Jobs in the Business of Theatre

A list of each job position on Broadway and beyond including relevant education, skills, and industry insights

A

Accountant
An ACCOUNTANT for the theatre industry helps management maintain proper accounting records, periodically compiles and occasionally audits, financial statements, and prepares tax returns for the partnerships.
Actor
The ACTOR is the most familiar face of the production for the audience and performs one or more roles in a show, as outlined by the DIRECTOR and other members of the creative team. The ACTOR defines live theater by performing a character who brings a story to life with the help of staging, costumes, makeup, sets and lighting.
Advertising Account Manager
An ADVERTISING ACCOUNT MANAGER often serves as the link between a client and an agency team, representing the client/show's wishes to the internal departments at the agency, and representing the agency's capabilities to the client/show. On Broadway, this typically manifests when an ADVERTISING ACCOUNT MANAGER from one advertising agency is responsible for representing a production, venue, or show. This job entails making sure the advertisements remain faithful to the client’s vision and are produced and displayed in a timely manner and under budget.
Aerial Choreographer
An AERIAL CHOREOGRAPHER is in charge of creating, directing, and ensuring the safety of ACTORS who leave the ground during a performance.
Animal Trainer
An ANIMAL TRAINER is a professional who trains and works with animals when a show needs an animal on stage.
Artistic Director
An ARTISTIC DIRECTOR is an executive of a theatre organization who is responsible for the overarching artistic vision of the organization.

B

Book Writer
The BOOK WRITER writes the book of a musical, specifically the spoken words that are not the lyrics, or the words of each song. BOOK WRITERS help provide a blueprint for the actors and creative team from which to work as they develop a show. They help craft the musical or show’s plot, character development, and structure, specifying stage directions and dialogue. Sometimes they can also be the lyricist of the show.
Booking Agent
A BOOKING AGENT is hired by a show's PRODUCER to book a tour of a show to play in theatres across the country. A BOOKING AGENT sells the show to multiple venues and creates a route from one venue to another. In addition, they are responsible for negotiating the financial deals and details (performance schedules, ticket sales, etc.) between the show and the presenter/venues.
Box Office Treasurer / Manager
The BOX OFFICE TREASURER oversees sales and accounting for ticket sales, as well as being the point person for customer service. They are responsible for the box office staff and making sure that all the tickets sold are recorded and paid. They typically send a report with all ticket sales documentation at the end of each business day.

C

Carpenter
The CARPENTER maintains theater stage equipment and may also serve as a production carpenter, building sets and moving all scenery on and off stage for the installation and run of a production.
Casting Director
A CASTING DIRECTOR coordinates and runs the process by which the director and other key members of the creative team audition actors and assign roles.
Child Guardian
A CHILD GUARDIAN oversees the care, professional behavior and well-being of Broadway’s youngest stars - the children performing on stage who are under sixteen years of age. The guardians help create an atmosphere where children performers can be working professionals in a safe environment and still be kids off stage.
Choreographer
A CHOREOGRAPHER designs and directs the performers’ dance and complex movement portion of the show.
Company Manager
A COMPANY MANAGER takes care of the logistical needs of a production or company, such as managing and delivering payroll to the cast and crew, being the policy enforcer, and serving as the primary point of contact between the company (which includes the cast, creative, and administrative teams) and the GENERAL MANAGER.
Composer
The COMPOSER creates all the original music in a production, from short incidental music for specific scenes to an entire score for a musical.
Concessions/Merchandise Seller
A CONCESSIONS SELLER sells available snacks food, and drinks to the patrons, while a MERCHANDISE SELLER sells available show branded clothing, water bottles, keychains, books, recordings, etc.
Conductor
CONDUCTORS drive the music of a production by maintaining the MUSIC DIRECTOR’s vision, leading the pacing of the music, and even teaching the music to new performers and musicians.
Costume Designer
The COSTUME DESIGNER transforms the actors into their characters through the use of clothing and helps situate a production in a specific time and place through the visual cues of clothing. They design, research, source, and construct the clothes for all the actors in a production. Their job responsibilities may also include those of a MAKE-UP ARTIST or WIG SPECIALIST.

D

Dance Arranger
A DANCE ARRANGER works with the ORCHESTRATOR and the CHOREOGRAPHER to help arrange the music for a production’s dance breaks, sequences, and numbers.
Dance Captain
The DANCE CAPTAIN leads the dancers in rehearsals and warm ups and ensures that the choreography is maintained at each performance.
Development Director
A DEVELOPMENT Director is traditionally in charge of the fundraising, grant writing, and anything donor or sponsorship related, and also oversees the department.
Dialect Coach
A DIALECT COACH is someone who teaches the ACTORS a dialect when the production calls for it.
Digital Marketing Manager
A DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER in theatre typically is in charge of all online marketing from video-creation, social media campaigns, digital advertisements, and sometimes even social media handles. They work in a company’s marketing department and stay on top of social trends, digital analytics, and help promote ticket sales, a show or client’s social presence, or awareness of upcoming events.
Director
The DIRECTOR provides the guiding creative vision for all members of the production. The DIRECTOR takes the lead in putting together the entire creative team and managing the overall staging and artistic vision of a production.
Dramaturg
A DRAMATURG works with the PLAYWRIGHT/BOOK WRITER, DIRECTOR, and/or ARTISTIC staff to help them have a deeper and more accurate understanding of a production.

