There are many different types of jobs in theatre and knowing where to start in your theatre career search can be difficult. Whether you want to be an actor, work within backstage & technical theatre or in one of the many supporting roles our list is a great starting point to learn what role in theatre would best suit you.

This complete list of careers in theatre is based on large-scale theatres in the UK. For smaller theatres or productions some roles in this list will not be applicable or the roles may be merged together.

Creative team:

Find job descriptions and more theatre careers advice here

Production team:

Find theatre jobs with The Stage Jobs here

Customer service roles:

Search opportunities here

Administration team:

Find theatre vacancies with The Stage Jobs here

Photo: Sim Canetty Clarke

Published: 04 March 2019

Get Into Theatre gives young people thousands of training, experience and funding opportunities from colleges, universities, drama schools, theatres and arts organisations all over the UK. These opportunities are for everyone no matter what gender you are, ethnicity, background or ability/disability. 


Find training, experience and funding opportunities for those with disabilities here. 


Access is a basic right and requirement that is constantly changing and improving the theatre industry and allows it to grow. Accessibility enables theatre practitioners (someone who creates theatre performances) and audiences to create, engage and enjoy. Find out more about Access to Work here. LINK

There are so many opportunities available, both on and offstage for people with disabilities, the problem is that young people don’t know where to find them. Not only that but they don’t know where/who you can turn to for support. We want to ensure that you have the knowledge and information that you need to pursue a career within the theatre industry so we have done the research for you. We have listed a number of amazing organisations that can help teach you, advise you and support you as you begin your dream career. 



Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)

Helpline: 03031239999

RNIB is one of the UK’s leading sight loss charities and the largest community of blind and partially sighted people. They offer help and support for blind and partially sighted people and this can be anything from practical and emotional support, campaigning for change and reading services. 


Vocal Eyes

This organisation aims to increase opportunities for blind and partially sighted people to experience and enjoy the arts and make them aware of the opportunities available to them.

See their opportunities here. 



Action Hearing Loss

Action Hearing Loss is the largest charity for people with hearing loss in the UK. They support and help you from day-to-day care, to practical information, to campaigning for a fairer world for people with hearing loss, and funding research to find a cure.


Signed Culture

This organisation supports and promotes BSL access to the arts in the UK. 


All disabilities (including blind and D/deaf) and learning difficulties


Graeae is a theatre company who produce theatre productions and also deliver training programmes and opportunities for aspiring and already established Actors, Directors and Writers. Graeae also provide bespoke access solutions such as:

See Graeae’s opportunities here. 


Mind the Gap

Mind the Gap is one of Europe’s leading learning disability theatre companies that creates work for the UK and international audiences. Their vision is to work in an arts sector where there is equal opportunity for performers with learning disabilities. They work in partnership with learning disabled artists to deliver a bold, cutting-edge and world-class artistic programme that makes an impact. 

Mind the Gap offers several training courses for adults with a learning disability to kick-start their career in performing arts which you can find here. LINK


Disability Arts Online

Disability Arts is an organisation led by disabled people and created to improve and support disability arts and culture. Disability Arts understand that being an artist can be difficult and even more so for disabled artists and this platform gives them a platform to blog, and share thoughts, images, projects and general daily things to be creative with other like-minded people. They also respond to email requests for information and advice. 


National Disability Theatre

National Disability Theatre employs professional theatre artists who create fully accessible, world-class theatre and storytelling; change social policy and the nation’s narrative about disability culture.



Unlimited is an arts commissioning programme - run by Shape Arts and Artsadmin - that enables new work by disabled artists to reach the UK and international audiences. They are the largest supporter of disabled artists worldwide.


Shape Arts

Shape Arts is a disability-led arts organisation which works to improve access to culture for disabled people by:

They also provide access auditing and training services to arts organisations and delivering consultancy which works towards the improvement of cultural services for all disabled people.



