Young Producers take Pride in their work


Nothing beats first-hand experience and with its new Young Producers placement, Lighthouse Academy is offering two talented individuals the opportunity to experience what it takes to put on events at one of the UK’s biggest arts centres.

For the ten-week course, Alex Southwell, 20, and Milly McKenna, 18, are working on a series of projects including NT Connections and Lighthouse’s flagship event this summer, Poole Pride. 

“There’s so much to do and a lot to learn, but I’m loving it,” says Alex, a second year BA (Hons) Events Management student from Arts University Bournemouth. 

“This is definitely where I want to be,” adds Milly, who found out about the course from a social media advert sent to her theatre technician mum. 

“I love being in the creative world, it runs in the family, but I know that performance is not for me. Being responsible for props, stage management and getting the show so that it can be seen, that’s me, definitely. I did that for my Year Six show at school and I was on fire that day! 

“I’m quite an anxious and shy person, but when I have to be the person who knows what’s going, I can be a much more confident person. It’s good for me.” 

Both are hungry for knowledge and experience and eager to play their part in bringing a variety of shows and events to fruition, culminating in Poole Pride on Saturday 8 June. 

“There’s such a lot to the job of a producer,” says Alex. “A lot of it is the stuff that nobody sees, but I love having a list of things I need to do and, at the end of it, there’s the satisfaction of getting the job done. 

“The performers get the applause and if we’re lucky they might acknowledge us, but by then we already know how we’ve done.” 

Throughout the course, Alex and Milly will receive regular one-to-one mentorship from Lighthouse’s Creative Engagement team, as well as wider experience in arts marketing, technical and operational administration, budgeting, programming and live event management. 

“It’s an invaluable opportunity to develop the broad skill set associated with being a producer in the cultural and arts sector,” says Martha Earley, Creative Engagement Manager at Lighthouse. 

“The idea is that it’s also lots of fun and a great way to exercise their creativity and develop employability skills.” 

With their eyes firmly on the future, both Alex and Milly are keen to gain as much experience as they can. 

As Alex explains: “I love the idea of finding a theatre group, following that group and taking it around the world, but I’d also like to bring ideas to a community and build something in that location that wasn’t there before.” 

And now that they’re working on the first ever Poole Pride, Lighthouse Young Producers are well placed to do just that. 

“Pride is such an important thing for Poole,” says Milly. “This is a chance to be involved in something that has real meaning and that could make a big difference to people’s lives. Who knows where it could go?” 

:: To find out more about education and training opportunities at Lighthouse visit Lighthouse Academy – Lighthouse (