Being a theater production manager is a very demanding job as it's filled with deadlines, big personalities, and budget constraints. The main duty is to oversee the technical needs of each show at the theater, which can include organizing the lighting, liaising between theater groups, and hiring and supervising technical staff to run the show during the performances.
Theater production managers will work out of one specific theater, and their role is almost entirely indoors. There is little or no heavy lifting involved, as this is delegated to support staff. There may be driving involved to get to meetings around the city to discuss issues with suppliers, actors, and marketers. The main group of people that theater production managers deal with are the technical support staff, so managerial skills are an essential part of the role. They put together work rotations, deal with performance issues, and delegate responsibilities to cover stage management. Production managers report to higher theater managers. They will often sit in on board meetings to discuss which shows to bring in and budgets for performances. Strong negotiating skills are also important, as theater production managers are responsible for the external rentals of costumes and props, as well as PR and marketing.
There are very few particular theater production degrees or qualifications, so most theaters hire based on personality and experience. Most of them will be looking for someone with some sort of small business management, including dealing with budgets and finances and at least 3 years in theater management. This could be stage management, directing, or technical work. Finally, theaters will prefer candidates with any advertising experience, either as part of an agency or using online social media.
Production Manager, Theater Tasks
Hire staff, and find and coordinate materials and services such as freight, telecommunications, and technology.
Coordinate the operation of wardrobe, lighting, sound, projection, and a variety of other production departments.