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Theatre manager: Job description

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Theatre managers have responsibility for the personnel, financial and administrative aspects of the theatre. They need to be commercially minded and may be responsible for leading marketing and publicity activities.

A theatre manager recruits and manages staff from the box office to back stage and will be responsible for HR processes such as training.

Customer care is also a crucial part of the role to ensure the public get the most out of their experience when visiting the theatre.

The role of a theatre manager varies depending on the size of the venue. In smaller theatres, the manager may be responsible for all of the areas mentioned above, while in larger theatres they may just be involved in one aspect while other managers take responsibility for specific sections such as finance or HR.

Ensuring that a theatre works successfully on a commercial and a practical level requires:

  • a passion for theatre;
  • enthusiasm;
  • a hands-on approach.

Typical work activities

Typical responsibilities vary according to the size and type of theatre (for example, repertory or receiving) and the structure of the management team.

However, tasks typically include:

  • planning forthcoming events, which includes applying knowledge of audiences, ensuring a balance between different types of productions, being aware of which productions have been well received elsewhere and accepting new work offered by reputable production companies;
  • liaising and negotiating with production companies to plan the programme of work;
  • getting involved in the commissioning of new pieces of work;
  • taking responsibility for all staff in the theatre, who may be involved in areas such as marketing, finance and artistic production;
  • overseeing training for front of house and stage door staff;
  • liaising closely with the theatre's board of directors;
  • ensuring that the theatre meets the requirements of legislation such as health and safety and licensing laws (theatre managers may act as licensees);
  • attending marketing meetings and undertaking marketing activities;
  • dealing with the budget and exercising ultimate financial control;
  • negotiating with any charities and funding bodies providing financial backing;
  • speaking and lobbying at arts-related conferences;
  • networking with local industry, local communities, educational organisations, relevant bodies and the public;
  • promoting arts participation in the community, which may include visiting schools, colleges, community centres and youth clubs to encourage the public to engage in professionally-led artistic activities;
  • keeping in touch with other theatre managers and producers in order to stay up to date with developments and new productions.
 
 
AGCAS
Written by AGCAS editors
Date: 
June 2014
 

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