Artsadmin is a producing and presenting organisation for contemporary artists working in theatre, dance, live art, visual arts and mixed media. 


Access in London

Access in London is an informative guide for disabled people such as wheelchair users and those with limited walking ability and for whom stairs may be a challenge. It was created from information collected by visits, and reflects the experiences of disabled people. The guide combines information about where to stay, how to get around and the easiest ways of accessing the main places of interest with maps which include artwork. You can download the guide from the link above.


Deborah Groves - Acting and Dyslexia London

Training, mentoring, lectures and workshops in acting and performance for those with dyslexia.

See their opportunities here. 



Accentuate is a national programme which works in partnership with others to create groundbreaking projects which support and promote the talents of deaf and disabled people in the cultural sector. 


Disability Rights UK

Disability Rights UK are a Party Parliamentary Group for Disability. They are the leading charity of its kind in the UK and are run by and for people with lived experience of disability or health conditions. They work to influence national policy on independent living, benefits, education, employment, transport, human rights and other issues. 


Act for Change

The Act for Change Project is a registered charity. They campaign for better representation across the live and recorded arts. They aim to strengthen diversity and let people from underrepresented audiences know that a future exists with them firmly featured in it. 


British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM)

BAPAM is a healthcare charity giving medical advice to people working and studying in the performing arts. 


The British Equity Collecting Society (BECS)

BECS is the UK’s only collective management organisation for audio visual performers.


Council for Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre (CDMT)

CDMT provides quality assurance for the professional dance, drama and musical theatre industries. It is the first point of contact for those seeking information on education, training and assessment in the UK. 


Dancers Career Development (DCD)

DCD is a registered charity and the only organisation of its kind in the UK to support Dancers to have a successful transition to alternative careers after retiring from professional performance. 

See DCD opportunities here.



Equity are a union of Performers and creative practitioners who fight for fair terms and conditions in the workplace. 


Equity Charitable Trust (ECT)

If you’re a professional Performer who wants to train for a new career, or who is facing financial difficulties, then ECT will help you.


Federation of Entertainment Unions (FEU)

FEU provides training, information, advice, guidance and skills development opportunities to support your freelance career in the creative industries. 


One Dance UK

One Dance UK is the sector support organisation leading the way for a stronger, more vibrant and diverse dance sector. They advocate for the increased profile and importance of dance in all its diverse forms and settings as well as enhancing Dancers’ health, well-being and performance and identifying gaps, providing opportunities and improve conditions for dance to be learnt, discussed and seen. 


Variety and Light Entertainment Council (VLEC)

VLEC ensures the good order and practice of the variety and light entertainment industry, to ensure that the appropriate contract is used for every engagement and to resolve disputes, formally and informally. 




Published: 3 January 2020


A Sound Designer in theatre is responsible for creating all sound and audio for a production. Depending on the requirements of the show, this can include sound effects, music, building atmosphere and how the performers are heard.

The Sound Designer will initially work with the Director and the creative team to ensure that sound supports and enhances the production’s storytelling. The sound design may represent everything from specific noises created by actions on stage, sounds that convey the show’s setting and time, and music and soundscapes that build atmosphere, mood and the characters’ emotions. They will also consider the quality and clarity of speech and singing through performers’ microphones and audio levels.

Search for opportunities using The Stage Jobs here. 


What are the main responsibilities of a Sound Designer?


What qualifications do I need to be a Sound Designer?

There are some courses, qualifications and degrees that specialise in sound design for theatre, and more that focus on sound more generally, including audio production music technology.

However, you don’t need formal qualifications to start a career in sound design; you could enter the industry by working as a Sound Engineer, Stage Crew or Theatre Technician.

Find opportunities for backstage roles here


What skills do I need to be a Sound Designer?


What does a career as a Sound Designer look like?

Sound Designers are often self employed and work on short-term contracts for each production, but some Sound Designers can be employed by specific theatres.
Networking and building good relationships is important, as that may lead to future work.

