A Guide To Careers In Theatre

The theatre industry is full of job opportunities. Whether you wish to be on stage or off-stage, there are plenty of ways to turn your love for theatre into a career. From stage director, to costume designer, and administrator, the list is pretty endless.  

Creative roles

There are a wider variety of careers in the theatre industry apart from the obvious roles of performer, musician or voice-actor. Once you start thinking beyond the stage, a whole world of career possibilities open up. 

If you have a love for writing and are inspired by all things creative, a role as a playwright may suit you. By writing the scripts and adapting them as they go into production, you are a crucial part of the team. To be a successful playwright you will need to possess the ability to stick to a brief, work to tight deadlines, and rework the play depending on the opinions of the creative director and producer.  

For music lovers and budding composers, the theatre industry offers great opportunities. Theatre productions always require a soundtrack or music score, whether performed live by a band or orchestra, or pre-recorded and then played on the night by a sound engineer. Although this may be competitive to get into, it comes with the chance to be creative and do what you love on a regular basis. 

If you are wanting to use your makeup, hair or costume skills to your advantage, consider a career in theatre. All theatre productions require these services to ensure that their vision is made into a reality on stage. Although you will be based backstage, your talent will be visible and appreciated by the audience. 

Production roles

Being part of the production team can be incredibly rewarding. As far as careers in theatre go, a production role is one of the most important in ensuring that performances run successfully. Production managers and executives must ensure that all elements of the production come together at the right time, with the right people, in the right place. This can be a pretty demanding role, so is perfect for those who enjoy working in an environment that is high-pressure but rewarding.

When it comes to putting together a theatre production, there are multiple directing roles to fill. The casting director must initially have the vision that leads to the successful casting of all the acting and performance roles. The stage director must then design and put together the set with the help of the stage crew. If you want a more active, or physically-demanding role, apply to be part of a stage crew. The stage crew are always highly valued in the theatre industry as they make the production process smooth. It is also a sociable role where you get to work closely with a group of people.

If you are after a more technical production role, you could consider becoming a sound technician or lighting technician. These two roles play an integral part in the overall execution of a production. Lighting is vital for complimenting and supporting actors in their performances and make all the difference in creating a highly-effective, visual production for the audience. 

careers in theatre

Admin and customer service roles

If you wish to have more of a customer-facing role and engage with the audience more directly, consider a career in theatre administration and customer service. From a box office manager, to a front of house usher, there are plenty to choose from. 

All theatre companies also require marketing to ensure that tickets get sold. If you are a keen marketer, copywriter or creative writer, this would offer the perfect opportunity to be innovative and get people interested in the theatre industry and different productions. 

careers in theatre

How to increase your chances of landing a career in theatre

To be in with the chance of landing your dream career in theatre, it is best to familiarise yourself with all the elements of the industry. This is done through researching and signing up to classes, such as stage directing classes, and events. These events often lead to real-life, hands-on experience. You can do this by signing up for online courses taken by industry experts. 

Start small. It is unlikely that you will find yourself working on the West End or Broadway from the very start of your career! First look for opportunities with your local theatre. This will not only provide you with crucial experience and skills, but will also help you gain the confidence that will prove vital in progressing your career. 

Where to find opportunities and apply

Ensure to enable alerts for the usual job searching platforms, such as LinkedIn and Indeed, if you are keen to pursue a career in the theatre industry. To secure a performance role, you may have to apply to acting agencies that require self-tapes or other forms of audition. At iampro we offer a self-tape challenge that allows aspiring actors and actresses to receive feedback from industry professionals before they apply for other roles. 

As well as providing advice from those who are experts in the theatre and performance industry, iampro has a range of online courses and live events that cover acting, movement, voice and production. 
To get inspired by these courses and find out more about how you can pursue your dream career in theatre, sign up.