What It Means To Work In Theatrical Administration
When I tell people I worked in theatrical administration their first question is almost always something along the lines of, “Oh were you an actress?” My sole acting credit is a middle school production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, where I was a cheerleader in the ensemble. I have never had any desire to act, or to be frank work on the creative side of the industry, but I have always loved the theatre. I knew I wanted a stable career (I never took a pandemic into account, my mistake) but I wanted to be in the arts. Thus, my time working in theatrical administration was born.
What exactly is theatrical administration?
Theatrical administration falls under the arts administration category. I worked on your classic administrative projects; answering and screening phone calls for executives, email correspondence and calendar management, and every administrative professional’s favorite pastime: data entry. I also assisted on projects all around the office; from checking language in legal contracts to see if there were discrepancies from one year to another to planning holiday parties and other corporate events.
From my description of theatrical administration it looks like I wasn’t heavily involved in the theatre, but I was a small part in the movement of projects. I essentially saw myself as a “swing” in the office- offering to fill in anywhere assistance was needed. On top of my job duties I helped with house seats and managing ticking conferences. To me theatrical administration is the real behind the scenes work. Often looked over, a career on the administrative side of the industry is crucial to the survival of the arts. Behind every great production lies a team of administrators working tirelessly behind the scenes on past, present, and future shows.
While my tenure in theatrical administration came to an end it’s an incredibly wonderful space to work in.
If you’re anything like me and have a business minded brain but a passion for the arts, it’s a place to flourish and still have your hand involved in the creative world. I truly believe my time working in theatrical administration will help me in my future endeavors; I learned to be a team player and communicate my ideas and how to let your creative side flourish in a corporate office. While many of us are pivoting into other spaces I believe we shouldn’t look over the important and vital role played by those of us working in the administrative side of the arts.