Find out about being a freelancer in theatre here.


How much does a Sound Desginer earn?

Salaries and fees can vary depending on the scale of the production and/or size of the theatre. An entry level Sound Designer salary is around £18,000 per year. A Sound Designer with more than five years’ experience may earn an average of £23,000. Experienced Sound Designers could make between £30,000 and £41,000.

Find all careers advice here



Photo: Shutterstock

Published: 24 February 2022

Do you want to find out more about offstage jobs? Are you looking for your first or next step in your theatre career? With the huge number of offstage job roles available, it can be difficult to know where to start. Luckily, TheatreCraft is here to help!


What is TheatreCraft?

TheatreCraft is the UK’s largest free theatre careers event. The event is open to anyone aged 16 to 30 with an interest in offstage theatre jobs. Attendees can take part in sessions on producing, writing, directing, marketing, technical theatre, armoury, scenic art, costume and more. Plus, attend a marketplace where you can chat with a host of leading theatre organisations… all for free.

TheatreCraft is run by Masterclass, Society of London Theatre, the RoyalOpera House, and Mousetrap Theatre Projects.


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Photo: James Boyer Smith


How can I get involved?

Make sure you sign up to TheatreCraft’s monthly newsletter, containing offstage theatre opportunities, training open days and exclusive ticket offers.

TheatreCraft also have a News and Opportunities section on their website, where you can read about past events and get an insight into organisations such as the Royal Opera House and Opera Holland Park.

Photo: Liza Heinrichs


If you’re interested in learning more about offstage theatre careers, check out these blog posts on Get Into Theatre:



Blog header photo: James Boyer Smith

Published: 15 November 2021

For many Theatremakers, a big career goal may be to have your own theatre company. While this might feel like a distant dream, something you’ll get to when you’re further into your career with a lot more experience, it doesn’t have to be.

Of course, you might want to start small - think fringe theatre rather than the West End - but if you have a strong idea for a company and believe it could fill a gap that no one else is covering, starting your own theatre company doesn’t have to be a dream you save for much later in your career.

So you’ve decided you’re ready to start a theatre company? Great! But where do you begin? What do you need to know from a legal perspective? How do you create a business plan? Where should you market your shows?

Artistic Directors of the Future has produced some really helpful videos as part of the Bite-size series that answer all of these questions and more. Keep reading to watch a sample of this series, or if you’re from a Black, Asian or ethnically diverse background, you can become a member of Artistic Directors of the Future for free to access the series in full.


Understanding legal structures

It’s really important to choose the right legal structure for your theatre company, otherwise it can end up preventing you from accessing the funding you need. Solicitor Keith Arrowsmith, who provides legal advice for individuals, organisations and funders in the creative sector, takes you through how to choose the right structure and where to start with making this key decision.

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You might want to also read: How to become a freelancer in theatre


Introduction to business planning

Creating a business plan from scratch can feel like a very daunting task. Executive Director of Tamasha Valerie Synmoie breaks it down into what you might need for the first three years. Find out what a business plan is, why you need one, what to include, and where to look for further help.

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Find definitions for theatre language and terms here


Marketing your company

Once you’ve set up your theatre company, how do you spread the word and encourage audiences to your shows? Courtney Glymph and Chris O’Gorman from YourStoryPR talk through the fundamentals of marketing and PR, including strategy, branding, media platforms and messaging.

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If you’re interested in theatre marketing, check out our blog post: What does a Theatre Marketer do?


Writing ACE funding applications

When starting your theatre company, you will need to think about how to fund the company and its productions. Producer, Spoken Word Artist and Loop Vocalist Koko Brown shares some tips on how to navigate Arts Council England funding applications, from creating your account to setting a budget and writing your application.

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To learn more about funding, you can read our blog posts on funding in Scotland or what a Theatre Fundraiser does. Or find all funding opportunities on Get Into Theatre here.


