Backstage


32 Industry insights in total for Backstage


What employers are looking for in technical staff

Working in technical theatre and live events is fun, fast-paced and rewarding. If you're curious about careers in this area, there's good news: we need more skilled technicians in lighting, sound and stage, and available routes in are changing for the better. Here are 4 things employers in the industry are actually looking for.


How to work in costume for screen

Gayle Playford is a costume workroom manager and head costume cutter for period drama on TV. Her work has been featured in the BBC Two adaptation of Wolf Hall, among many other screen productions. Here she offers six pieces of advice for a career in costume for screen.


Simon Fraulo is Lighting Operations Manager at the National Theatre.

Lighting operations in theatre

Simon Fraulo is a theatre lighting expert. He has seen big changes in technical theatre training and jobs over the years.


Dawn Thomas-Mondo has built up a collection of thousands of costumes

Running a costume business

Dawn Thomas-Mondo runs Marigold Costumes in Cardiff, the largest company of its kind in Wales. She told us about how she got started, and running her creative business.


The same make-up can look quite different, according to the actor’s face shape.

Make-up artist for theatre

Sara Tyndall is a make-up artist and wigs mistress in London's West End. She has worked for Mamma Mia, Beauty and the Beast, and is now Head of Wigs and Make-Up for The Lion King.


Corina peforms, creates and runs workshops with puppets.

Being a puppeteer

Corina Bona is a multi-talented puppeteer, whose career is a successful blend of performance, bespoke puppet-making and workshop facilitation. She spoke about a career in puppetry.


The world of theatre contains a very wide range of careers aside from acting. (Image: Royal Conservatoire of Scotland)

Getting started with theatre

Susan Elkin is the author of 'So You Want To Work In Theatre?’ – a guide for young people who want to work in the theatre world. She shared five pieces of advice about careers in theatre.


Chris Slann works and teaches at the Carnival Learning Centre on the Isle of Wight.

A career in carnival

Chris Slann, Sharon George and Helen Davenport work and teach at the Carnival Learning Centre on the Isle of Wight. They spoke to Creative Choices about the varied skills needed for a career working in carnival.


An associate lighting designer

Dan Large's career in lighting has seen him travel the world, working with famous actors and directors. He illuminates his career journey and gives top tips for working in the lighting industry.


Learn backstage skills at the Technical Youth Theatre.

Learning technical theatre

Theatre would be nothing without people working behind the scenes to bring it alive. Chichester Youth Theatre teaches young people the skills they need to work backstage.


Fay Fullerton is Head of Production Costume at the Royal Opera House

Building a costume career

Fay Fullerton is Head of Production Costume at The Royal Opera House. She describes how she got into the industry, with advice for people wanting to get into costume careers.


Simon Lovelace founded CrewClass in an effort to provide greater access to backstage training.

Getting into backstage work

Simon Lovelace, founder of technical crew training company Crewclass, has seven tips for finding backstage technical work.


Antony is still very involved in the props workshop. Photo credit Pete Le May

A career in theatre props

Antony Barnett is Head of Props at the Royal Opera House. Hired in the mid-1980s as a prop maker, his role has become more managerial in recent years.


Felix D was Company Stage Manager for Around the World in Eighty Days at The Theatre Royal Bath.

From actor to stage manager

Currently the Deputy Stage Manager (DSM) for a new play heading for the West End, Felix D didn't take the usual road into theatre stage management. He originally planned to be an actor.


I teach songs, arrange vocal harmonies, conduct cast and band for a musical.

A musical director career

Philip Bateman is a musical director and singing coach. He has worked on West End shows like Billy Elliot and Our House. He spoke about how he built his career in musical theatre.


Despite advances in theatre technology, brushes and a basic spray gun remain tools of choice for a scenic artist.

Theatre scenic artist

Scenic artists are responsible for painting sets, scenery backdrops and large props, bringing colour to a theatre production. Leila Kalbassi is the Design Assistant/Scenic Artist for the Dundee Repertory Theatre.


Diane Prentice is Deputy Technical Head of the Wales Millennium Centre.

Getting into backstage theatre

Diane Prentice, of the Wales Millennium Centre, spoke about how she got into technical theatre. Two of her Creative Apprentices described their new pathways into backstage work.


In 2012, Bruno won the Olivier Award for Best Lighting Design for his work on Frankenstein at the National Theatre.

Working as a lighting designer

Bruno Poet is an award-winning lighting designer who has worked extensively with theatre and opera companies all over the world.


Most artists balance a variety of part-time roles to provide extra income. Image: Diego Andres Spano, clown.

7 tips for performance careers

Working in performance does not always provide a constant income. Most artists balance a variety of part-time roles and should always consider sources of future income.


Becoming a technical manager

Rob Lloyd's journey into technical management started with him doing "bottom of the pile" work in theatre, but evolved into roles with much greater responsibility as he rapidly gained new skills. He eventually sidestepped into the music industry. Read more about his career.


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