Street theatre performer

 22 March 2011

Street theatre performers provide live performances and installation in a variety of outdoor settings including:

Benjamin Cook and Peta Cook, swing dancers from Swingcopation.
Benjamin Cook and Peta Cook, swing dancers from Swingcopation.
  • Festivals, fairs and multi-art form performances
  • Parades and carnivals
  • Outdoor public spaces including streets and parks
  • Shopping precincts and town centres

Events can range from solo performances, perhaps with mime artists, human statues or stilt walkers to large-scale events employing many different types of performer. Static performances may take place using a stage.

The events are often free, always live and are sometimes improvised or unpredictable. Some street performers include an element of physical theatre or circus in their work.

Work can take place in all weathers and support facilities are sometimes limited.

The role can be very similar to that of an actor or other performer and may include:

  • Rehearsing and preparing for performances
  • Attending costume fittings and spending time in make-up
  • Researching characters, preparing for and attending auditions and learning lines
  • Working as part of a team with other performers, theatrical artists and stage crew members
  • Contacting agents to find work and self-publicity

Street performers may also work with puppets and other props. The work can involve interacting with the public, particularly for walkabout artists.

Periods of unemployment are common, and many street performers rely on other work to keep afloat financially. Some combine this work with community arts work or teaching roles.

The work can involve working away from home as well as irregular hours in the evenings and weekends.


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