Published: 5 November 2021

Blog photo: Pexels

If you’re from a Black, Asian or ethnically diverse background and are interested in a career as an Artistic Director, or hope to one day be in a leadership position within a theatre organisation (including Executive Director, General Manager, Producer, Chair and Trustee), make sure Artistic Directors of the Future is on your radar.

Not sure what an Artistic Director does? Start here by reading our blog post all about the role!


What is Artistic Directors of the Future?

Artistic Directors of the Future (ADF) is an arts leadership training and membership organisation that is dedicated to creating change where it matters most: at leadership level.

Its mission is to increase leadership representation and progress the careers of theatre practitioners who are Black, Asian or ethnically diverse through its core services of leadership development and consultancy.

ADF works in partnership with leading theatre organisations to deliver a programme of workshops, events and professional development initiatives that demystify the roles of leadership positions, generate access to positions of authority and create career development opportunities.

Some of the organisations that work with ADF:


What training does ADF offer?

As a member, you can access both online and in-person training activities aimed at different stages of your career.

For all career levels, ADF offers consultancy for expert advice and support, online resources on topics such as starting a theatre company and pathways into leadership roles and Artistic Directors Lab, a half-day interactive workshop to gain a deeper understanding of the responsibilities of an Artistic Director.

Mid-career leaders can access training including the Board Shadowing Programme, ADF Innovators, theatre residencies, a Leadership Lab and application and interviewing skills.

Find out more about ADF’s training here or browse training opportunities across the industry on Get Into Theatre.


What events can I attend with ADF?

As well as the brilliant training programmes, Artistic Directors of the Future runs a number of conferences and networking events, which are perfect for meeting other ADF members and hearing from current leaders in the theatre industry.

See all ADF’s conferences and networking events here.


How can I get involved?

Once you have checked if you’re eligible, you can sign up for a membership here. ADF’s Bronze Membership is completely free, and gives you access to exclusive leadership development programmes.

If you’re looking for even more career support, you can opt for a Silver or Gold Membership via a monthly or annual payment to access all of ADF’s resources and opportunities.

Not quite ready to join as a member? Sign up to the mailing list to keep up to date with everything that’s going on, or just keep an eye on the noticeboard area on their website!



Published: 5 November 2021

Blog photo: Shutterstock

It takes a ‘village’ of creatives to put a show together. For everyone to be on the same page, you need feedback. However, theatre criticism, aka reviews, is another form of feedback.  Feedback comes from the rehearsal room, the audition panel or the classroom, whereas theatre criticism comes from the audience’s views. 

Written by Critics on Press Night, reviews analyse the quality of the play, the creative team’s decisions (sets, lighting, costumes, etc.) and the Director’s choices. Good reviews are there to make you think about the creative choices you have made. Don’t take them as judgments. They can be really helpful because they offer you the audience’s point of view, people who were not part of the rehearsal process. 

Never forget, though, that your goal is not to please critics. Critics are coming from a different place, and sometimes it’s best not to engage with them too much. 

Feedback, however, is something you will have to deal with as it is coming from the rehearsal room, audition panel or your Tutor. The question is: how do you approach feedback in a way that doesn’t affect your mental health?

I had a chat with Life/Acting Coach and Author of ‘A Life-Coaching Approach To Screen Acting’, Daniel Dresner. He says that you should “approach feedback in a spirit of curiosity”, which means being open to your Director or Tutor’s feedback. Don’t forget that you are part of the project because they are interested in you and your work. They are rooting for you right from the audition or interview stage, so the feedback you are getting is not a judgment of your character. It should always be about the work, so try to “take the emotion out of it”, as Daniel Dresner would say.

The feedback a Producer or Director gives you is there to help you stay on track by reminding you of the world of the play you’re all trying to create. Listen to their notes very carefully. Daniel Dresner would even encourage you to rephrase and repeat their feedback to make sure you clearly understand what they would like you to do. And don’t forget to thank them. Feedback is help, not criticism.

