Mar 20, 2015

Yeah I got skills... I run a theatre company...

[Credit: How to Playwright]

A friend on Facebook posted a link to an article recently. The article was about how high school students going into theatre programs in college actually acquire a hellalotta skills, regardless of whether or not they make it to Broadway (or to whatever level they assume means "success" in the theatre when they come out of high school). 

I was thinking about this today and I realize that not just studying theatre, but specifically running a theatre company has afforded me a skill set that makes me very competitive in the contemporary marketplace (and not just me, but anyone who runs a theatre group, big or small, in today's world).

For instance, as a person that runs a theatre comapny I know how to...
  • coordinate meetings, rehearsals, and appointments
  • handle the scheduling and managing of disparate personalities
  • dutchman a flat
  • program a lightboard
  • set up a microphone
  • find contact info on people who don't offer it up freely
  • research among vast reserves of theoretical, historical, philosophical points of interest
  • edit, format and post online videos, audio, documents, photos, etc.
  • design websites
  • maintain mailing lists
  • keep track of "brand" aesthetic
  • keep on message
  • accept criticism in context and, often, gracefully
  • Forge my own path of progression where none is laid out before me
  • enforce my own standards of excellence
  • communicate to the press and media
  • create my own press and media
  • write everything from blog posts, to tweets, to media pitches, press releases, and so on
  • get a physical object such as a set piece or article of costume from one location to another
  • keep track of countless details
  • be on time and prepared
  • be courteous in follow-up (including sending thank you cards or shout outs on FB)
  • work under pressure (Tech Week!)
  • rest when necessary, work harder when necessary
  • celebrate when necessary
  • grow a following
  • make something from scratch where it previously wasn't even imagined!
Notice these skills are up and beyond simply playwriting, directing, and performing... (that one can do that stuff and do it well is a given). 

Sometimes, because theatre is not always profitable in the cold economic terms of the marketplace, it is believed to be easier. The artists involved are sometimes thought to be "unfit" for "real work." Nothing could be further from the truth.

I run a theatre company. As a market force, then, I am actually something to be reckoned with.




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