Offstage career development in the performing arts
Ken's Network was set up in 2018 by a group of friends and colleagues to honour the memory of Ken Bennett-Hunter who died in 2017.
He had worked for 50 years in theatre, starting out as a stage manager, becoming production manager and general manager, then producer and consultant, and at one point President of the Theatrical Management Association (now UK Theatre).
The legendary Flyman column in The Stage was written by him for over 30 years, and he was also co-editor of the Backstage pages of The Stage for 10 years.
What he also excelled in was being a listener, sounding board and adviser to many of us that had worked or met him in the course of his long career. If you needed advice, or a shoulder to (professionally) cry on, or just needed to think out loud in the company of someone whose middle name could have been 'discretion', then Ken was your man.
So Ken's Network decided one way to cement his legacy was to find ways of supporting mid-career development for those working in offstage roles in the performing arts industry who want to change tack, for whatever reason. Ken himself changed tack a number of times (see above!) and helped many of us do so, too, through his informal mentoring and network-building. He was acutely aware of how difficult it could be.
This survey is a starting point for Ken's Network, looking to gather more information and delve deeper into one aspect mentioned in SOLT and UK Theatre's 2017 Offstage Theatre Workforce Report. The report resulting from this survey will hopefully help inform what Ken's Network could be doing to help.
Thank you, therefore, for taking the time to complete it, and do please share it with your colleagues and contacts in the industry.