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 a performer, work within backstage & technical theatre or in a venue, 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. The theatre industry evolves everyday and we strive to keep this list as up to date as possible. However, if you notice a role that you are interested in isn't listed below, get in touch!

Creative, Production & Crew Roles:

Venue roles:

External Theatre roles:

Updated:  4th June 2024

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. 

 

Blind

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. 

 

D/deaf

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

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

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

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

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

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. 

 

 

References:

Published: 3 January 2020

Photo:

Scotland has a thriving theatre scene that is recognised internationally. It is completely possible to live in Scotland and work within its amazing theatre industry. This blog highlights where you can find out more about Scottish Theatre.

 

Producing theatres in Scotland (Large theatres)

What are producing theatres? Producing theatres are theatres that choose their own programme of productions (often referred to as a ‘season’) and create their productions as opposed to smaller theatres who host touring productions or upcoming productions for a short period of time. Their main focus is to present their own productions, however, they can co-produce with other theatres and companies to present work to add to or complete their season. 

 

Below are a number of well-known producing theatres in Scotland.

Scotland’s New Writing Theatre.

 

Artistic Director David Greig, one of Scotland’s most celebrated contemporary Playwrights.

 

Currently undergoing a multi-million pound refurbishment and putting work on at the Tramway in Glasgow in the meantime.

 

Mid-scale theatre in the centre of Glasgow. The current Artistic Director Andy Arnold also founded The Arches, Glasgow’s legendary contemporary performance space which unfortunately closed in 2015.

 

The last remaining repertory company in Scotland meaning they focus on one repertoire of performances e.g. opera. They have a mixture of permanently employed and shorter-term Actors.

 

A major venue in the Highlands of Scotland, producing a summer season of 6 plays offered in daily rotation.

 

Established in 2007 and has a unique structure, being ‘without theatre walls’, dedicated to making work in partnership across Scotland. 

 

Receiving theatres

Receiving theatres or 'houses' host visiting companies who's productions have been developed elsewhere and are touring around a  number of venues

Below are some well-known receiving houses in Scotland

The King’s Theatre Glasgow

One of Scotland's most historic and significant theatre's, it presents first class shows from a wide range of genres and provides Glasgow's flourishing amateur groups with a high-profile stage.

 

Theatre Royal

Presents quality drama, dance, comedy and musicals and is home to residents Scottish Opera and Scottish Ballet.

Find out what opportunities are available at King's Theatre and Theatre Royal here.

 

Eden Court Theatre

Open since 1976, this is a large theatre, cinema and arts venue.

 

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

This is a performing arts venue used primarily for performances of opera and ballet, large-scale musical events and touring groups. It also has a capacity of 1,915.

 

King's Theatre, Edinburgh

This is one of Scotland's most historical and important theatres having been active since 1906.

 

Ayr Gaiety Theatre

This theatre is a 'learning theatre'. Those who study at the nearby University of the West of Scotland have direct access to the resource of the Gaiety Theatre to assist with their studies.

 

Macrobert Arts Centre

This is a multi-arts venue locations on the main campus of the University of Stirling, Scotland. They offer a varied programme of events and experiences including cinema, comedy, dance, exhibitions, music, opera and theatre

 

The Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh

This is a mid-scale performing arts venue and it part of a wider complex, incorporating council offices. As a whole this is called Brunton Memorial Hall.

Staff at producing theatres (large theatres)

Established producing theatre buildings will have permanent production staff of Carpenters, Costume Makers, Technicians and Stage Managers and hire freelance stage and Lighting Designers for each production if needed. See what Carpenters, Costume Makers, Sound Technicians, Lighting Technicians and Stage Managers  do here. 

Read our blog ‘How to become a freelancer in the theatre industry’ here

Producing theatres will have a team who manage the building, and a team to market and promote the theatres upcoming season (upcoming shows) to the public. See what a Theatre Marketer does here. 

They will also have a team of community and education staff who work with communities and in schools and colleges to encourage people to attend the theatre through different stages of education and participatory projects. See what a Theatre Education Manager does. 

 

Smaller theatres

Small producing theatres have very small production teams, some not at all and hire freelance staff when needed. These theatres sometimes hire large producing theatres to design and create their sets and costumes. Alternatively they can hire an external company to create their sets and costumes.

Read our blog ‘How to become a freelancer in the theatre industry’ here. 

These smaller theatres usually consist of less than 5 employees including an Artistic Director, Producer or General Manager and possibly some administrative support. They don’t have permanent production/technical staff or Actors. 

Village halls also accommodate a small audience run by volunteers who want to bring theatre to their village. Despite being small, shows at these venues are produced to a high quality and can go on to do a touring circuit. In the Highlands and Islands there are at least 90 village halls of this size. 