E

Education Director
An EDUCATION DIRECTOR is typically found in a not-for-profit or regional theatre organization. EDUCATION DIRECTORS are charged with developing and executing programming for community partners, such as students, young professionals, those in prison, or families, that is usually connected to the shows currently playing at their venue as well as overseeing the Education Department. This programming can manifest in a variety of ways, including in school partnerships, internship programs, shadowing programs, events with a talkback for a specific demographic, etc. Sometimes the Education department can be a part of, encompass, or work with the theatre organization’s Community Outreach, Audience Engagement, or Marketing sector/department.
Electrician / Electrics
The ELECTRICIAN maintains a theatre’s electrical systems and often serves as production electrician operating all lights during a show, including traditional and automated lighting, spotlights, special lighting effects, and house lights. They work closely with the LIGHTING DESIGNER.
Entertainment Attorney/Lawyer
An ENTERTAINMENT ATTORNEY is a lawyer who specializes in representing productions, venues, and people (such as ACTORS, PRODUCERS, and MUSICIANS) and advising them when interpreting and negotiating contracts.

F

Facilities & Operations Professional
A FACILITIES & OPERATIONS PROFESSIONAL works on the day-to-day operations of a Broadway theatre.
Fight Captain
A FIGHT CAPTAIN maintains the intention and safety of the fight choreography for a show.
Fight Director
A FIGHT DIRECTOR is someone who directs, stages, and choreographs the fight sequences of a production.
Flyman/Fly Operator
The FLYMAN, or FLY OPERATOR, directs and supervises the movements of the scenery between the fly floor and the stage during a show.

G

General Manager
A GENERAL MANAGER, also referred to as a GM, is hired to help strategize and plan the details of a production to make sure cost and schedules are kept in line and supports the PRODUCER’S vision. GMs supervise the show’s financial planning; oversee administrative operations, employee management/human resources, and labor relations; and negotiate contracts. There are GENERAL MANAGERS specifically for productions as well as GENERAL MANAGERS for venues.
Group Sales Manager
A GROUP SALES MANAGER is in charge of maintaining, creating, and fostering relationships with prospective and current clients, developing partnerships with outside vendors and neighborhood partners, and most importantly, managing and processing orders from large group reservations. GROUP SALES MANAGERS typically work in the box office, with an emphasis on coordinating and selling large orders of tickets in order to increase group sales revenue.

H

Hair & Wig Designer
The HAIR & WIG DESIGNER transforms the ACTORS into their characters through the use of hair and wigs.
House Manager
A HOUSE MANAGER is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the theatre from prepping the house to overseeing the Front of House Staff. HOUSE MANAGERS are the liaison between the COMPANY MANAGER, the production staff, and the THEATRE OWNERS. They also deal with and serve as the point person for audiences. They are present to ensure the audiences enjoy themselves and leave the theatre safely.

I

Intimacy Coordinator
An INTIMACY COORDINATOR is a trained professional who advocates for what is best for a scene and what is best for the ACTORS in the case of an intimate scene (which can be anything from a kiss, a romantic grab, or simulated sex).

L

Licensing Agents
A LICENSING AGENT is someone who handles the requests for the legal use of copyrighted material including songs, scripts, branding, etc.
Light Board Operator
The LIGHT BOARD OPERATOR is responsible for programming and running the light board for a production during technical rehearsals and performances.
Lighting Designer
The LIGHTING DESIGNER creates the lighting concept and equipment requirements for a production. Lighting Designers work most closely with the DIRECTOR, SCENIC, COSTUME, and PROJECTION DESIGNERS to create a lighting scheme that communicates the feeling of a production and guides the audience’s attention in specific ways throughout a performance.
Lyricist
A LYRICIST creates and writes the words for the songs in a musical production.

M

Make-Up Artist
The MAKE-UP ARTIST transforms the actors into their characters through the use of make-up, along with hair and styling. MAKE-UP ARTISTS develop a look and style for each character that helps convey the story. Their responsibilities can also overlap with those of a COSTUME DESIGNER, as MAKE-UP ARTISTS can be in charge of hair, wigs, and face paint.
Marketing Director
The MARKETING DIRECTOR is in charge of the promotion and representation of the production, public image, and branding of the theatre organization or show.
Music Contractor
The MUSIC CONTRACTOR, sometimes referred to as the musical coordinator, is responsible for finding the musicians for a musical or play.
Music Copyist
A MUSIC COPYIST edits, organizes, and distributes the finished score from the ORCHESTRATOR to the cast, orchestra, creative team, and production team.
Music Supervisor
The MUSIC SUPERVISOR oversees the entire music department for a production.
Musical Director
The MUSICAL DIRECTOR is in charge of all music-related aspects of a production.
Musician
The MUSICIAN brings live music to Broadway audiences as a member of the orchestra.

