Directors are responsible for bringing a Playwright's words to life on stage or leading the actors in a direction to create a story, called ‘devising’. They oversee every detail of the creative process and create a cohesive and compelling play by using their own artistic interpretation of the script.

What are the main responsibilities of a Director?

What qualifications do I need to be a Director?

While there are no specific qualifications needed to be a Director, these courses could be beneficial:

Having experience in directing through amateur dramatics or community theatre can be helpful in building your CV and understanding of your own directing style. 

Here are some subjects that you can study at school which will teach you some useful skills on your journey to becoming a Director:

What skills do I need to be a Director?

If you’re thinking of becoming a Director, these can be the desirable skills to be an ideal candidate:

What does a career in directing look like?

As a Director, you start the process by analysing the script, grasping its themes, characters and messages. You might plan what you want the play’s key message to be before the actors join. Research and development days may follow - experimenting with ideas alongside the creative team. Both creative meetings and logistical production meetings with the production team happen throughout the process.

In rehearsals you guide actors through scenes, giving direction and ensuring that your vision is successfully coming to life. During technical rehearsals, sound and lighting elements are incorporated into the play, overseen by the technical designers. There will also be dress rehearsals with all costume, set and props. Directors may watch initial performances to provide feedback, but it's not mandatory. Once the show is running, your job is done. 

Throughout the whole process, you will need to manage admin tasks, communicate with the team and balance artistic goals with practical constraints like budgets. Despite the demanding work, collaborating with talented artists to bring stories to life on stage can be highly rewarding.

How much can a Director earn?

The above is a guide. Pay, salary or fee can vary depending on the theatre or company, as well as your personal experience. National institutions or commercial productions can pay in excess of the above, with profit-share or community theatre paying less.

References:

https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/writer
https://myjobsearch.com/careers/playwright.html
https://writersguild.org.uk/2-rise-for-playwrights/#:~:text=The%20rise%20is%20effective%20from,
https://www.itc-arts.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Rates-of-Pay-2024-27-Sheet.pdf

Photo: Alex Brenner

Published: 17 May 2024

What Does a Theatre Swing Do?

Ever wondered what being a Theatre Swing entails and how it can help you pave your way into the industry? Then keep reading! This blog explores what it means to be a Theatre Swing, the difference between a Cast Swing and a Technical Swing, as well as how it can help widen your skill set.  

What is a Theatre Swing? 

Theatre Swings are an important part of the theatre world and how it operates. 

The role of a Cast Swing is to act as an understudy for numerous parts - both ensemble and principle. They will learn various roles and step in if a member of the cast is absent. 

A Technical Theatre Swing or ‘Tech Swing’ is someone who is a technical and production all-rounder. They will learn all aspects of the show within the lighting, sound, automation and stage management departments, rotating around each department to step in when a member of the crew is absent. 

Large casts and crews on long show runs will be given days off, so the Swing will be on hand to fill those gaps on rotation. 

What skills will a Theatre Swing have?

Whilst being a Swing allows you to gain industry knowledge first-hand, it can be beneficial to have certain skills:

Why be a Theatre Swing? Where can it lead you?

Being a Swing can open many doors within the industry and can allow you to:

What Roles Require Swings?

A common misconception is that Swings are just those acting within a show, when in reality, there are many roles within the industry that you can be a swing for, such as being a Technical Swing. Other departments also include: 

Looking for Experience? 

If you want to get into the industry by being a Theatre Swing or you want to take a look at the career options that being a Swing can lead to, check out our opportunities on Get Into Theatre.

Breaking news from Get Into Theatre and ATG!

Get Into Theatre and ATG have announced an exciting new partnership: Work In Theatre.

Funded by Arts Council England, Work In Theatre is a nationwide careers programme to improve access to theatre careers for young people and emerging artists across England, Scotland and Wales.

Activity will take place across 15 ATG venues nationwide, with digital activity hosted here on getintotheatre.org. WORK IN THEATRE will reach more than 30,000 young people, teachers and freelance artists across the UK!

