Lighting Designer / Technical Production
To work in technical production it is necessary to take a technical theatre course which includes units on lighting design and practice. There are BTEC courses in Performing Arts specialising in technical and production skills, accredited drama school diplomas in technical theatre, (see the National Council for Drama Training, www.ncdt.co.uk) and degrees in lighting design, lighting technology or technical theatre. (See UCAS www.ucas.ac.uk for individual colleges or unviersities and courses).
Work experience or Voluntary Experience is a real positive avenue to get 'on the job' training and will look impressive when you apply for your first professional job. Theatres can be contacted directly to find out about opportunities for volunteering on student theatre or amateur productions. The Little Theatre Guild (www.littletheatreguild.org) has a list of amateur theatres by region. Amateur theatres may charge an annual membership fee but are a great way to learn the different backstage roles and responsibilities.
Some freelance Designers welcome students shadowing or assisting them as they work on shows. Be prepared to 'graft' and don't be insulted when your asked to make the teas! The knowledge that you will gain from watching, listening and helping will be invaluable.
Association of British Theatre Technicians:
Stage Management Association
Association of Lighting Designers (ALD)
Little Theatre Guild