Theater Manager: Job Description, Duties and Career Outlook

Oct 02, 2019

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a theater manager. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties and employment outlook to find out if this is the career for you.

Although it may not be required, a degree in theater management can be an asset to those preparing for a career as a theater manager. Theater managers are responsible for overseeing their theater's fundraising, marketing, budgeting, production and daily operations.

Essential Information

Theater managers oversee the administrative and production-related aspects of theaters. They may address the financial, marketing and organizational concerns necessary to operate a successful theater. The path to becoming a theater manager varies, as does the salary, depending on the size and type of theater. Some managers work their way up to management positions, while others earn degrees that prepare them for high-level jobs in the industry.

Required Education Varies, but an advanced degree in theater management can be useful
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* -1% for all management positions within theater companies and dinner theaters
Average Annual Salary (2018)* $94,730 for all management positions within theater companies and dinner theaters

Sources: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Job Description

Considered administrators and visionaries, theater managers are responsible for the overall success or failure of a particular theater, which determines whether or not the theater will remain open. As part of their jobs, they oversee the theater's organizational structure, fundraising, marketing, budgeting, accounting and day-to-day operations. Meeting demands from actors, directors, production personnel and audience members may also be part of the job. Many theater managers obtain their positions by acquiring production-related experience over many years, but advanced degrees in theater management from well-regarded institutions can fast-track career advancement for certain professionals.

Job Duties

Theater managers develop fundraising and marketing strategies to ensure that productions are adequately funded and attract large audiences to generate ticket sales. They're responsible for raising and approving the operating, marketing and production budgets. The theater manager's approval is usually required for expenses such as royalty fees, marketing materials, box office staff, production staff, performers, lighting, set-designs and props. Training and paying employees, designing and writing brochures and other marketing materials, coordinating the activities between theater staff and stage performances and ensuring the facilities are properly maintained are also common responsibilities of theater managers.

Career Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the projected job growth rate for managers in theater companies and dinner theaters was about -1% from 2018-2028, which is less than average when compared to all occupations. The average salary for these managers was $94,730 as of May 2018.

Theater managers must be able to come up with a vision for the direction of their theater and oversee the operational aspects to ensure it succeeds. They need accounting and marketing skills as well as a knowledge of theater production. A degree in theater management may help those pursuing a career as a theater manager compete for positions in this career field.

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