 

Theatre for young people

Scotland has a world-renowned children’s theatre sector which includes a national organisation called Imaginate. Imaginate is dedicated to promoting and supporting theatre and dance for children and young people, including the annual Edinburgh International Children's Festival. 

 

Playwrights in Scotland

There is an organisation in Scotland dedicated to supporting playwrights called Playwrights’ Studio Scotland.

This is the nation’s only arts organisation exclusively dedicated to the long-term support, development and promotion of Scotland’s Playwrights. They work actively with Playwrights, connecting them with audiences and organisations, for the enrichment and enjoyment of the people of Scotland and beyond. 

The Traverse Theatre is Scotland’s new writing theatre. They work with the newest and rawest talent - with an emphasis on those based in Scotland - working on it to become the art, artists and performances that can be seen on stages through a variety of creative learning and literary programmes. 

 

People with disabilities

There are a variety of theatre companies who produce work made by Artists with disabilities. These include:

Take our quiz and find opportunities in the Scotland area here. 

All the above information was given to us by the Federation of Scottish Theatre. They are the membership and development body for Scotland and look to promote all things Scottish Theatre so it's a good idea to check them out too. 

 

Photo: Alex Brenner

Published: 23 December 2019

Where do you start when you are looking for a career in the theatre industry? It’s challenging getting a job in any industry and the competitive nature of the theatre industry is often seen as a barrier. If you follow our top 10 tips, you will definitely be in a better position to not only get a job in the theatre industry but also be a success in your chosen field. 

1. Goal-oriented approach

Having goals is something that will help you in the long run as it will give you something to work towards. But don’t forget, the journey to any career is never a straight, easy path - especially in theatre. There will be things that take you in all different directions and this is normal. As long as you don’t lose sight of what you want to gain and what you want your end goal to be, you will find the right career in theatre for you.

 

2. Research

Not everyone wants to study and that’s fine because that’s not the only way to begin your theatre career or be successful within the theatre industry. There are so many ways to do this so you must do your research to find out what these ways are. We’ve made it easy for you because we’ve put all this information in one place. It’s good to have a rough idea of what job role you would like to pursue within the theatre industry. If you’re not sure what job in theatre you are best suited to, don’t worry. Our handy blogs describing different jobs within theatre will help give you an insight to the many different roles available and what you need to do to get there. 

Take a look at our job descriptions here.

 

3. Experience

It will benefit you so much to have as much experience within your chosen area of theatre as possible, especially if you don’t want to study. If you don’t have a formal qualification (for example, a degree), having experience is what is going to make you stand out to potential employers when applying for jobs. Experience comes in many different forms but the three main forms are work experience, apprenticeships and internships. You can find information about all three of these experience opportunities here.

 

4. See as much theatre as you can

This is always a good suggestion because let’s face it, who doesn’t want to go to the theatre? Not only that but seeing a variety of different theatre shows will help you if you’re interested in a particular area of theatre e.g. if you’re interested in lighting you can take notes of lighting designs which peak your interest or are particularly inventive. Some theatre tickets can be a little expensive but don’t worry we’ve got that covered too. You can find a number of different ticket schemes where you can get discounted theatre tickets right here.

 

5. Social Media

This is the 21st century and almost everything is on social media. Try and be as active as you can without becoming anti-social. It’s a great tool to keep up-to-date with industry news, shows and upcoming theatremakers. It may sound obvious but never post any offensive or discriminating posts on any of your social media channels. Some employers like to view their employees social media pages and you don’t want something inappropriate to pop up that you wrote 10 years ago! 

 

6. Network

This can be daunting but once you get into the flow of it, it can be really fun and so invaluable to you in the future. You should network every chance you get and this doesn’t always have to be at a networking event; it may be a fellow Performer you met at an audition or your best friends cousin who is the Head of Lighting behind Wicked the musical. There are also loads of networking events available for young theatremakers which you can find here.

 

7. Positive attitude

It may be difficult at times to remain positive when starting out in a new career in theatre but it is really important to approach everything with positivity, especially when you’re going for interviews/auditions. If you’re an Actor auditioning can be constant throughout your career and you must always go into your auditions thinking that anything is possible. This is the same with any interviews for offstage roles too. If you go in with a negative attitude it will only go downhill from there.

 

8. Accepting responsibility

When you’re new in the industry (even when you are more established) you’re likely to make mistakes. Of course you are, you’re only human and this is totally natural. Accept you have made a mistake but always make sure you have learnt from the experience and then move on to the next thing. There is no need to lose sleep over a little mistake because this may affect your ability to complete other tasks and could lead you to make more mistakes. Accept it, learn from it and move on to the next thing.  

