What Does a Theatre Swing Do?

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:

  • A desire to be challenged
  • Being a fast and efficient learner 
  • Adaptability
  • Positive team player with good communication skills
  • Ability to think on your feet

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:

  • Build a CV with lots of experience 
  • Demonstrate that you can cope with changing situations and learn multiple roles or plots thoroughly 
  • Network with directors, producers, production managers and fellow actors or crew members
  • Transition into other production or creative roles such as directing, choreography, lighting or sound design 
  • Be more visible to industry professionals
  • Gain experience and learn on the job

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: 

  • Wardrobe and Dressing 
  • Hair & Makeup
  • Choreography
  • Stage crew

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.

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