Professional Theatre and Educators
Saturday March 21, 1998
Long Beach Convention Center
The Production Managers Forum convened a round table discussion at
USITT, to listen to what educators had to say about students and their placement in
resident theatre jobs. Our goal was to listen and formulate a response for the Toronto
The format of the round table was a topic question, followed by
responses, and follow-up questions and answers.
Question #1: What is the perception of regional (resident) theatre among
Theatre training programs (schools)?
The students do not seem to be aware initially, but faculty is guiding
them to an awareness of the theatres as places for internships and entry level jobs.
Expectations are somewhat unrealistic,as many students expect jobs as designers or TD's
right out of school. Teachers are telling them that this is not the case, apparently to no
avail. Teachers did express the notion that the students would get a clearer message if
they heard the job possibilities directly from us (production managers). Skills in
networking need to be taught, and our input was requested.
Question #2: What internships do schools want or require for their
Very few schools, of those present, require internships, most encourage
summer work or internships. The problem being that most resident theatres are not
producing in the summer. Many schools are in need of their students to help realize school
productions. Internships have been perceived as a post graduate activity.
Question #3: Where are graduates getting jobs?
There was little consensus about this, but if a rough average of those
present were to be calculated, it might look something like this:
20% in small theatres or dance companies (designing)
20% in craft jobs in small theatres
10% in related jobs in large cities
? % film, TV, themed entertainment, etc.