There’re so many types of theatre jobs that people who decide to enter the industry often don’t know what to choose. In this article, we’d like to help you orientate yourself in the field by providing brief descriptions of the major directions in the theatre careers so that you can decide where to start.
Careers as a playwright
Basically, a playwright writes texts for performances. Technically, the term is reserved for a writer of plays for the theatre performances, but you may also choose to write scripts for films or librettos for operas and other musical works. Once you’ve acquired some basic writing skills, you’ll be able to decide whether to create your own original writing or to produce texts upon orders.
Careers as an actor
Obviously, an actor is a person who plays a character in a stage performance or a movie, and these careers are an ideal direction for you if acting is what you’d like to do. Actually, there’re many types of acting jobs: you may, for example, become a theatre or a film actor, choose to combine acting with singing or dancing, et cetera.
But whatever you choose to do in the end, you’ll first have to under go some training. You can do it in a drama school or by accepting minor roles to gain sufficient experience and acquire a reputation. Of course, combining the two would be ideal.
Careers as a director
Whereas a playwright produces a text for a performance, and an actor plays a role in it, a director is a creator of the performance itself. He or she envisions a three-dimensional presentation of a play or a script and coordinates the work of the entire crew, including actors, designers, cameramen, and others.
Directing is very much interrelated with play writing as it’s the latter’s ideas that are expressed in the performance. In fact, many directors believe that one should only produce plays or films based on one’s own scripts. Either way, this type of work requires excellent psychological and organisational skills, and you should be good at managing completely different departments of the entire project, to make it all work and to put it all together.
Careers as a producer
While the director is involved in the artistic creation of a performance, the producer takes care of the organisational and managerial aspects of the project. He or she has to ensure sufficient financing, take care of documentation issues, execute proper personnel management, oversee an adequate material supply, and guarantee successful marketing. In fact, a producer is responsible for so many tasks that a lot of assistants are often required, which may be a good entry point for you in case you’re interested in this type of work.
Careers as a set designer
A set designer is responsible for all the visual aspects of a performance. It’s a highly artistic type of work that involves designing a set to most effectively express the director’s ideas. Costumes, make-up, stage decoration and lighting are just a few examples of what a set designer has to think of.
It’s incredible how much work has to be done behind the stage while the audience is watching the show. Fly railing, helping actors change costumes, changing sets during the intermission, and hundreds of other activities are invisibly performed by the stage crew in the theatre background.
Finally, there’re lots of front-of-house jobs too. If you choose to work at a movie theatre, for example, you’ll be constantly shifting between selling tickets, operating the film projectors, serving snacks, and many other duties.