Life after studying Theatre & German – Eleanor Herbert (Class of 2017)

Eleanor Herbert, Class of 2017, tells us about her experience as a Director’s Assistant in Düsseldorf, an internship that formed part of her year abroad from the University of Bristol, where she studied Theatre and German.

What was your typical day like?

My work routine and tasks differed from day to day and depend heavily on how far along in the rehearsal process we were. Typically, I always had to arrive at the rehearsal stage (a scaled down replica of the main stage) before the actors to prepare and set up. I had to be on hand to make sure all the actors and creative team have everything they need to conduct the rehearsals. During rehearsals I then had to assist the creative team, keeping the master script up to date with any changes, stage directions and technical cues.

What did you love most about the role?

I feel extremely lucky to have been surrounded by such talented, creative people. Going from studying the likes of Robert Wilson in University essays to working alongside him was surreal. It is also amazing to see the plays from their extremely early stages / first read through to seeing the audience fill up for the first premiere and to receive standing ovations.”

What was the most unusual thing about the role?

When actors are absent for the rehearsals, we could be called in to stand in their place. In my first week in Dusseldorf – when I was still struggling to grasp the language – I was thrown on stage alongside professionals in the final dance number to pose as the ‘Jackal’ from the Jungle Book.”

What has been your proudest achievement?

Moving away from England and University life definitely wasn’t easy, but it was really fulfilling to see how far my language skill and confidence has improved already.”

What advice would you give to someone thinking about a similar path?

“Try and get as much experience as you can and if you can’t seem to find any, create your own work!”

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