What does an Artistic Director do?

An Artistic Director will oversee the programme for the theatre as well as manage funding, budgets and staff. Find below details of what you would find in a job description for an Artistic Director of a theatre.

What are the main responsibilities of an Artistic Director?

  • Create a programme; choose the shows that will be performed in the theatre
  • Hiring of staff; Directors, Actors, Stage Managers, Designers etc
  • Read and select scripts sent to you
  • Discuss the budget of the theatre and funding with the Executive Director
  • They also have the opportunity/requirement to direct shows themselves
  • Represent the theatre at events, public and social appearances
  • Create and innovate the principles and aims of the theatre

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What qualifications do I need to be an Artistic 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.

  • Directing
  • Producing
  • Creative Arts
  • Theatre Management
  • Theatre Studies
  • Creative Management

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What skills do I need to be an Artistic Director?

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

  • Experience in directing and producing
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Leadership and people skills
  • Risk taking
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Management skills
  • Creativity
  • Strong maths ability for budgets and logistics

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What does a career in artistic directing look like?

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

How much does an Artistic Director earn?

Pay for an Artistic Director can range between £20k - £60k depending on the theatre and your personal experience. Artistic Directors of national institutions may earn well in excess of this.

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The Bush Theatre Job Spec

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre Job Spec

The Birmingham Rep Job Spec


Published: 04 March 2019

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