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How to Work in the Theater Industry Without Being Onstage

July 13, 2016 by TodayTix
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Acting and singing aren’t the only ways to get involved in the world of theater. Putting on a production takes a village, you guys! Because the lead can sing as loud as she wants, but there won’t be anything to sing about without the talent to fill these seven critical offstage roles.

1. Producing

Young businesswoman talking on mobile phone

Everything starts with the producer. If you’re uber-organized, a natural problem solver and tend to get a kick out of persuading fancy people to shell out major $$$ (aka fundraising), you may well be equipped to take on this mammoth role.

2. Choreography

I love tap dancing

Someone needs to tell all those talented people on stage what they’re actually supposed to do up there. And it’s not just the dance numbers, it’s everything. Without a choreographer, everyone would just end up in a big, awkward pile in the middle of the stage, and that’s bad.

3. Set Design

Group of creative people in a meeting discussing new project

Is your apartment infinitely cooler than all your friends’ apartments? Can you look at a pile of wood and see a bustling town square in 18th century Spain? If so, you may also be pretty excellent at set design.

4. Lighting

Light beam on the stage

Without the right lighting design, the audience won’t know where to look or even how to feel. And honestly, no actor will be able to enjoy the ‘limelight’ if someone isn’t there, behind the scenes, making sure it’s exactly limey enough.

5. Costuming


Go look at your closet and set a timer to see how long it takes you to put together an outfit that would get you past the door of a speakeasy in 1922, sans password. Less than 2 minutes? You’ve got a future in costume design!

6. Hair and Makeup

Perfect Make-Up Application

Super bright lights and a high bar for drama make hair and makeup of the theater variety totally different than the day-to-day/YouTube star variety. If you’ve ever woken up and transformed yourself into the Queen of England using nothing but lip gloss and hairspray, the industry may have a spot for you.

7. Stage Management

Scrim that light

The stage manager deals with making sure pretty much all of the above is neatly coordinated. How type A are you? Are you okay with organizing people? These questions are very important if you want to pursue this career.