Do you love the world of theatre but feel nauseous at the thought of performing on stage? Well, I’ve got good news for you. A theatre show is like an iceberg, and the performers on stage (while we love them and can’t do the show without them) are just the part above the surface. The rest of the iceberg is made up of a myriad of other people who are responsible for bringing the magic to life on stage.
Here are 8 ways for non-performers to get involved in the crazy and rewarding world of theatre – and you can do them all with TSTC!
For those who like to be in control
Every show has one person who has overall responsibility for how the show will turn out. The director takes the script and brings it to life by overseeing all of the different aspects of the production. The cast and crew all work with their own creative freedom, but the director has the final say over who is cast and what the show will look like. If you like to have control over a project, can manage people and handle stress, this is the job for you!
2. Stage Manager
For the perfectionist
The stage manager is the director’s right hand man or woman. They are in charge of the backstage team and are responsible for all prop movements and set changes on stage. Once the show bumps into the theatre, the director takes a back seat and the stage manager takes charge. If you have great attention to detail, good people management skills and enjoy speaking into a headset, you’d make a fantastic stage manager!
3. Costume Designer
For the fashionista
The costume designer is responsible for dressing up the cast. This can be as simple as helping the cast raid their wardrobes for existing pieces that fit the director’s vision for the show, or as complex as creating a complete Victorian ensemble from scratch (as we did for our recent production of The Woman in Black). Do you love clothes? Are you always across the latest fashions and styles and love experimenting with new designs? Are you handy with a sewing machine? Then you will love the world of costume design!
For the graphic designer and salesperson
A show’s publicist is responsible for putting ‘bums on seats’ (that’s the technical theatre term). A show can’t be put on without an audience to watch it, and that’s where the publicity team comes in. Posters, flyers, social media, community events, sponsorship, website content – all of this falls under publicity. If you like designing, are handy on a computer and love selling things to people, you’d fit right in on the publicity team!
5. Tech Crew
For people who like to look out from up high
Ever wondered what goes on in the little black box over the back of the audience? The tech crew are responsible for all of the technical effects that you see on stage, which fall primarily into two categories; light and sound. The lighting designer and sound designer create the designs and the operators execute their vision using the technological tools in the box. If you like have a knack for tech and want to help create the magic of theatre, the tech box is the ideal place for you!
6. Set Designer and Builder
For the handymen and women and tradies at heart
The set designer is the person responsible for turning the stage into a bedroom/dining room/train carriage/moon landing site/whatever the director envisages, assisted by a capable team of set builders and painters. This can involve a myriad of set pieces, depending on the needs of the show, which all have to be built, painted and fitted together on stage. If you have a great imagination, good spacial awareness, are handy with a drill or paintbrush and love multiple trips to Bunnings – this is the job for you!
7. Backstage Crew
For ninjas who look great in black
The stage manager usually requires assistance from one or more crew members to ensure that the changes on stage are as smooth as silk. The backstage crew do everything from swapping sets and operating fog machines to helping cast members grab props from offstage in the dark. If you love wearing black and want to be on stage without having any lines to memorise, you’ll love joining the crew!
8. Front of House team
For the people person
The audience’s experience doesn’t start with the stage – it starts from the second that they walk into the theatre. The front of house team sell raffle tickets and snacks, help people find their seats and check tickets. If you want to be involved and love interacting with people but don’t really want to commit to the full show experience, you can join the FOH team for just one show!
There are opportunities to gain experience in any (or all!) of these roles with The Sutherland Theatre Company. Get in touch with us and let us know how you want to get involved – no experience necessary!
Image by Samuel Noakes Photographics