Stage Production Workers
Education and Training Requirements
Requirements vary for different kinds of stage production workers and technicians. In general, a high school diploma is necessary and a college degree is highly recommended. High school students interested in careers in theatrical production should take college preparatory courses such as English, history, and mathematics. Classes in art and shop are also useful. In addition, they should take drama courses and participate in school theatrical performances in a variety of ways, such as acting or working on sets to helping with promotion.
Those who want to work in technical fields such as lighting and sound design would benefit by taking courses in history and art, as well as subjects such as electricity, electronics, computers, mathematics, and physics. Craft workers such as carpenters and electricians do not need a college degree, and they often learn their work skills through apprenticeships. Makeup artists need to study anatomy and art subjects like sculpture and portrait painting. Costume designers ought to have a graduate degree in design or fine arts, and a well-developed artistic sense.
Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements
Certification or Licensing
No certification or licensing is available for stage production workers.
Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits
It will be easier to break into the field with prior experience working on school or community theatrical productions. Learn as many skills as possible—such as set design, electronics, or sound work—in order to increase job prospects.
Passion for theater as an art form is essential to bear with the long hours and often low pay associated with these professions. The ability to get along well with others is also important, since stage technicians often work in teams. Patience and flexibility will be needed as directors and designers may change their minds about set plans or demand a stage, lighting effect, or costume piece that might seem difficult or challenging creatively as well as financially.