We've been working to develop WORK IN THEATRE with secondary school teachers across the UK, following feedback that young people’s varying needs across the regions are not being met by the current ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to theatre work experience opportunities. We're going to empower teachers to develop a meaningful careers offer that showcases the range of careers within the theatre industry.

Co-Authored with teachers, the year-long project will be delivered through three strands:

These strands will meaningfully inspire, educate and spotlight the breadth of on and offstage careers available within the theatre industry and will be brought to those that may not have thought theatre was a space for them; improving equal access for young people from lower socio-economic, d/Deaf or disabled and Black, Asian & ethnic backgrounds.

Work In Theatre Experience will act as a careers learning programme - curated alongside local schools, offered to young people from education settings and connected within their local ATG venue.

Work In Theatre Conference will be a hybrid offer of digital and in-person Continued Professional Development for teachers from targeted state schools, ensuring those with direct access to young people feel confident discussing routes into the industry.

Work In Theatre Commissions will commission emerging creative practitioners from under-represented backgrounds within each region, to create dynamic video responses that capture their career journey - to inspire all of you in Get into Theatre’s digital network.

Alexandra Snell, Senior Creative Learning Manager, Milton Keynes Theatre said:

“We are delighted that thanks to funding from Arts Council England, we enter an exciting next phase of our ongoing partnership with Get into Theatre - bringing the passion, commitment, and expertise of our organisations together in the locally driven, nationwide delivery of the Work in Theatre initiative. We believe partnerships are powerful. This collective approach ensures we’re able to deliver impactful and locally relevant engagement that moves us forwards in our shared commitment to nurture and inspire the industry's next diverse generation.”

Get Into Theatre Director Alex Duarte-Davies added:

“Get Into Theatre exists for those young people who want to build their road map, or at least take a peek at what could be possible - from their homes and school classroom. However, getting through those physical doors can often be a daunting challenge. This collaboration with ATG will see those doors opened wide and ensure that young people from all backgrounds are given the same opportunities to ‘get into theatre’, as well as supporting teachers to confidently offer meaningful and up-to-date guidance to their students. It is a step in breaking down those barriers between education and industry, to ensure that the future of the sector is both representational and accessible.”

Produced by 15 ATG venues, with digital activity showcased on the Get Into Theatre website, the project will run until April 2024.

To find out more and get involved email Get Into Theatre director Alex Duarte-Davies on alex@getintotheatre.org.

We'll be reaching out to the Get Into Theatre community soon with more details about how you can get involved.

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Work in Theatre

There are many different types of jobs in theatre and knowing where to start in your theatre career search can be difficult. Whether you want to be an actor, work within backstage & technical theatre or in one of the many supporting roles our list is a great starting point to learn what role in theatre would best suit you.

This complete list of careers in theatre is based on large-scale theatres in the UK. For smaller theatres or productions some roles in this list will not be applicable or the roles may be merged together.

Creative team:

Find job descriptions and more theatre careers advice here

Production team:

Find theatre jobs with The Stage Jobs here

Customer service roles:

Search opportunities here

Administration team:

Find theatre vacancies with The Stage Jobs here

Photo: Sim Canetty Clarke

Published: 04 March 2019

Get Into Theatre gives young people thousands of training, experience and funding opportunities from colleges, universities, drama schools, theatres and arts organisations all over the UK. These opportunities are for everyone no matter what gender you are, ethnicity, background or ability/disability. 

 

Find training, experience and funding opportunities for those with disabilities here. 

 

Access is a basic right and requirement that is constantly changing and improving the theatre industry and allows it to grow. Accessibility enables theatre practitioners (someone who creates theatre performances) and audiences to create, engage and enjoy. Find out more about Access to Work here. LINK

There are so many opportunities available, both on and offstage for people with disabilities, the problem is that young people don’t know where to find them. Not only that but they don’t know where/who you can turn to for support. We want to ensure that you have the knowledge and information that you need to pursue a career within the theatre industry so we have done the research for you. We have listed a number of amazing organisations that can help teach you, advise you and support you as you begin your dream career. 

