5 Myths About Theater Management

While some industry professionals know the truth, we occasionally hear rumors in the green room about what theater arts management actually does…

Image via Amnesty International UK

These rumors end today!

We’re here to dispel a few commonly held myths about theater arts management. Not only do they represent a significant and necessary cog in the wheel, but these lovely people work countless hours in the name of producing and promoting extraordinary art.

Myth 1: Theater management is boring.
Rest assured, there is absolutely nothing boring about theater management or administration. These super-star people are responsible for theater staff as well as the financial and administration aspects of running a theater. Just exactly how much they manage depends entirely upon the size of the venue – larger theaters will have multiple managers in charge of a specific part of the theater’s daily operations (ex. human resources), while smaller venues might have just one person to cover all of the above-mentioned aspects.
Myth 2: Theater management is a career field made up of number crunchers.
Theater management is made up of all different types of people and so yes, some are number crunchers. Some management personnel have specialized in human resources, marketing, or educational outreach. The point is that while this area of operating a performing arts establishment attracts a lot of different types of people, they all have one thing in common – a passion and distinct enthusiasm for the performing arts (see Myth No.5 for more information about this!).
Myth 3: Theater management works separately from the artists.
While theater management doesn’t usually involve themselves with actual individual production aspects, they do come into contact with artists when working through any necessary contract negotiations.

Image via Monomoy Theatre Myth 4: Theater management is a position that you “fall into.”
Theater management is most certainly a career path that can be chosen. In general, the field of arts administration is actually quite competitive to break into. Many young professionals are now electing to study theater management in a post-secondary environment so as to be properly equipped with the necessary skill-set to manage a performing arts establishment. Image via colink.

If you’re curious about what a typical day in the shoes of a theater manager might look like, we suggest you take a look at this informative case study about U.K. Theater Manager, Carolyn Forsyth.
Myth 5: Theater management doesn’t require a passion for the performing arts.
So wrong! Theater management has to have just as much passion (if not more) for the performing arts. While it is the performers job to convey their love of the performing arts through performing, theater management must show their love through the way they interact with patrons and donors, work with the artistic director to effectively market the upcoming season, and (perhaps most importantly) they must manage the different aspects of administration most effectively and efficiently so that the theater can continue to operate and produce fantastic live performances.

Image via Tina D

So the next time you see a member of your management team, why not give them a hug (or at least a friendly smile and “thank you”!) for all of the wonderful things that they do in the name of incredible live performing art.And check popular weekly ads:
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Curious to know more about the benefits of the theater? Click here for 6 reasons the theater encourages a more joyful and connected life.

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