The process of putting a show together is an exciting but complex one, and you have to trust that the process will get you there as long as you keep at it. Don’t let the critical voice in your head get the best of you. You are a part of this project because your voice, your sensitivity, your talent are valued. Stay engaged in the process, welcome feedback, and share your thoughts and ideas with the creative team. It will make the show stronger.


If you found this blog post helpful, you might also want to read:


Written by Youness Bouzinab

Youness Bouzinab is a Moroccan, Greek and Belgian, performer, theatre-maker and dramaturg. He trained on the BA (Hons) Acting, Collaborative and Devised Theatre at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Since graduating, Youness has worked with Complicité, Frantic Assembly and at the National Theatre Studio.


Published: 21 October 2021

Blog photo: Shutterstock

Different roles on a theatre production team

Maybe you’ve had a look at a range of different roles on a theatre production team, and you’ve got your sights set on one - but how do you land a job on a theatre production team?

If you’re unsure what type of role you’d enjoy, check out the Production Team section of Get Into Theatre’s Complete list of jobs in the theatre industry! Company Manager Antonia Collins advises that even if you have your sights set on a particular role, "don’t be afraid to try other roles". For example, taking on a Followspot Operator role even if you aspire to be a Deputy Stage Manager will help hone your transferable skills and build your network and relationship with the team you end up working with at the venue.


Looking for opportunities

The first place to start is to look for current opportunities and vacancies in the industry. Like any other industry, there are a couple of key places to check out, where employers (often Producers, Production Managers or Company Managers) will share roles they’re looking to fill on a production team. These include association and union job boards (including Equity UK, the Stage Management Association (SMA), the Association for British Theatre Technicians (ABTT), and more - check out AAPTLE), or websites like Mandy. However, many of these job boards are behind paywalls (meaning you’ll need to be a member of the union/association in order to access it), which may not be particularly accessible if you’re just starting out.

Other free places to look include:

Antonia stresses the importance of networking, particularly in expanding your own personal reach and getting to know professionals currently working in the industry and projects in production. This can be as simple as saying hello to someone by shooting them an email for a coffee or popping along to a social event hosted by an association. A lot of people working in theatre are extremely friendly and are willing to give up a bit of their time to chat to someone starting out.


Applying for opportunities

The next step after setting your sights on a job is to go ahead and apply! Most opportunities will request a CV (or ‘curriculum vitae’), a cover letter, and sometimes a portfolio. Portfolios tend to be requested when putting yourself forward for design-based roles - check out Get Into Theatre’s tips for lighting, set, and costume portfolios.

If the employer likes the look of your CV and cover letter, you might be invited to meet for an interview. You might be asked questions about your past experience and why you’re interested in this particular role, project and company. Always do a bit of preparation and research in advance; Antonia recommends having some answers prepared based on the nature of the role. For example, if you’re interviewing to be an Assistant Stage Manager, you’re likely to be asked about props.

Company Stage Manager Ali Wade notes that interviews really depend on the role you’re applying for. For example, if you’re looking for a role as an Automation Technician, the person interviewing you might be less worried about your people skills than your capability to fix complex broken things. However, “a sense of humour never goes amiss”, and it’s important that you’re positive and enthusiastic.

Don’t be disheartened if a rejection lands in your inbox - you just might not have been the right fit for the team or company! Ali’s main advice is “don’t try to run before you can walk. Don’t be disappointed if you get rejected for a position on a big, commercial musical - the idea is to start smaller, build skills and confidence and work your way up to the bigger productions - you will probably be a better Stage Manager for it.”

Written by Misha Mah 

Misha Mah is an early-career Production Manager and Producer, with an interest in immersive work and live events. She is a graduate of the University of Birmingham’s BA Drama and Theatre Arts course, and will be commencing on the MA Stage & Production Management programme at the Guildford School of Acting this fall. She is currently the Social Media Manager for The SM NEST, the network for early-career stage managers.


