Theatre management professional, also known as a theatre planner, director, or artistic director, is basically the head of a theatre organization. They usually also have the duties of either an artistic director or artistic producer but in reality, manage all operational, budgeting, marketing, and artistic functions of the theatre. Most commonly they are the top spokesperson of the theatre company and act as the public relations manager for their theatre. However, since they hold the position of head of the theatre operations, it may be hard for them to find time for themselves and other members of the theatre company.
The responsibilities of theatre management are vast. They generally perform the following duties: strategic planning, budgetary support, artistic production planning, development of programming, marketing of the theatre, management of technical aspects of the theatre (lighting, sound, acoustics, and costumes), and fund management. It can also involve the hiring of actors and actresses for the theatre, a selection of themes and topics for plays/movies, and selecting a suitable theme for stage performances, recitals, concerts, and other events. It is very important to understand that theatre management is much more than simply providing jobs for actors and actresses-it involves finding the best talent available for the theatre, developing a marketing plan, negotiating contracts with artists and the like, ensuring the smooth running of the theatre, and balancing the budget so that funds can be allocated for the various aspects of theatre operations. Theatre manager’s job profile includes quite a bit of “behind-the-scenes” work that is not visible to the audience, such as budgeting and scheduling, booking of actor/actress, negotiating compensation and contracts, screening different plays/movies with different casts, shopping for costumes and props, etc.
Since there are several elements involved in the theatre industry, it is no wonder that many people seek a career as a theatre manager. As mentioned earlier, it is an incredibly challenging profession that requires skill, experience, creative thinking, and interpersonal skills that are honed by years of working in various theatre departments. Theatre managers are usually responsible for the day to day operations of the theatre, making sure that everything runs smoothly. A theatre manager’s duties include the organization of casting, contracts, and equipment maintenance.
Theatre management is a multi-faceted profession where the director, producers, actors, and musicians all have specific roles. The theatre manager is essentially in charge of the nuts and bolts of all the tasks associated with the theatre. For instance, he has to find a suitable play or movie for the theatre group, choose the cast, schedule auditions, select a director, manage the financial end of things, and plan a venue for each show. The theatre manager has to be organized, detail-oriented, and able to take a step-by-step approach to any situations that may arise.
If you want to break into the theatre world as a theatre manager then you need to acquire solid theatre management skills. You can either attend theatre-related trade schools or courses at community colleges. You will need to complete a degree specializing in theatre management to gain employment in the field. It is also helpful to have some theatre-related experience on the job. Some theatre companies hire theatre related assistants and interns who are put in charge of particular responsibilities. In addition, theatre enthusiasts can learn about theatre management from professional actors, directors, and playwrights.
After completing a theatre management course or school, you should prepare yourself for a career in the theatre by interning or taking classes at a community college. The more experience you have working in the industry, the more you will learn about the theatre industry and how it works. As well, the theatre experience will allow you to develop your leadership and management skills, so that you are prepared for a successful theatre career. Be sure to keep up with the latest news and developments within the theatre industry so that you know what positions are available when you are ready for employment.