Careers in Theatre and performing arts

 A career in this area covers a wide range of roles: production, direction, front of house, backstage support, technical or performance.

Differing skills are needed for these roles but enthusiasm, passion and creative flair are a must for all.

Entry routes into Theatre and performing arts

Career paths in the theatre and performing arts rarely follow a structured route of a typical graduate training scheme. Work experience and volunteering opportunities can be a great source of contacts and a route into more permanent jobs. Entry-level paid opportunities may initially be available on a short term basis and identified through word of mouth.

There are many options for further study: academic, vocational and performance based. University of Birmingham graduates have previously gone on to study postgraduate diplomas in musical theatre, professional acting courses and for an MRes in Playwriting.

Getting experience in Theatre and performing arts

Get involved in University societies where there are opportunities, including performing and backstage/technical support. Don’t forget local, amateur and regional theatres and arts centres – these can be great sources of shadowing or work experience. Casual theatre jobs such as working as an usher in a theatre, concert hall or exhibition venue can also look great on your CV.

Viewing different types of theatre and performing arts is a great way to gain an understanding of the diversity of the sector. Most venues do student prices, or lower cost tickets can be available on the day of a performance. Knowing about current trends in the sector is helpful when writing applications or preparing for interviews. Visit the websites in this guide to help raise your awareness.

The University of Birmingham offers work experience bursaries for any student in their first, second or penultimate year of study. For more details visit the internship funding pages.

Careers Network advertises internships on Careers Connect.

Finding a job or internship in Theatre and performing arts

Find out more about Theatre and performing arts

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