O

Orchestrator
The ORCHESTRATOR works with the COMPOSER to bring the score to life and plans for the specific musical needs of a production.

P

Playwright
A PLAYWRIGHT is the person who writes the script or play that becomes the show.
Porters & Cleaners
The PORTERS & CLEANERS ensure that a theatre’s facilities are clean, organized, and safe for everyone using and visiting the venue.
Presenter
A PRESENTER is a person (or a presenting organization) that offers performances of theatrical and artistic events such as Broadway Touring Productions, concerts, dance, and comedy specials.
Press Agent
The PRESS AGENT is a professional publicist who represents, acts on behalf of, and navigates clients, venues, shows, performers, etc. on all matters public relations.
Producer
A PRODUCER is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a show — uniting the creative team, raising the financial investment, and guiding the show every step of the way.
Production Manager
The PRODUCTION MANAGER, sometimes called the PM, is in charge of everyone who is a part of the production team – costumes, sets, lighting, sound, props, etc.
Projection Designer
The PROJECTION DESIGNER creates all projections shown on stage, including still photos and filmed footage.
Props Person / Props Master
The PROPS PERSON, also known as the PROPS MASTER, maintains certain aspects of the theatre facility and may also serve as the props person for a specific production. They research, fabricate, and find all necessary props, things that are picked up, used, or set, for a show.

S

Scenic Designer
The SCENIC DESIGNER creates the set design for a production, including backdrops, set pieces, and, in some cases, even the shape of the stage.
Sound Designer
A SOUND DESIGNER designs the audio experience of a production by creating the sound design, including sound playback, sound effects, music, and amplification.
Sound Mixer/Engineer
The SOUND MIXER develops or sources music and sound effects according to the SOUND DESIGNER’S specifications.
Sound Operator
The SOUND OPERATOR executes all sound during a show, including playback of music, special effects, and pre-recorded sound cues.
Special Effects Designer
The SPECIAL EFFECTS DESIGNER creates the illusions that help to immerse the audience into the world of the production.
Stage Crew
The STAGE CREW is sometimes referred to as stagehands or run crew.
Stage Manager
The STAGE MANAGER, (frequently referred to as SM), works on a production from the start of rehearsals through the last performance and coordinates schedules and information for the creative team.
Stagedoor & Security
The STAGEDOOR & SECURITY personnel are responsible for protecting the theatre and ensuring that all audience members and those working inside the venue are safe.
Swing
A SWING is an off-stage member of the cast that learns many different ensemble and principal roles.

T

Talent Manager
A TALENT MANAGER is in charge of helping actors, directors, playwrights, and musicians organize and advance their careers.
Talent/Literary Agent
TALENT/LITERARY AGENTS are responsible for booking or finding jobs for actors, choreographers, directors, musicians, and other performers.
Technical Supervisor/Technical Director/Technical Producer
The TECHNICAL SUPERVISOR/DIRECTOR/PRODUCER, also known as the TD or TP, is the most senior technical position you can have in the theatre.
Theatre Owner
A THEATRE OWNER operates and manages the actual theatre buildings.
Theatre Photographer
A THEATRE PHOTOGRAPHER captures the emotion, depth, story, and action of a show.
Ticket Seller
A TICKET SELLER of Broadway provides theatergoers with expert and personalized customer service during ticket purchasing transactions.

U

Understudy
An UNDERSTUDY is a member of the ensemble or a principal performer who memorizes the lines, vocals, blocking, and choreography for another principal role or a leading ACTOR’S role.
Usher
The USHER works in a theatre to provide customer service for audience members taking their tickets and escorting them to their seats in the theatre.

V

Video Designer
The VIDEO DESIGNER creates and oversees any filmed footage, projections, or motion graphics that are used in a production.
Videographer
A VIDEOGRAPHER in the theatrical industry is someone who operates a camera to shoot promotional videos, commercials, and videos used in production for a Broadway show.
Vocal Arranger
The VOCAL ARRANGER works with the actors to bring a story’s music to life.
Vocal Coach
A VOCAL COACH assists performers in finding their own unique musical style and stage presence.
Vocal Director
A VOCAL DIRECTOR works with performers to strengthen and teach vocal techniques.

W

Wardrobe Crew
During performances WARDROBE CREW dress performers, assist with fast changes, keep track of costumes and accessories, and quickly fix costume pieces when necessary.