Careers in Theatre

When most people think of theatre they think of actors, but there are so many other exciting careers that keep theatre running. We want to help you learn more about your options! Below is a list of several different career paths within theatre (SPOILER: This isn't even everything!)

Artistic 

Director

An executive of a theatre organization who is responsible for the overarching artistic vision of the organization.

Carpenter

Maintains theater stage equipment and may also serve as a production carpenter, building sets and moving all scenery on and off stage for the installation and run of a production.

Casting

Director

Coordinates and runs the process by which the director and other key members of the creative team audition actors and assign roles.

Company Manager

Takes care of the logistical needs of a production or company, such as managing and delivering payroll to the cast and crew, being the policy enforcer, and serving as the primary point of contact between the company (which includes the cast, creative, and administrative teams) and the General Manager.

Costume

Designer

Transforms the actors into their characters through the use of clothing and helps situate a production in a specific time and place through the visual cues of clothing. They design, research, source, and construct the clothes for all the actors in a production.

Director

Provides the guiding creative vision for all members of the production. The Director takes the lead in putting together the entire creative team and managing the overall staging and artistic vision of a production.

Dramaturg

Works with the Playwright/Book Writer/Director, and/or Artistic staff to help them have a deeper and more accurate understanding of a production.

Education

Director

Developing and executing programming for community partners, such as students, young professionals, those in prison, or families, that is usually connected to the shows currently playing at their venue as well as overseeing the Education Department.

Electrician

Maintains a theatre’s electrical systems and often serves as production electrician operating all lights during a show, including traditional and automated lighting, spotlights, special lighting effects, and house lights. They work closely with the Lighting Designer.

Education

Director

Developing and executing programming for community partners, such as students, young professionals, those in prison, or families, that is usually connected to the shows currently playing at their venue as well as overseeing the Education Department.

General

Manager

Also referred to as a GM, is hired to help strategize and plan the details of a production to make sure cost and schedules are kept in line and supports the Producer’s vision. GMs supervise the show’s financial planning; oversee administrative operations, employee management/human resources, and labor relations; and negotiate contracts.

Hair and 

Wig Designer

Transforms the ACTORS into their characters through the use of hair and wigs.

House

Manager

Is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the theatre from prepping the house to overseeing the Front of House Staff. House Managers are the liaison between the Company Manager, the production staff, and the theatre owners. They also deal with and serve as the point person for audiences. They are present to ensure the audiences enjoy themselves and leave the theatre safely.

Intimacy

Coordinator

A trained professional who advocates for what is best for a scene and what is best for the actors in the case of an intimate scene (which can be anything from a kiss, a romantic grab, or simulated sex).

Lightboard

Operator

 Is responsible for programming and running the light board for a production during technical rehearsals and performances.

Lighting

Designer

Creates the lighting concept and equipment requirements for a production. Lighting Designers work most closely with the Director, Scenic, Costume, and Projection Designers to create a lighting scheme that communicates the feeling of a production and guides the audience’s attention in specific ways throughout a performance.

Make-Up

Artist

Transforms the actors into their characters through the use of make-up, along with hair and styling. Make-Up Artists develop a look and style for each character that helps convey the story.

Marketing

Director

Is in charge of the promotion and representation of the production, public image, and branding of the theatre organization or show.

Music

Director

Is in charge of all music-related aspects of a production.

Production

Manager

Sometimes called the PM, is in charge of everyone who is a part of the production team – costumes, sets, lighting, sound, props, etc.

Projection

Designer

Creates all projections shown on stage, including still photos and filmed footage.

Props Person/

Props Master

Maintains certain aspects of the theatre facility and may also serve as the props person for a specific production. They research, fabricate, and find all necessary props, things that are picked up, used, or set, for a show.

Scenic

Designer

Creates the set design for a production, including backdrops, set pieces, and, in some cases, even the shape of the stage.

Sound

Designer

Designs the audio experience of a production by creating the sound design, including sound playback, sound effects, music, and amplification.

Scenic

Designer

Creates the set design for a production, including backdrops, set pieces, and, in some cases, even the shape of the stage.

Sound Mixer/

Engineer

Develops or sources music and sound effects according to the Sound Designer’s specifications.

Scenic

Operator

Executes all sound during a show, including playback of music, special effects, and pre-recorded sound cues.

Special Effects

Designer

Creates the illusions that help to immerse the audience into the world of the production.

Stage

Crew

Sometimes referred to as stagehands or run crew.

Stage

Manager

Works on a production from the start of rehearsals through the last performance and coordinates schedules and information for the creative team.

Talent

Manager

Is in charge of helping actors, directors, playwrights, and musicians organize and advance their careers.

Technical

Director

Also known as the TD or TP, is the most senior technical position you can have in the theatre.

Video

Designer

Creates and oversees any filmed footage, projections, or motion graphics that are used in a production. 

Wardrobe

Crew

Dresses performers, assists with fast changes, keeps track of costumes and accessories, and quickly fixes costume pieces when necessary.