Theatre jobs for beginners – all you need to know
Theatre-obsessed but don't know enough about it to kick off your stage career?
Mandy News provides a breakdown of the main stage jobs beyond the director, producer and playwright.
Production designer - Often just called the designer, the production designer decides how the set looks and feels. Sometimes on a smaller project they may also deal with the costume/technical design too but more often these will be separate jobs. Usually the set design is done first which then dictates how the costumes will look.
Costume designer - The costume designer creates costumes based on discussions with the director and designer. Sometimes, the fabrics will be adapted once the show is cast.
Lighting/sound design - These folk design the lights/sound, to varying degrees of difficulty depending on the cues/technical complexity of the show.
Set builder/Scenic artists - These are the craftspeople who bring the vision of the director and designer to life. On smaller productions, this can be the same person/production team who created the design but more often than not these roles are separate.
Wardrobe - They might make the clothes, they might hire them, they will certainly be looking after them for the duration of the run. Woe betide the actor who eats in costume.
Stage manager - This role varies enormously depending on the scale of the production. On a smaller production, this overworked individual will be responsible for liaising with the venue about start times, opening/closing the curtains, making announcements, looking after the props, cueing actors backstage, stopping actors having breakdowns. On a bigger show they might have other people doing some of that stuff for them but their overall responsibility is to make sure things are in the right place at the right time. And to stop actors having breakdowns.
Tech - A larger production might have separate people operating lights, sound and possibly even pyro effects. In a smaller show it will usually be one person trying their best to juggle several roles.