 

Blind

Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)

Helpline: 03031239999

RNIB is one of the UK’s leading sight loss charities and the largest community of blind and partially sighted people. They offer help and support for blind and partially sighted people and this can be anything from practical and emotional support, campaigning for change and reading services. 

 

Vocal Eyes

This organisation aims to increase opportunities for blind and partially sighted people to experience and enjoy the arts and make them aware of the opportunities available to them.

See their opportunities here. 

 

D/deaf

Action Hearing Loss

Action Hearing Loss is the largest charity for people with hearing loss in the UK. They support and help you from day-to-day care, to practical information, to campaigning for a fairer world for people with hearing loss, and funding research to find a cure.

 

Signed Culture

This organisation supports and promotes BSL access to the arts in the UK. 

 

All disabilities (including blind and D/deaf) and learning difficulties

Graeae

Graeae is a theatre company who produce theatre productions and also deliver training programmes and opportunities for aspiring and already established Actors, Directors and Writers. Graeae also provide bespoke access solutions such as:

See Graeae’s opportunities here. 

 

Mind the Gap

Mind the Gap is one of Europe’s leading learning disability theatre companies that creates work for the UK and international audiences. Their vision is to work in an arts sector where there is equal opportunity for performers with learning disabilities. They work in partnership with learning disabled artists to deliver a bold, cutting-edge and world-class artistic programme that makes an impact. 

Mind the Gap offers several training courses for adults with a learning disability to kick-start their career in performing arts which you can find here. LINK

 

Disability Arts Online

Disability Arts is an organisation led by disabled people and created to improve and support disability arts and culture. Disability Arts understand that being an artist can be difficult and even more so for disabled artists and this platform gives them a platform to blog, and share thoughts, images, projects and general daily things to be creative with other like-minded people. They also respond to email requests for information and advice. 

 

National Disability Theatre

National Disability Theatre employs professional theatre artists who create fully accessible, world-class theatre and storytelling; change social policy and the nation’s narrative about disability culture.

 

Unlimited

Unlimited is an arts commissioning programme - run by Shape Arts and Artsadmin - that enables new work by disabled artists to reach the UK and international audiences. They are the largest supporter of disabled artists worldwide.

 

Shape Arts

Shape Arts is a disability-led arts organisation which works to improve access to culture for disabled people by:

They also provide access auditing and training services to arts organisations and delivering consultancy which works towards the improvement of cultural services for all disabled people.

 

Artsadmin

Artsadmin is a producing and presenting organisation for contemporary artists working in theatre, dance, live art, visual arts and mixed media. 

 

Access in London

Access in London is an informative guide for disabled people such as wheelchair users and those with limited walking ability and for whom stairs may be a challenge. It was created from information collected by visits, and reflects the experiences of disabled people. The guide combines information about where to stay, how to get around and the easiest ways of accessing the main places of interest with maps which include artwork. You can download the guide from the link above.

 

Deborah Groves - Acting and Dyslexia London

Training, mentoring, lectures and workshops in acting and performance for those with dyslexia.

See their opportunities here. 

 

Accentuate

Accentuate is a national programme which works in partnership with others to create groundbreaking projects which support and promote the talents of deaf and disabled people in the cultural sector. 

 

Disability Rights UK

Disability Rights UK are a Party Parliamentary Group for Disability. They are the leading charity of its kind in the UK and are run by and for people with lived experience of disability or health conditions. They work to influence national policy on independent living, benefits, education, employment, transport, human rights and other issues. 

 

Act for Change

The Act for Change Project is a registered charity. They campaign for better representation across the live and recorded arts. They aim to strengthen diversity and let people from underrepresented audiences know that a future exists with them firmly featured in it. 

