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What does an Associate Director do?

An Associate Director is typically a member of the production team who works closely with the Director to support and assist in various aspects of the production process. The Associate Director will take over when the Director is absent, or on touring productions. 

What are the main responsibilities of an Associate Director?

  • Assisting the Director 
  • Rehearsal facilitation
  • Creative input
  • Administrative tasks
  • Production support
  • Read and study the play, then discuss the concept and ideas with the Director
  • Attend production meetings
  • Communicate with the whole team, sometimes on behalf of the Director
  • Undertake administrative tasks such as scheduling 
  • Offer casting assistance 
  • If working on a touring production, you could potentially join the tour and maintain the show in various theatres
  • Assist during technical rehearsals 
  • Help problem-solve 

What qualifications do I need to be an Associate Director?

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

  • Directing
  • Acting
  • Theatre Studies
  • Theatre Management
  • English Literature

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

  • Drama/Theatre Studies
  • English
  • Psychology 
  • History 

What skills do I need to be an Associate Director?

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

  • Creativity 
  • Leadership 
  • Collaboration
  • Communication 
  • Theatre knowledge
  • Technical knowledge  
  • Literature skills
  • Researching skills
  • Analytical thinking 
  • Problem-solving
  • Adaptability 
  • Troubleshooting 
  • Time management
  • Organisation 

What does a career as an Associate Director look like?

As an Associate Director, your role adapts to the preferences of the Director that you're supporting. This could mean leading rehearsals, aiding in creative brainstorming, or taking charge of particular scenes or characters. Your input and expertise contribute to the production, especially in areas where the Director needs assistance or lacks time. While your insights are valuable, the Director ultimately makes the final decisions. If you are working on a touring production or a long-running show, you will often make sure the show keeps the Director’s vision throughout. 

How much can an Associate Director earn?

Associate Directors are often freelancers, so you can negotiate your fee with the company or venue. This would usually be based on the venue’s budget, the duration of the show, the size of the audience and the ticket prices. The fee may vary depending on your level of experience as an Associate Director. Learn more about freelancing with our blog 'How to be a freelancer in theatre.' For more information on a Director's fee, read our What does a Director do? blog.

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.

You can find theatre jobs via The Stage Jobs here 

References:

https://www.mgcfutures.com/associate-director/

https://www.firstcareers.co.uk/careers/what-does-an-associate-director-do/

Published: 23 May 2024

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