Will
One of the very best things about working for Mousetrap is the chance to be part of their wonderfully generous, incredibly committed team. This is an invaluable experience: not only do you have the opportunity to learn from their expertise but you are also made to feel part of the family.

Will Arnold

When did you work at Mousetrap and what did you do?

I was lucky enough to work for Mousetrap as their full time student placement between January and June 2018. During that time I worked on a whole range of projects and got a fantastic insight into the vital work that Mousetrap does. The majority of my work was spread across Creative Learning, Development, Youth Engagement and Access. This meant that Monday could involve putting together an education pack for a brand new creative learning project, Wednesday could entail editing an important report for a charitable trust, whilst Friday might include a meeting with one of Mousetrap’s partner schools to discuss an exciting suite of workshops.

The incredible breadth of Mousetrap’s work meant that, in just six months, I was involved in Mousetrap’s 21st Anniversary Gala, the Youth Leadership in the Arts Conference, The Mousetrap Awards and even manage my own NextStage project. I should probably also mention that working for Mousetrap means getting to see the best theatre that London has to offer, as well as be part of audiences whose diversity and enthusiasm make for unforgettable experiences. There is no better audience than a Mousetrap audience.

Why did you decide to get involved with us?

As part of my course at university, I was offered the chance to take a year out from my degree to complete a Year in Industry. I had just finished editing the Arts section of my student newspaper where I had worked to improve the diversity of students seeing and reviewing theatre. I have always loved going to the theatre but I became really interested in the challenge of improving accessibility to the arts. Having researched the arts and accessibility, one name kept coming up. Mousetrap’s work reaches far and wide and, when I learned that they offered student placements, I knew I had to apply! Mousetrap were generous and accommodating in a way that can be rare in the world of placements and internships.

Tell us about some highlights from your time with us!

This is a tricky question to answer because there were so many highlights! Quite early on in my placement I helped with a TheatreOpeners trip to Peter Wright’s production of Giselle at the Royal Opera House, one of a number of trips that Mousetrap run every year for children at mainstream secondary schools. It was my first hands-on experience of Mousetrap’s work and it blew me away: the theatre’s traditionally formal tone had been replaced by an electric atmosphere, charged by an audience full of anticipation and wonder. Here was an audience genuinely interacting with a performance, drawing out armfuls of joy and inspiration.

That experience was only rivalled by the opportunity to assist in the facilitation of one of Mousetrap’s NextStage projects, aimed at using drama to help youth group members progress to the next phase of their lives. In just a week, teenagers facing real difficulties confronted their hardship with vital, inspirational drama written in their own words. Highlights such as these are, without doubt, the main reason that I am pursuing a career in the arts.

What did you gain from the experience?

First and foremost I gained a stronger passion for the arts, and a commitment to doing what I can to make them accessible to everyone. I also gained a vital insight into what working for an arts organisation entails; working as Mousetrap’s placement quickly teaches you the values of time efficiency, teamwork and creative thinking. One of the very best things about working for Mousetrap is the chance to be part of their wonderfully generous, incredibly committed team. This is an invaluable experience: not only do you have the opportunity to learn from their expertise but you are also made to feel part of the family. I am so grateful to Mousetrap for this.

 What are you doing now?

I have just finished my university degree and I’m looking forward to graduating in late July 2019. After graduation, I’ll be turning my attention to job applications. I’m particularly interested in working in the engagement departments of producing theatres, making full use of the skills I developed whilst at Mousetrap. 

Mousetrap sees through the prejudices that dictate that theatre should be for a certain type of person from a certain type of background. Mousetrap embraces the diversity of ages, genders, ethnicities and abilities and sends one big message loud and clear: this is for you!