 

British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM)

BAPAM is a healthcare charity giving medical advice to people working and studying in the performing arts. 

 

The British Equity Collecting Society (BECS)

BECS is the UK’s only collective management organisation for audio visual performers.

 

Council for Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre (CDMT)

CDMT provides quality assurance for the professional dance, drama and musical theatre industries. It is the first point of contact for those seeking information on education, training and assessment in the UK. 

 

Dancers Career Development (DCD)

DCD is a registered charity and the only organisation of its kind in the UK to support Dancers to have a successful transition to alternative careers after retiring from professional performance. 

See DCD opportunities here.

 

Equity

Equity are a union of Performers and creative practitioners who fight for fair terms and conditions in the workplace. 

 

Equity Charitable Trust (ECT)

If you’re a professional Performer who wants to train for a new career, or who is facing financial difficulties, then ECT will help you.

 

Federation of Entertainment Unions (FEU)

FEU provides training, information, advice, guidance and skills development opportunities to support your freelance career in the creative industries. 

 

One Dance UK

One Dance UK is the sector support organisation leading the way for a stronger, more vibrant and diverse dance sector. They advocate for the increased profile and importance of dance in all its diverse forms and settings as well as enhancing Dancers’ health, well-being and performance and identifying gaps, providing opportunities and improve conditions for dance to be learnt, discussed and seen. 

 

Variety and Light Entertainment Council (VLEC)

VLEC ensures the good order and practice of the variety and light entertainment industry, to ensure that the appropriate contract is used for every engagement and to resolve disputes, formally and informally. 

 

 

References:

Published: 3 January 2020

Photo:

A theatre Composer writes original music to help tell a story or convey atmosphere and emotions. They may write music for voices and instruments to perform, or it may involve electronic and digital tools.

For traditional plays, a Composer would write the music that underscores the production. In musical theatre, this would include writing songs, and Composers may collaborate with a Lyricist and a Book Writer.

As well theatre, Composers can write for film, television, video games, radio, advertising, recording artists and more.

 

What are the main responsibilities of a Composer in theatre?

 

What qualifications do I need to be a Composer?

Some Composers can write music by ear, but usually you will need a very strong understanding of music theory and techniques.

Qualifications and subjects that may be useful include:

 

Search our training opportunities in music here.

 

What skills do I need to be a Composer?

 

What does a career as a Composer look like?

There are many different ways to begin a career as a Composer, but a typical path can be to study music and then take up a mentorship or residency with an established Composer.

Some Composers’ work begins as their own project, for example writing a musical, but often you would be working on a commission from a theatre company or Producer.

Composers most often work on freelance contracts, but it is possible to find residencies. Some Composers will also work part-time as Music Teachers and/or offer arrangement, orchestration and transcription services.

Read our blog 'How to become a freelancer in theatre' here.

 

How much can I earn as a Composer?

Salaries and fees can vary a lot depending on the type of production, and the individual’s skill level and experience. Composers may be paid per minute of completed music. The average salary for a Composer is around £40,000 per year, across the different industries.

 

Search for Composer roles on The Stage Jobs here

 

References

https://www.berklee.edu/careers/roles/composer-concert-stage#:~:text=Derived%20from%20a%20Latin%20word,to%20create%20an%20original%20work.

https://www.careerexplorer.com/careers/composer/

https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/what-does-composer-do

https://www.berklee.edu/careers/roles/composer-musical-theater#:~:text=Musical%20theater%20composers%20create%20songs,for%20new%20musical%20theater%20works.

 

Photo by Artem Podrez from Pexels

Published: 23 March 2022

 

A Sound Designer in theatre is responsible for creating all sound and audio for a production. Depending on the requirements of the show, this can include sound effects, music, building atmosphere and how the performers are heard.

The Sound Designer will initially work with the Director and the creative team to ensure that sound supports and enhances the production’s storytelling. The sound design may represent everything from specific noises created by actions on stage, sounds that convey the show’s setting and time, and music and soundscapes that build atmosphere, mood and the characters’ emotions. They will also consider the quality and clarity of speech and singing through performers’ microphones and audio levels.