Company Manager Antonia Collins

Company Stage Manager Ali Wade

Published: 6 October 2021

Blog photo: Alex Brenner

Creativity and performance skills aren’t vital

When most people think of the professions they can pursue in theatre, jobs such as acting, directing and playwriting come to mind. Advice you can share with your child is that there are many careers in the theatre industry. They themselves don’t need to be a Performer or Creative. Just like in any other sector, there are individuals who work in operational roles like Administrators and Accountants. If your child wants a career that’s closer to the stage, there are many options in theatre production.

Additionally, if your child wants to have a career as a Creative within theatre, you may want to consider encouraging them to have a second, non-creative job. Don’t think of it as a backup plan for failure, but a way of financing a main goal. For instance, I work as a Freelance Administrator in order to pay for my first love, which is playwriting.

See our complete list of jobs in the theatre industry

Support, support, support!

Arts careers are sometimes viewed as less “respectable”. Therefore, the knowledge that your child wants to work in theatre may generate negativity. It’s important to remember that arts jobs require skills, just like corporate jobs do. Speaking as someone whose mother tried to steer her away from a career in the arts, I felt a lot more happy, free and confident once I started exploring playwriting opportunities.

When putting themselves forward for career opportunities in theatre, your child may face rejection. The presence of a person who supports them can make selection processes less stressful. What better cheerleader could a child have than their parent or guardian?

Read the best 10 tips on how to start a career in the theatre industry

Try not to worry about money

Theatre careers may require spending money, especially when it comes to drama school. Fortunately, some institutions offer scholarships and bursaries. Moreover, public bodies like Arts Council England give out funding to Theatremakers who want to develop their skills. Even better, some training opportunities are completely free.

When it comes to careers like playwriting, qualifications aren’t essential. I was lucky enough to be selected for VAULT Festival’s New Writers Programme. I attended sessions geared toward writing a full-length play draft, watched plays and gained excellent experiences for a tiny amount of money.

For technical areas of theatre, your child can gain a qualification through an apprenticeship. Experiences can be collected through paid placements too. Thanks to Get Into Theatre, loads of opportunities are just a click away!

Written by Faye Acheampong 

Faye Acheampong (she/her) is a playwright from London, who took part in VAULT Festival’s New Writers Programme 2021. Her writing explores Black British womanhood in a fantasy-like manner.


Published: 21 September 2021

Blog photo: Shutterstock

An Assistant Director plays a crucial role in supporting the Director and ensuring the smooth operation of a production. They handle many behind-the-scenes tasks that contribute to the overall success of the project. An Assistant Director position gives you the opportunity to both learn about the production process generally and the work of a Director. After a while of assisting Directors, you could eventually work towards becoming a Director.

What are the main responsibilities of an Assistant Director?

You can search for assistant directing opportunities here.

What qualifications do I need to be an Assistant 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.

Search theatre training courses here

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

What skills do I need to be an Assistant Director?

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

Find more theatre careers advice here

What does a career in Assistant Directing look like?

An Assistant Director needs to be prepared to undertake a wide range of roles in order to assist the Director and ensure the smooth running of a production. You will take notes during rehearsals and the shows, to share and discuss with the Director. Whilst there is not a one-way path to become an Assistant Director, having previous experience of producing, directing, acting and creating new work is ideal. 

How much does an Assistant Director earn?

Pay for an Assistant Director can vary and can be offered as a freelance fee per production, or occasionally based in-venue or with a company. A freelance fee can range from between £1,200 - £3,000 per production or £12k - £30k per year depending on the theatre and your personal experience. Learn more about freelancing with our blog 'How to be a freelancer in theatre.'

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.

To learn more about what a Director does, read our 'What does a Director do?' blog, or watch this interview with Director Adam Penford 

Find directing opportunities with Get Into Theatre here


Updated: 23rd May 2024

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