The first thing you need to do is to run, not walk to the Theater Department here at Bowdoin and get involved. Also consider joining student theater groups like Masque and Gown and Beyond the Proscenium. There are also excellent opportunities around the country to gain experience through internships in all aspects of professional theater. In addition to summer internships many professional theaters like the Portland Stage have year-long programs for college graduates to work and get paid developing your skills in some aspect of theater including set design, stage management, directing and dramaturgy and artistic management.
Salary varies widely depending on role, education level, and location. Here is a sample of 2016 median salaries from the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the Bureau of Labor:
- Actor: $18.70/hr
- Dancer: $13.74/hr
- Choreographer: $23.19/hr
- Musician/Singer: $25.14/hr
- Music Director/Composer: $55,130
- Sound Engineering Technician: $42,550
- Producer/Director: $70,950
American Theatre: American Theatre magazine is the nation’s only general-circulation magazine devoted to theatre. Founded in 1984 by the pioneering arts service organization Theatre Communications Group, the magazine featured cowboy-hatted playwright Sam Shepard on its first cover in April of that year. Published 10 times a year, the magazine now has an estimated readership of 50,000, mostly within the theatre profession.
Offstage Jobs: A national source for behind-the-scenes jobs in the live entertainment industry.
American Theater Wing, Guides to Careers in the Theater: Created in partnership with the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, the Guides to Careers in the Theater are a series of one-on-one video interviews with the theater’s leading artists and professionals, explaining each discipline in the theater and what it takes to pursue that specialty and make a career in the theater. The ATW also runs programs like SpringboardNYC and Theater Intern Group which are designed to help young people gain a foothold in theater.
The Emerging Writers Group: The Emerging Writers Group is a component of the Public Writers Initiative at the Public Theater in New York. It is a long-term program that provides key support and resources for writers at every stage of their theater careers. It creates a fertile community and fosters a web of supportive artistic relationships across generations.
Working in the Theater: This part of the site brings together performers, directors, playwrights, designers, choreographers, producers and behind-the-scenes personnel from the American and international theater, the program offers a rare opportunity for students to see the people who create theater engaged in thoughtful conversation with one another. With more than 900 past guests, “Working in the Theater” has become an unequaled archive of theatrical talk, a chance to hear from the people behind the characters, stories and productions that draw us to the theater.
Internet Broadway Database: IBDB was created by the Research Department of The Broadway League, the national trade association for Broadway. The League has collected relevant Broadway information and statistics for many years. In 1996, the Research Department began to organize and expand the League’s data collection in order to produce a website that would serve as a comprehensive history of Broadway for the benefit of League members, press, theater professionals and enthusiasts.
IBDB provides a comprehensive database of shows produced on Broadway, including all “title page” information about each production. IBDB also offers historical information about theaters and various statistics and fun facts related to Broadway.
Theatre Philadelphia Jobs and Internship Opportunities: The Theatre Alliance is a member-based service organization composed of non-profit professional theatres, individual theatre artists, and affiliated organizations within the Greater Philadelphia region.
LA Casting: On-line casting service
Now Casting: On-line casting service
Back Stage: Back Stage is provides actors and actresses with a resources for open casting call listings and a wealth of acting resources daily. They strive to help prepare acting professionals with the information and tools for first time auditions. A subscription to Back Stage East or West can keep you informed about the upcoming casting calls and the latest entertainment news both on the East and West Coast.
Theater Communications Group: The mission of the Theater Communications Group is to strengthen, nurture and promote professional not-for-profit American theatre. Read about and gather information about no-profit theater in the United States and overseas.