Who Works in a Theatre?

Contributor: Morgan Haney. Lesson ID: 13421

You may know that actors work in a theatre, but did you know that there are tons of other jobs that have to be done to make a production come to life? Meet some other folks who work in the theatre!

categories

Finding a Career, Life Skills, Theatrical Arts

subject
Fine Arts
learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio:

Check out the video below from the very famous Broadway musical, Wicked, which tells the story of the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz and how she became so wicked.

Just in this video, you can see that many people work in the theatre doing jobs you probably don't think of right away.

You see costume designers, plus the stitchers and assistants who actually sew, create, and fit the costumes on the actors. And that's just in the costume shop!

WICKED Costumes: Design/Build from WICKED The Musical:

In this lesson, we'll use the show Wicked as an example to learn about more jobs in the theatre, and how each person helps make the show so successful!

The people who work in the theatre are each very good at the specific thing that they do, and the magic of theatre is when all of those things come together to make a whole show!

So, let's explore some theatre jobs and discover more about Wicked along the way!

In this lesson, we'll explore three main categories of jobs: creative team, designers, and performers.

The Creative Team

Director

The director is the leader of the show and makes sure that everyone is on the same page working together to make a show that fits the vision of the people who wrote it.

The director does all of the staging, which means that (s)he tells actors where to go and gives them notes on how to say their lines. (S)he also talks a lot with the designers to make sure that the costumes, sets, and lighting all match what the actors are doing!

Choreographer

The choreographer is the person who comes up with all of the dances and staging during the musical numbers in the show.

Watch the beginning of another WICKED The Musical video to see part of the process of choreographing Wicked!

See how the entire world of WICKED The Musical was choreographed:

Music Director

This is the person who teaches the actors and the people who perform in the orchestra their music. The music director also fixes each song until it sounds just like it's supposed to.

The Designers

Costume Designer

You watched the video about costumes in Wicked at the beginning of the lesson.

The costume designer and his or her assistant decide what each character's clothes will look like. Then, a team of costume stitchers and other craftspeople help to actually create those costumes!

Set Designer

This person designs all of the scenery for a show and also decides how scenery will get on and off the stage quickly. In some shows, the scenery may just be a house, but in the case of Wicked, it's a lot more complicated!

Learn about the design and operation of the Oz head, an important set piece, in WICKED Scenery: The Oz Head from WICKED The Musical:

Lighting and Sound Designers

These designers are the people who decide how the actors and set will be lit and what special sound effects and microphones will be used. These are jobs not only for artists, but also for technology wizards and electricians!

The Performers

Actors

These are the most visible members of a show's team. Actors have to be able to create believable, entertaining characters. In the case of Wicked, they also have to sing and dance!

  • Want to see what it's like for a new cast member to step into Wicked as Elphaba, the lead role?

Watch FLYING LESSONS: Episode 4 | WICKED the Musical:

Musicians

Every Broadway show, and many musicals across the country, have a full orchestra. All of the music is played live by professional instrumentalists who play piano, violin, drums, guitar, and many others.

An orchestra could have as many as 50 people playing in it, or it could be a band as small as five or six people.

Those are the three main categories of people who work in theatre and help put a show together.

In the Got It? section, you'll quiz yourself on what all their jobs are!

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