Search for opportunities using The Stage Jobs here. 

 

What are the main responsibilities of a Sound Designer?

 

What qualifications do I need to be a Sound Designer?

There are some courses, qualifications and degrees that specialise in sound design for theatre, and more that focus on sound more generally, including audio production music technology.

However, you don’t need formal qualifications to start a career in sound design; you could enter the industry by working as a Sound Engineer, Stage Crew or Theatre Technician.

Find opportunities for backstage roles here

 

What skills do I need to be a Sound Designer?

 

What does a career as a Sound Designer look like?

Sound Designers are often self employed and work on short-term contracts for each production, but some Sound Designers can be employed by specific theatres.
Networking and building good relationships is important, as that may lead to future work.

Find out about being a freelancer in theatre here.

 

How much does a Sound Desginer earn?

Salaries and fees can vary depending on the scale of the production and/or size of the theatre. An entry level Sound Designer salary is around £18,000 per year. A Sound Designer with more than five years’ experience may earn an average of £23,000. Experienced Sound Designers could make between £30,000 and £41,000.

Find all careers advice here

 

References:

https://theatre.uoregon.edu/production/sound-designer/#:~:text=The%20Sound%20Designer%20is%20responsible,artistic%20component%20of%20the%20production

https://www.associationofsounddesigners.com/whatis

https://www.oldvictheatre.com/join-in/education-hub/workshops/introduction-to-sound-design

https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/sound-designer

Photo: Shutterstock

Published: 24 February 2022

Today, on International Day of People with Disabilities 2021, we are raising awareness with Recite Me of the challenges and barriers people with disabilities face in the theatre industry, and sharing opportunities available to help.

The 2021 IDPWD theme is “fighting for rights in the post-COVID era”. Since March 2020, every person has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in one way or another, but for those with accessibility barriers, this has been notably  challenging.

 

Barriers and accessibility issues

Accessibility issues in the theatre industry impact both audiences and theatre workers. In the Theatre Access 2021 survey, published by VocalEyes, StageText and the Centre for Accessible Environments, 47% of respondents said more than half of the online theatre they encountered during the pandemic was inaccessible by failing to offer services such as audio description, British Sign Language or subtitles.

When it comes to live theatre, a recent survey by StageText revealed that two thirds of respondents sometimes find it difficult to hear what is happening and 77% were in favour of venues offering more captioned performances.

For disabled theatre workers, the access barriers can be even more challenging, particularly in the post-pandemic world. In findings published by the #WeShallNotBeRemoved campaign, nearly two thirds of respondents were worried they would have to leave the creative industries. Statistics released by Arts Council England in 2020 revealed that while disabled people made up 21% of England’s population, disabled representation at arts organisations amounted to just 6% of employees.

 

Accessibility tools on Get Into Theatre

At Get Into Theatre, we believe that all young people should have the same chance to have a career in theatre, including easy access to current information on training, funding, experiences, theatre job profiles and advice.

Ahmet Ahmet, Director of Get into Theatre commented…

“The internet can be an incredibly intimidating place for those lacking the tools they need to read and understand online information, this is why we have made it our mission to provide unlimited access to our current opportunities for young people who identify as disabled.”

To make our resources accessible for those with disabilities, learning difficulties, visual impairments, cognitive or neurological disorders, and those who speak English as a second language, we have implemented Recite Me accessibility and language tools on our website.

The assistive technology on our website includes various customisable options including screen reading functionality, multiple reading aids, customisable styling options and on-demand live translation feature that has over 100 languages, including 35 texts to speech and styling options.

To use the accessibility toolbar on our website, click ‘Read Aloud’ in the top right corner.

