Recently All Tickets Inc. developed and published a free study guide focusing on careers in the theatre. One of the things that the staff of All Tickets has found in offering discount group tickets to the public, especially school groups, is that people tend to think that acting is the primary job that Broadway musicals and plays have to offer. And although acting may be the most visible, it is certainly not the dominant job as far as number of employed is concerned.
Behind the Scenes
Behind every hit Broadway show, there are a slew of men and women who work behind the scenes, as electricians, carpenters, stagehands, and more. One of the most important jobs on Broadway is that of stage manager. Stage managers are members of Actors Equity Association, the stage actors union, but they are not hired to be actors. Stage managers and their assistants are in charge of running rehearsals and making sure the show runs smoothly once it is open. They coordinate each and every aspect of a production and performance, being the bridge and communicative conduit between all departments.
Some of the jobs associated with this group of people include design, such as scenic, costume, lighting, video, digital and sound. Directing, choreography and musical direction are also part of the creative spectrum. The three creatives who are involved in developing a Broadway musical from the very start are the composer, lyricist and book writer. When you go see a Broadway show although it is usually the brainchild of those who wrote and composed it, these are rarely the same people who conceptualize and bring it to the stage. It’s the director who does that.
The director is in charge of creating the vision for the physical production. He/she does so by first developing a deep understanding of the work and then communicating their vision for it on stage to all involved, including the other creatives, producers and actors. The director must possess the ability to communicate his/her ideas to a range of personalities who are looking at the show from various angles.
Money, Money, Money
The Broadway producer is the one who raises the capital (money, cash, moolah) for the production. They determine whether or not they will produce a show and if they decide to do so, they will make sure that they get the rights for the material from those who wrote it and then set to work raising the money for the production.
Here’s a clip from the All Tickets Inc. career study guide featuring Broadway producers David Garfinkle and Colin Ingram regarding the fact that producing is both “show” and “business.”
Because Broadway budgets are so large, the producer often works with various other producers to raise the money from investors. Producers are in charge of contracting all personnel and make specific hiring decisions regarding the director. They often collaborate with the director in other hiring decisions when it comes to creatives, actors, etc.
What Can You Do?
If you’re interested in working in the theatre or know someone who is then All Tickets’ free career study guide will prove to be a great resource. Over 60 jobs in the theatre are described and there’s advice from those in the business who are working on Broadway, including actors, producers and designers. By the way if you have not already, take a moment to “Like Us” on Facebook and follow our Tweets in Twitter.