How amateur theatre is helping to set the stage for a career in IT

James McAlisterOver the holidays, one local panto production  offered Belfast student James McAlister the opportunity to broaden and develop his new media and technical skills.

The Belvoir Players, based at their studios at Belvoir Drive in Belfast, rolled-out a production of panto favourite ‘Babes in the Woods’ over the Christmas period. To support the production, James – a Bsc Computer Games Development student on placement from the University of Ulster – pitched in with a full website redesign and doubled-up as sound engineer for the production.

“I’ve really enjoyed working in such a creative environment and the practical opportunities to use technology in stage production. It has been great to be able to develop skills in new areas and gain a real insight into the challenges of managing technology in a real-world environment.  And it was exciting to experience panto from this side of the stage,” said James.

Partnering the Belvoir Players for this year’s production is leading telecommunications company Eircomni. Mark Nixon, Programme Director at Eircomni, says it is “vital to support the creative ambitions of the younger generation”.

“We are delighted to support organisations, such as Belvoir Players, that recognise the importance of nurturing young talent. At Eircomni we regularly host student placements and understand how important it is for the next generation to gain wide experience and to make informed choices about the future direction of their careers,” said Mark.

Belvoir Players regularly takes on work experience students who play a core role behind the scenes. Taking on responsibility in various areas including IT, web design, marketing and operations, these young apprentices gain experience in a working environment whilst playing an active role in the creative and community-focused atmosphere of the studio.

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