8 Theatre Careers in Demand Again

Broadway is back, and so are theatre districts around the world. As the performing arts take their rightful place under the bright lights of the stage once again, performance opportunities aren't the only sought-after roles. Shows reopening means there are theatre careers in production that need to be filled. Whether you’ve recently graduated from a theatre degree program or a certificate program like Yellowbrick’s Performing Arts Industry Essentials, or even if you’re a veteran with tons of work experience, these theatre careers are worth your consideration.

Booking Agent 

When a show is ready to go on the road, the producer hires a Booking Agent to secure venues. First, Booking Agents schedule out the tour, so it's cohesive and easy for traveling. Then, they negotiate the details of individual shows with venues, including riders, ticket sale percentages, and financial information between the venue and the producing company. 

Scott Illingworth, Theatre Careers
Scott Illingworth, Assistant Arts Professor at NYU Tisch School of the Arts + Performing Arts Industry Essentials contributor

You’re Off to a Good Start If…: You have solid negotiation skills and thrive under deadlines.

Average Salary: Booking Agents average an annual salary of $62,713 nationally.

Yellowbrick Expert Highlight: Scott Illingworth, Assistant Arts Professor at NYU Tisch School of the Arts

Box Office Manager

Box Office Managers supervise the ticketing office and box office staff. They also handle employee hiring and training on ticketing systems. Moreover, Box Office Managers oversee ticket sales and compile revenue reports for bookkeepers and accountants. 

In addition, they audit and reconcile cash drawers and sale receipts. They prepare financial statements to make sure all ticket payments and fees are accounted for properly. Box Office Managers are the first point of contact for patrons and handle any inquiries.

Ruben Polendo, theatre careers
Ruben Polendo, Chairperson and Arts Professor at NYU Tisch School of the Arts + Performing Arts Industry Essentials contributor

You’re Off to a Good Start If…: You have a background in customer service and a knack for numbers.

Average Salary: Box Office Managers average an annual salary of $45,337 nationally.

Yellowbrick Expert Highlight: Ruben Polendo, Chairperson and Arts Professor at NYU Tisch School of the Arts

Casting Director

Casting Directors are responsible for selecting actors and actresses for roles in a production. In addition, they collaborate with producers and directors to schedule auditions. They may also attend other shows and workshops to scout talent.

Bret Shuford
Yellowbrick Expert Highlight: Bret Shuford, actor and Broadway Life Coach + Performing Arts Industry Essentials contributor

You’re Off to a Good Start If…: You are comfortable networking and enjoy collaborating with others.

Average Salary: Casting Directors average an annual salary of $70,103 nationally.

Yellowbrick Expert Highlight: Bret Shuford, actor and Broadway Life Coach

Company Manager

The Company Manager is a theatre career that handles a multitude of duties to ensure a theater and production runs smoothly. They work with the director and liaise with other department heads to ensure the show is within budget. They also handle administrative operations such as payroll, transportation and lodging for cast and crew, and scheduling rehearsals.

Elizabeth Bradley
Elizabeth Bradley, Arts Professor at NYU Tisch School of the Arts + Performing Arts Industry Essentials contributor

You’re Off to a Good Start If…: You are a planner who can navigate a budget.

Average Salary: Company Managers average an annual salary of $51,524 nationally.

Yellowbrick Expert Highlight: Elizabeth Bradley, Arts Professor at NYU Tisch School of the Arts

Costume Designer

Costume Designers manage all wardrobe and costume pieces. They select, design, source, construct and shop for clothes for all the actors in a production. In addition, they organize costume areas backstage and handle alterations, fittings, and quick changes.

Gianni Downs
Gianni Downs, Theatre Arts Head of Design/Tech at University of Pittsburgh + Performing Arts Industry Essentials contributor

You’re Off to a Good Start If…: You are artistic, resourceful and can work in high pressure situations. 

Average Salary: Costume Designers average an annual salary of $40,631 nationally.

Yellowbrick Expert Highlight: Gianni Downs, Theatre Arts Head of Design, Tech at University of Pittsburgh

Press Agent

A press agent is a theatrical publicist. They represent productions, performers, and venues in interactions with the media. Press Agents prepare cast and production crew biographies, write press releases, coordinate interviews, appearances, and cultivate relationships with media members for favorable press coverage.

Harvey Young, theatre careers
Harvey Young, Dean and Professor at Boston University College of Fine Arts + Performing Arts Industry Essentials contributor

You’re Off to a Good Start If…: You are a superb communicator who excels at building relationships.

Average Salary: Press Agents average an annual salary of $50,405 nationally.

Yellowbrick Expert Highlight: Harvey Young, Dean and Professor at Boston University College of Fine Arts

Professional Dancer

Dancers use movement and body language to depict a character, plot point, or abstract idea to an audience. In most productions, dancers take direction from a choreographer. However, some shows require improvisation. Dancers may perform to the accompaniment of music or without.

Mandy Gonzalez
Mandy Gonzalez, Broadway Performer (Credits include Dance of the Vampires and In The Heights) + Performing Arts Industry Essentials contributor

You’re Off to a Good Start If…: You have athletic ability and musicality.

Average Salary: Professional Dancers average an annual salary of $68,000 nationally.

Yellowbrick Expert Highlight: Mandy Gonzalez, Broadway Performer (Credits include Dance of the Vampires and In The Heights)

Stage Manager

Stage management is one of the essential roles in theatre. They assist directors during productions from initial rehearsals through the final curtain call. They handle the day-to-day management and coordinate communication between the creative and technical departments to ensure everyone is on task and schedule. Stage Managers also oversee the backstage and onstage areas during performances.

Shanga Parker
Shanga Parker, Academic Director and Associate Arts Professor at NYU Tisch School of the Arts + Performing Arts Industry Essentials contributor

You’re Off to a Good Start If…: You are adaptable and can solve problems quickly.

Average Salary: Stage Managers average an annual salary of $52,032 nationally.

Yellowbrick Expert Highlight: Shanga Parker, Academic Director and Associate Arts Professor at NYU Tisch School of the Arts

If you're interested in any of these fantastic theatre careers or want to learn about the other many jobs in the performing arts, check out Yellowbrick’s Ultimate Performing Arts Career Guide.

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