Co-Op Placements

During high school and throughout the summer months there are opportunities to complete a co-op placement at a theatre or cultural organization. Your co-op teacher may help you make the connections or you may wish to do the research in advance in order to find the best match for you.

Volunteer Canada, www.volunteer.ca, provides a wealth of information and resources on volunteering for students and organizations. The site also features links to volunteer centres and their websites across Canada. Hundreds of thousands of volunteers contribute their time and talents to non-profit groups.

Organizations offering co-op placement positions don't actively advertise. Co-op students at colleges and universities usually get first choice and the best volunteer jobs because it's part of their job training. Not every theatre is able to offer a co-op placement because the cast and crew work evenings and your co-op placement may have to occur during afternoons or mornings.

Here are the most common co-op placement positions at theatres:

  • Usher - taking tickets, handing out programs at matinee or evening performances and other front of house duties
  • Office assistant - helping theatre management with answering telephones, coordinating mailings, database entry, fact checking, completing short term research project
  • Production assistant - working behind the scenes on a show with hours that may extend into evenings and weekends
  • Publicity assistant - assisting in group sales, poster & brochure distribution

There are some high schools that have a special agreement with community theatres where students can earn a co-op credit by working on a production behind the scenes, building props, acting in a show, or taking an active part throughout the rehearsal process with a specific role. There is usually a competition for these positions and specific time demands (after school, evenings and weekends) that are worked out months before the placement begins.

If you are already involved in your local theatre, just ask the producer, manager or director of the theatre to create a co-op placement and to help you learn new things.

If you're looking for a co-op placement with a theatre:

  • Identify what the hours will be for your placement (afternoons? weekends?)
  • What's the number of hours to complete in order to earn your co-op credit?
  • Do you have any personal or family connections to theatres, actors, technicians or writers?
  • How will you research and identify the organizations you'll be contacting?
  • Are you using your co-op placement to test out a career in the arts?
  • Do you have a resume to give potential co-op placement supervisors if they ask for it?
  • Make a list of the questions that your teacher or potential co-op placement supervisor might ask.
  • What will you say when you're asked, "what do you want to get out of your co-op placement?"

Many students begin their research early and use the library or entertainment section of newspapers to learn about cultural groups in their area.

THEATRE ONTARIO

401 Richmond Street West, Suite 350, Toronto, ON, M5V 3A8
Telephone: 416.408.4556 (Find an Extension) / Fax: 416.408.3402
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OFFICE HOURS

Monday to Friday: 9 am to 5 pm
(In July and August, our hours are Monday to Thursday: 9 am to 5 pm and Friday: 9 am to 1 pm)