What does a Production Manager do?

A Production Manager works with the management team, technical crew and Designers to make sure the technical elements of a show are completed safely, on time and on budget. Production Managers work on a variety of different shows for a theatre season.

Although similar, there is a difference between a Production Manager and a Stage Manager. A Stage Manager liaises with different departments throughout the day and make sure everything is running smoothly, whereas a Production Manager liaises with different departments to ensure decisions being made are within budgets and everything is working safely.

What are the main responsibilities of a Production Manager?

The responsibilities of a Production Manager can vary and they can begin from the audition process and rehearsals of a production, through to the first night of performances and to when the show has finished its run. These responsibilities can include:

  • Creating and maintaining a production schedule for each show
  • Maintaining contact information
  • Organising additional meetings for cast and production staff
  • Working closely with Directors and other department heads to make decisions regarding set, costume, lighting and other aspects of a production and ensure these are within the budget of the production
  • Keeping stage and backstage areas organised
  • Ensuring decisions made regarding the set of a production are carried out safely
  • Prepare budgets and monitor accurate expenses
  • Create construction drawings for all scenery elements

As well as searching opportunities on the Get Into Theatre website, you can also search jobs and opportunities on The Stage Jobs here. 

What qualifications do I need to be a Production Manager?

Normally, a Production Manager will have a good knowledge of technical theatre. It is usually a requirement that you have a formal qualification in technical theatre or any related subjects such as:

  • Performance production
  • Technical backstage
  • Stage management
  • Lighting
  • Events management
  • Business studies 

Also, any experience in Production is a great way to learn new skills and improve on the ones you already have. Look at the production management training opportunities available to you here.

What skills do I need to be a Production Manager?

You need to have the right personality for this type of work as you’re dealing with a number of different departments and people. You will need the following skills to make you and ideal candidate for this job role:

  • Good management of people and finances
  • Well organised and able to remain calm and clear-headed at all times
  • Good communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Can work well to deadlines
  • An understanding of technical aspects of the production

Search all theatre opportunities here

What does a career in Production look like?

Most Production Managers will have worked in one or more relevant roles. Any experience of organising events or assisting an organisation with an event is helpful. This includes any sort of experience helping backstage at a local theatre. Production Managers could have started in a lower position such as a member of the Backstage Crew and worked their way up. 

Find more theatre careers advice here

How much does a Production Manager earn?

A Production Manager can expect to earn £250 per day and for a larger event such as a festival, £300-£500 per day.

Find theatre vacancies with The Stage Jobs here


Photo: Alex Brenner

Published: 19 June 2019

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