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Performing Arts Officer

Hi! I'm Molly Ketcheson, your SAF Performing Arts Officer for 2021/22.

[email protected]

Performing Arts Officer 2021/22

Key responsibilities

  • Lead Mermaids in facilitating performing arts in any way possible, both within St Andrews and beyond, including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
  • Support any student who wishes to get involved in performing arts
  • Support events and shows organised by affiliated drama societies
  • Decide the overall strategic direction of Mermaids, and manage its external relations
  • Chair all meetings of Mermaids and the Affiliated Societies Presidents' Forum
  • Sit on the SAF, Student Drama Advisory Group, and Byre Management Board.
  • Represent the interests of the performing arts community to the Association and University.

How my position affects you

Mermaids allows students to develop and execute their theatrical and performing arts visions in a completely student-run and developed fashion. It strives to provide experiences in the broad ranges of roles available in a cast, crew, and production team, and we also manage one of the UK's three completely student run theatres, the Barron Theatre, which is a resource that we make use of to the fullest extent.

We also give students the opportunity to perform on the international stage thanks to our sending shows to the Edinburgh Fringe. On Councils, I strive to ensure that the performing arts are given the attention and support they deserve to ensure that all of the incredible societies have the same opportunities to support the specific part of the performing arts world that they capture. Additionally, we support special student projects, which have the aim of filling a particular niche of the performing arts world.

About me

I'm from Toronto, and am very proudly both Torontonian and Canadian, so much so that I will probably bring it up in every conversation. I study English Literature and Film Studies, and over the past three years so many of my best memories in St Andrews have been theatre related. I'm so excited to continue to share the theatre joy as Performing Arts Officer!

Manifesto pledges

I'd like to create a more diverse Mermaids community, by increasing the outreach of the new Barron Library to get more people involved in theatre, and also encourage more diverse plays to be produced in St Andrews.

I would also like to encourage community by having joint events with other societies, and keeping up regular contact with other performing arts societies to lend support where we can.

This year there will be both a transition back to in-person performances, and a transition to the Byre residency. In both of these endeavours, I will keep up regular communication with students on the progress, and work with the rest of committee and other arts societies to ensure that the transitions are smooth and meet everyone's needs.

Mermaids does not only fund plays, and I will encourage untraditional projects and collaborations to be proposed for funding. I will also encourage proposing teams to look into more diverse plays they could produce.

I will have production teams share their preliminary cast lists, so they can consider widening their casting, to give more acting opportunities to more people.

I will work to create a shadowing scheme.

Want my job?

This position is elected in March each year. It's a voluntary position taking around 15 hours per week, from April to March. Any matriculated student is eligible to stand for election, unless graduating.

If you're considering this role, get in touch with me or my line manager (DoSDA) to ask any questions.

  • Experience of performing arts in St Andrews
  • Dedicated and enthusiastic about performing arts of all forms
  • Excellent organisational and time management skills
  • Creative and adaptable
  • Able to manage and work in a team, and effectively delegate tasks

Through holding this position, you will gain experience leading a team and chairing multiple committees, develop professional communication skills, and work with a wide range of people. You will follow each show from inception to the opening night as a fully realised production, gaining experience relevant to the performing arts industry. You will have an improved knowledge of arts management: identifying a brand, developing an audience, and working within a budget.

Hours spent working on this role count towards a Volunteering Award, which is listed on your academic transcript.

Previous holders

Year Name Resources
2021/22 Molly Ketcheson



2020/21 Martin Caforio



2019/20 Manaal Mahjoub
2018/19 Rowan Wishart
2017/18 Matthew Lansdell
2016/17 Annabel Ekelund
2015/16 Jo Bowman
2014/15 Ben Anderson
2013/14 David Patterson
2012/13 Jo Cox
2011/12 Charlotte Baker