 

9. Aim small (but not for long) 

When you’re at the very beginning of your career in theatre, it’s wise to be realistic about what you want to achieve as well as what you are able to achieve. If you begin with an unrealistic goal it is unlikely you will get there at the beginning of your career and this can knock your confidence. Remember, every little step counts and these things take time.   

                                                         

10. Fringe Theatre

Fringe Theatres and Festivals are a popular way to get a new piece of theatre noticed and produced. It can also be a great way to kick start your theatre career.  Fringe venues are all over the country and features every type of theatre you can imagine. Most shows are brand new that no one has ever seen before. One of the more well-known fringe festivals is Edinburgh Fringe. The TV show Fleabag started as a one woman show at the Festival. It was later adapted into an internationally famous award-winning TV show that we all know. Fringe theatre is a great opportunity to learn, get tips and ideas on theatre, performance, comedy and more, the sky's the limit. Remember to always make sure you are paid fairly when working on the fringe. 

 

References:

https://www.ypia.co.uk/posts/10-tips-for-getting-into-theatre

https://targetcareers.co.uk/career-sectors/arts-and-creative/1015387-careers-in-theatre

https://www.edfringe.com/

There are many different types of disabilities people can have and these can be either physical or mental disabilities. One of these disabilities are learning disabilities which again can mean a number of different things.

What is a learning disability?

A learning disability affects the way a person learns new things throughout their lifetime. This can affect the way a person understands information and how they communicate. Around 1.5 million people in the UK have a learning disability and it’s thought up to 350,000 people have a severe learning disability and this figure is increasing.

If you’d like to learn more about learning disabilities please see the NHS website for more information.

We interviewed Dominick Rutter from Bradford who is a training Actor and happens to have a learning disability. He is currently training in the Performance Academy at leading learning disability theatre company Mind the Gap. Dominick answered a few questions for us about his journey pursuing a career within the theatre industry with a learning disability.

What part of the theatre industry do you want to work in and why?

My biggest inspiration is Lee Evans, so I’ve always wanted to get into comedy. I don’t think I’d be very confident as a solo Comedian but I would love to be a part of an ensemble in a TV show like Phoenix Nights or Men Behaving Badly. Training on Mind the Gap’s Performance Academy course is helping me develop my skills in acting as part of a group.

Do you worry potential employers will view you differently when you apply for positions in the theatre industry?

I don’t know why they would as they wouldn’t know what I was capable of without meeting me. For me, everyone is equal, whether they have a disability or not and should be treated the same way. It’s not something I worry about to be honest.

FACT: All employers must follow the Equal Opportunities Policy in any industry. The Equal Opportunities Policy (EOP) are guidelines put in place to ensure an organisation commits to fairness amongst applicants for new jobs and existing staff members. Basically, if you apply for a job, the employer cannot discriminate against you for any reason and you will be treated equally like everyone else.

Do you think it is more difficult to pursue a career in the theatre industry when you have a learning disability?

I think it’s a difficult industry for anybody to get into really, but you need to be confident and keep trying, whatever your situation is.

What motivates you to pursue a career in the theatre industry?

I want to make something of my life. I want to do something that I’ve never done before and I like to challenge myself. The world of theatre and TV seems to be opening up for people with learning disabilities at the moment so it’s an exciting time; I want to be part of that. I’m inspired by people such as Liam Bairstow on Coronation Street and Lost Voice Guy, their success motivates me.

Do you think certain roles in theatre are for males and other roles are for females? For example, do you think one women should work in the costume department?

[Laughs] I don’t think so. If Gok Wan applied for a job in a costume department, I don’t think anyone would question his skills. If you want to work in a certain area in theatre, it shouldn’t matter who you are.

FACT: Job roles within the theatre industry are becoming more ‘gender neutral’ as one role is not deemed more for a woman and another more for a man. Women and men can pursue any role within the theatre industry as long as they are the right person for the role.

Do you think having a learning disability holds you back in any way?

Not at all! Nothing stops me from doing what I want to do. I don’t feel like I’ve faced barriers in my life because of my disability and I’m determined to achieve what I want out of life.

What advice would you give to someone similar to you who wants to get into the theatre industry?

Go for it, you just need to apply, what have you got to lose? You’ve only got one life and you’ve got to do what you want to do. If people think you can’t work in theatre, prove them wrong!

Do you think Get Into Theatre will help those who have learning disabilities?

I hope so. When I was looking for a course in acting for people with learning disabilities, I was lucky enough to live in Bradford and have heard of Mind the Gap. Hopefully Get Into Theatre will be useful for people all over the country to find courses that are right for them.

Take a look at our opportunities that are suitable for those with learning disabilities.

 

References:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/learning-disabilities/

http://www.mind-the-gap.org.uk/

Photo: Mind The Gap

Published: 14 November 2019

The visual and performing arts are one of nine sectors within the creative industries. The below links are great places to look for more general careers info for all the creative industries and not just theatre. 

