If you love working with actors, but don't want to be in the spotlight, a career in theatre production may be ideal for you. Taking on a position as a theatre house manager can let you stay off the stage and still have significant input into helping the show be a success.
Duties During Rehearsals
Theatre house managers are in charge attending runthrough rehearsals to get an idea of what they need to accomplish. Runthrough rehearsals are when the actors perform long sections of the play or perhaps the whole thing. They utilize them to become familiar with what is called for during technical rehearsals. Technical rehearsals are rehearsals in which the actors are in full hair and makeup and go through the entire play from start to finish. Duties include communicating with the stage managers and keeping the cast safe during rehearsals. They should make sure that activities on stage should not cause damage to the cast or crew.
Duties Before Performances
Duties before performances include dealing with the operations in the front of the theatre house. Theatre house managers typically coordinate, train and supervise ushers. They set them up so they are ready to greet the attendees. They also deal with the unclaimed reservations and lines at the Box Office. Working closely with the stage managers, they tell them when the front of the house is prepared for the play to begin. They typically give them a heads up when the line has ended and guests in the front lobby are aware that the play is starting soon.
Duties During Performances
The theatre house manager makes sure that the house is open by checking with the stage manager. The stage manager contacts him several minutes before the beginning of the show. If he gives the go-ahead, the stage manager provides the actors with a heads up that the show is starting on time. The theatre house manager also ensures that the lobby is quiet during the performance and determines a policy for attendees who show up late. Ideally, he would not allow anyone in during the show if it might cause light to shine into the performance. He basically ensures that the guests are happy and comfortable during the show. He also keeps the cast out of the lobby and makes sure that they do not have conversations with their families in full hair and makeup.
Skills required for a theatre house manager position include excellent communication with the public. Since the position requires them to keep the public happy, they need to understand basic customer service skills to make them enjoy their experience. Their attitude can influence the experience the public has at the theatre, which means that it should be positive and friendly. They must be responsible individuals who comply with safety regulations and encourage the public to do the same.
Education and Training
Some positions may call for theatre house managers to have training for CPR and First Aid certification. Understanding CPR and First Aid helps theatre house managers ensure that the public, cast and crew have safe experiences during the rehearsal and performances. Additionally, theatre house managers may need formal education to secure positions working with theatre companies. For instance, they may need bachelor's or master's degrees in theatre to practice being a theatre house manager for college productions.
- Photo Credit advertising show board image by Alexey Klementiev from Fotolia.com
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