people do not really notice them, but an audience will sense if they're out of time or place. It helps if you can sew, but it's not essential.

Marketing & publicity

Members of the team run the Box Office, create the posters and programmes, put adverts in the press, administer the website, take the photos, manage membership and produce the newsletter. We welcomes people with design flair, writing skills, IT & media skills as well as a willingness to help promote our productions and our theatre.

We need two bar staff for every public performance. We need a bar manager to stock the bar for the bar staff to sell. If you enjoy talking to people and are willing to help maintain stock levels and, especially if you have retail experience, please get in touch. We also require the two bar staff for our evacuation procedures.

Front of House
Our evacuation procedures are a condition of the Swan's public performance licence and have been agreed with SSDC and the Fire & Rescue Service. They require the Swan to provide three Front Of House staff plus two bar staff each night of every public performance as well as two coffee helpers.

 For a six night run that's 42 people, all volunteers!

St John's Ambulancealso provide two volunteers per show.

The FOH team are the first people you meet, and they are the ones who will deal with your tickets, sell you a programme, answer your questions about the theatre and its facilities, serve you tea and coffee or drinks from the bar, and generally try to make sure your visit is as enjoyable as possible.

FOH staff are volunteers and for every public performance, we have on duty:

1 Theatre Manager, who is responsible for the entire building while it is open to the public.

Four people in the foyer:
1 selling programmes
1 taking your ticket as you enter the auditorium
2 providing teas and coffees

Two people in the bar

We also have a Box Office Manager who is responsible for ticketing arrangements, and who will be at the theatre before the start of every show.

We will train you to be a theatre manager or teach you how to operate the coffee machine, and it's a good way to meet other members.