Search all theatre opportunities here

DISCOVER! Creative Careers

DISCOVER! Creative Careers brings together careers information and opportunities from creative organisations in one explorable directory.

MasterclassMasterclass TRH

Masterclass offers workshops online and in person for young people, with those well known and working in the industry. 

Find more theatre careers advice here

Upstart Projects

Upstart Projects creates opportunities for young people to develop as the arts professionals of the future. They support young people to lead and manage projects, act as ambassadors, find their voice in the arts and train other people. In short, they offer real experiences which build skills and can lead into arts and media careers.

Find more theatre careers advice here.

Work experience is a short term placement in an organisation which gives you a feel for the role. It also helps you see what a day in the life looks like for someone who has that particular job. As part of your work experience you’ll likely carry out only a few important tasks, and will mainly complete other tasks such as assisting, making tea and coffee and photocopying etc. It will give you a chance to observe and see what you could be doing in the future.

Do I get paid if I do work experience?

Some work experience placements are paid and some are not. It is up to the organisation and depends on what tasks they will get you to do. Generally, work experience is usually unpaid because it’s over a short period of time, however your travel and/or lunch costs will often be covered or reimbursed.

Find work experience opportunities here.

If I do work experience, what will I get out of it?

Nothing impresses an employer more than seeing that you’ve gone out of your way (especially during your free time) to gain work experience and improve on your skills. This shows enthusiasm and dedication to your future career. There are many benefits of work experience such as:

For more info about work experience in the creative industries, you can also take a look at our blog 'Where can I find general careers information about the creative industries?'

Work experience is great for all the reasons above, but we must highlight concerns around the exploitation of young people. When you get involved in these experience opportunities you must be aware of the impact of low or unpaid work and also ensure you know your rights beforehand.

Find theatre vacancies with The Stage Jobs here

Photo: Alex Brenner

Published: 16 May 2019

The main thing to know is that the term 'volunteering' stands for 'a person who works for an organisation without being paid.' If you complete volunteer work, you'll be working completely for free and you will not have a contract of employment like interns. However, there are certain policies in place to protect you and the organisation. These policies state that both you and the organisation are aware of the expectations of both of you. Volunteers are not eligible for National Minimum Wage as you’re participating by choice, but you'll have more flexibility with your working hours and this can be great. 

Search all theatre opportunities here

Do I need any qualifications or experience to apply?

You don't need any qualifications or experience to apply. You just need to be willing to participate and get involved. This will show your determination and passion for theatre because you want to learn new things and get involved in different aspects of theatre despite not being paid.

Find more theatre careers advice here

If I do volunteering, what do I get out of it?

Volunteering is great for all the reasons above, but we must highlight concerns around the exploitation of young people. When you get involved in these experience opportunities you must be aware of the impact of low or unpaid work and also ensure you know your rights beforehand.

You can find volunteering opportunities here. 

Find theatre vacancies with The Stage Jobs here

References

Photo: Alex Brenner

Published: 16 May 2019

There are many different types of internships within the theatre industry, so we’re going to tell you about them in general and also make sure you know your rights.

Internships are similar to work experience but they are fixed-term placements and are often referred to as a 'traineeship'. They aim to give you a better understanding of employment and the day-to-day tasks of the job you’ve chosen. Interns are normally set a number of different tasks to complete during their placement. Read our blog 'Where can I find general careers information about the creative industries?' for more information. 

Search all theatre opportunities here

Do I get paid if I do an internship?

Employers must pay interns at least the National Minimum Wage - unless the company is a registered charity. You’ll be completing tasks a member of staff would do and it's only fair that you should be paid for your work.

Find more theatre careers advice here

If I do an internship, what will I get out of it?

Be sure to know your rights within the theatre industry, especially when gaining experience. Internships are great for all the reasons above, but we must highlight concerns around the exploitation of young people. When you get involved in these experience opportunities you must be aware of the impact of low or unpaid work and also ensure you know your rights beforehand.

You can find internship opportunities here with The Stage Jobs.

References

Photo: Alex Brenner

Published: 16 May 2019

Search all opportunities

Gaining work experience or on the job training is a great way to give yourself a better chance of getting into theatre. When applying for a job in theatre, employers will want to see your determination and your passion for wanting a career in the theatre industry.

There are different kinds of theatre experience you can gain and any type of experience will benefit you in a number of different ways and look great on your CV. These are listed below.

Click on each type of experience for more information.

It is important that we highlight and make you aware of instances where young people are exploited. You must be cautious of low and unpaid work and you must know your rights when applying for these experience opportunities.

Find more theatre careers advice here

References

Photo: Royal Opera House

Published: 16 May 2019

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