Recite Me have also put together the below video to demonstrate how these features work.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/tXIEZRMR0fQ" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

 

Opportunities and support for disabled Theatremakers

While the majority of training, funding and experience opportunities on Get Into Theatre are open to everyone, we also list many opportunities created specifically to support Theatremakers with disabilities. If you are registered on Get Into Theatre, have disclosed your disability and are opted in to receive emails, you can get these opportunities sent straight to your inbox. To change your settings, log in to the website and go to ‘Your account’.

Access to Work is a government programme aimed at supporting disabled people to take up or remain at work. Find out everything you need to know about Access to Work in the theatre industry in our blog post here.

Check out our video interview with Actor Amy Trigg to find out what it is like to be a wheelchair user who has trained in musical theatre and starred in theatre productions across the UK.

 

 

Written by Recite Me & Get Into Theatre

Blog image: Alex Brenner

Published: 3 December 2021

If you’re from a Black, Asian or ethnically diverse background and are interested in a career as an Artistic Director, or hope to one day be in a leadership position within a theatre organisation (including Executive Director, General Manager, Producer, Chair and Trustee), make sure Artistic Directors of the Future is on your radar.

Not sure what an Artistic Director does? Start here by reading our blog post all about the role!

 

What is Artistic Directors of the Future?

Artistic Directors of the Future (ADF) is an arts leadership training and membership organisation that is dedicated to creating change where it matters most: at leadership level.

Its mission is to increase leadership representation and progress the careers of theatre practitioners who are Black, Asian or ethnically diverse through its core services of leadership development and consultancy.

ADF works in partnership with leading theatre organisations to deliver a programme of workshops, events and professional development initiatives that demystify the roles of leadership positions, generate access to positions of authority and create career development opportunities.

Some of the organisations that work with ADF:

 

What training does ADF offer?

As a member, you can access both online and in-person training activities aimed at different stages of your career.

For all career levels, ADF offers consultancy for expert advice and support, online resources on topics such as starting a theatre company and pathways into leadership roles and Artistic Directors Lab, a half-day interactive workshop to gain a deeper understanding of the responsibilities of an Artistic Director.

Mid-career leaders can access training including the Board Shadowing Programme, ADF Innovators, theatre residencies, a Leadership Lab and application and interviewing skills.

Find out more about ADF’s training here or browse training opportunities across the industry on Get Into Theatre.

 

What events can I attend with ADF?

As well as the brilliant training programmes, Artistic Directors of the Future runs a number of conferences and networking events, which are perfect for meeting other ADF members and hearing from current leaders in the theatre industry.

See all ADF’s conferences and networking events here.

 

How can I get involved?

Once you have checked if you’re eligible, you can sign up for a membership here. ADF’s Bronze Membership is completely free, and gives you access to exclusive leadership development programmes.

If you’re looking for even more career support, you can opt for a Silver or Gold Membership via a monthly or annual payment to access all of ADF’s resources and opportunities.

Not quite ready to join as a member? Sign up to the mailing list to keep up to date with everything that’s going on, or just keep an eye on the noticeboard area on their website!

 

 

Published: 5 November 2021

Blog photo: Shutterstock

An Assistant Director position gives you the opportunity to both learn about the production process generally and the work of the overall Director. This means after a while of assisting a Director, you could eventually work towards becoming the Director.

What are the main responsibilities of an Assistant Director?

Search all theatre opportunities here

What qualifications do I need to be an Assistant Director?

While you do not need a degree for this role, here are some useful subjects and courses that you can study to gain knowledge and experience.

Search theatre training courses here

What skills do I need to be an Assistant Director?

These are the desirable skills to have to be a candidate for an Assistant Director role:

Find more theatre careers advice here

What does a career in assistant directing look like?

There’s not a one-way path to become an Assistant Director, however having previous experience of producing, directing and creating new work is ideal.

How much does an Assistant Director earn?

Pay for an Artistic Director can range between £12k - £30k depending on the theatre and your personal experience.

Find theatre vacancies with The Stage Jobs here

 

 

Published: 02 July 2021

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