Welcome back to Musings About Musicals’ weekly series, Alternative Broadway Careers. This week, I want to discuss a career that is on the business side of things that can be very grueling but also very rewarding – theatre management!
1. How Do I Get This Job?
Many colleges and universities offer a four-year degree in theatre management. In some cases, you may need a master’s degree as well, whether an MFA or MBA. Post-graduation, you will likely need to work your way up doing entry level work for theatres, like as a secretary. You’ll also want to have experience in other theatre fields, as it will be extremely beneficial to know everything you can about not only acting and technical things, but also important aspects of theatres such as marketing and fundraising. Some theatre managers worked their way up to this job through other production-related jobs.
2. What is This Job Like?
As I said above, this work is can be long and difficult. As a theatre manager, you will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of a theatre. Depending on the size of the theatre, this could include overseeing marketing techniques, finances, special events planning and of course administration. You may also need to hire and train the staff of the theatre. Essentially, as the theatre manager, you are responsible for the daily operations of the theatre as well as planning out long-term strategies. So basically you’re the deciding factor in whether your theatre succeeds or fails. Sound intimidating?
3. What Skills Do I Need?
A theatre manager has to be very skilled in many different fields. Naturally, you will need excellent organization skills and communication skills. Being in charge of finances means you’ll need accounting skills as well. You’ll need strong analytical skills and of course, creativity is always a necessity in any theatre field. But most importantly, a theatre manager needs patience. With all the many responsibilities, it’s important to be able to stay calm and focused while you are facing immense pressure.
4. Where Can I Get More Information?
Here is a list of colleges that offer theatre management programs. It has tons of great information and you can always reach out to the individual schools for more. Another great way to find out more is to reach out to your local theatre, or maybe a theatre you want to work at, and see if you can speak with their manager. They’ll probably have a lot of great, specialized advice and you can see if this career track may be right for you!
This is Part Two in Musings About Musicals’ Alternative Broadway Careers series. CLICK HERE for Part One: Theatrical Public Relations.