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What Are Some Jobs in Theater?

While the performers take center stage, there are many different occupations that make a theatrical production a success. Keep reading if you want to find out some of the jobs in theatre.

Types of Theatre Jobs

There are many different jobs opportunities for those wanting to be part of a theatre. From behind the scenes to performing, theatre is truly a team game. Some options and important information are detailed below.

Important Facts About Jobs in Theater

Playwright Producer Director Actor Dancer and/or Choreographer
Median Salary (2020) $67,120 $76,400 $76,400 $21.88 per hour $19.11 per hour
Job Outlook (2019-2029) 2% decline 10% growth 10% growth 3% growth 6% growth
Required Education Bachelor's degree recommended Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree; Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) recommended No formal education required, but bachelor's degree is common No formal education required, but training usually begins early in life
Key Skills Creativity; critical thinking; social awareness; excellent writing ability Clear communication; time management; leadership Leadership; creativity; clear communication Memorization; creativity; annunciation; reading comprehension Actors; art directors; music directors and composers

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)


All theatrical productions begin with the written word. That is done by the playwright, who is responsible for conceiving the story, creating characters, and developing the interaction between those characters. In learning the craft of playwriting at the college level, you will start writing your own short stories and one-act plays. In order to understand the basics of stage production, you will also take courses in performance, the history of theatre, and critical thinking with regard to scene structure.


The producer leads the financial and planning aspects of theatrical productions. Producers find a play that they want to produce, or 'back', and begin the process of securing the financing. After that, you will need to find a competent director and a venue to hold the production. A producer may secure financing for their production by reaching out to established contacts.

Once the production is financed, you or your associate producers will then begin hiring other essential personnel, such as a casting director, set designer, and - in the case of a musical production - a musical director and a choreographer. Learning to become a producer takes time and education, either in a college's theatrical arts program or in the theater business itself as a director or playwright.


The director is the leader of a theatrical production's creative aspects. It is the director who works with casting directors during the audition process in order to hire the proper actors. You will take the script and, with the help of the playwright, make the necessary rewrites. You are in charge of the rehearsal process, from working with actors to approving set designs, lighting, and sound effects.

Directors get their training by majoring in theatrical arts, where you will learn about every aspect of a theatrical production. Most majors include participation in internship programs or in a workshop venue.


Actors can perform at many different venues, and theatre acting is probably the most challenging because it is done live. Actors train for their craft usually by studying at acting schools or majoring in performance at a college or university. However, this does not guarantee a successful career. While some actors are in high demand and are offered roles, most people in the profession must go through an audition process. After securing a role, you will continue to understand your character and his or her place in the play's plot through rehearsals with the director and other cast members.

Dancer and/or Choreographer

Talented dancers go through the same process as those in the acting profession and must audition for available slots in musical theater productions. Choreographers are experienced dancers who have shown the skill to build a successful dance troupe for a production. As a choreographer, you would design dance routines and work with dancers. You will answer to the director and musical director in order to form a cohesive unit that works with the entire production.