There are many roles in theatre that don’t require any qualifications, where you can work your way up. However, if you are pursuing a career in theatre that requires a certain level of skill or safety qualifications – such as working with electrics or at height – this might mean you need qualifications, although not necessarily at degree level.
Take a look at the Careers in theatre blog for a full list of all jobs that are available in theatre. They are split into four sections; Creative Team, Production Team, Customer Service and Administration.
Here are some examples of roles in theatre that you can go straight into without a degree. You can use these as a starting point to gain that vital experience for you to pursue your chosen career.
You can start yourself up straight away as a freelance Writer, Director or Performer and can approach small scale/fringe theatres to gain and build up your experience. This can then lead to further work or open up your opportunities to approach larger scale theatres or productions.
Alternatively, there can be opportunities to be an assistant for these roles. This will also give you great experience and also the chance to work alongside other professionals and learn from them.
Starting as Stage Crew is great experience to gain knowledge and understanding of backstage roles to pursue a career in stage management, lighting or sound.
To pursue a career in the wardrobe department you can look at becoming a Wardrobe Assistant or Wigs Assistant.
Front of house, Ushers and Box Office Assistants are perfect roles at entry level. You’ll gain strong experience in customer service for you to pursue a career in this side of the theatre.
Sometimes Writers, Directors and Performers take on these roles as work in between their contracts.
Starting off in an Assistant or administration role for these departments will allow you to work alongside managers and give you the experience in an office environment to pursue those careers further.