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Paving Pathways for a Future in Theatre Administration

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Earlier this year, 70 students and early career professionals joined Center Theatre Group’s Education & Community Partnerships department for a full day of programming around the many different careers in the world of theatre administration.

The inaugural Getting Started: A Career in Theatre Administration Symposium took place at East Los Angeles College, immersing students in workshops and sessions about the many careers available in finance and accounting, marketing, human resources, community programs, communications, and more.

“We wanted students to walk away feeling excited and confident about their future, to be free to explore and be curious to learn more about what they want to do,” Creative Workforce Initiatives Director Aurora Ilog said of the event’s purpose.

Hear from some of the attendees about where the day led them!

Izzy

IZZY is trained as a stage manager. They attended the Box Office and Ticketing session led by Nicki Wilmot and were excited to learn about the software and other customer relations skills involved. “A lot of people don’t have a full understanding of [box office careers], they think we just sell tickets,” Wilmot said. “I never thought I would be a box office manager because it wasn’t really one that I thought about, so the idea that you can get [an idea of] all these...different jobs that are available early on is so incredibly helpful.”

Izzy also attended the General Management workshop, where they realized that the organizations they run could benefit from the organizational and technical know-how from someone in that field. As someone who hopes to merge a legal career with the arts, she was also excited to hear a closing speech from Kristin Sakoda, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Arts & Culture who does the same.

Aviva

AVIVA had never been interested in HR before the symposium. “The idea of getting to work with people and getting to create a space where people feel empowered in their working environment is really appealing to me after today,” they said.

Mika

MIKA attended the Community Programing session with Director of Learning and Community Partnerships Jesus Reyes and Resident Teaching Artist Estela Garcia. They are not studying theatre, but have a passion for it nonetheless. “We learned about appealing to the culture outside the theatre community and around different neighborhoods to get them in touch with their creative sides,” they said.

Lorenzo

LORENZO wants to be a performer and director and felt that the social media session helped sharpen the skills he needs to succeed for a career in the arts. “There’s so many career possibilities in the theatre that’s not always associated with just directing or acting,” he said. “[Social media] is a fun, unique way to hone my skills while trying to get different opportunities for what I want to do.”

Reagan

REAGAN considers herself to be performer-oriented, but enjoyed learning about finances in a not-for-profit theatre company during one session. “I wasn’t really thinking administration was going to be a thing for me, but I loved how much community and communication goes into everything,” she said. “And it might be a really good thing for me to be able to do theatre administration because you can do both.”

But the learning didn’t end after this event—Education & Community Partnerships has year-round opportunities for folks at different points of life who are looking to find their way into a career in the arts. This past March, high school students and their guardians and educators attended the annual College and Career Fair for the Arts, which provided information, free headshots, and one-on-one college counseling to those interested in career and higher education opportunities in the arts. Looking ahead, the Going Pro event on April 20th and 21st is geared towards college and graduate students and their educators, and early career individuals focusing on the transition from higher education to professional life, with speed mentoring, workshops, panels, and a tech job networking mixer. And for individuals who are ready to gain hands-on experience in the field, Center Theatre Group offers internships, apprenticeships, and observerships for different disciplines and crafts. Internship applications for the summer are open until April 26th for graduates and May 3rd for undergrads.

Whatever path lies ahead of you, Center Theatre Group is there for you along the way. Stay in touch with Education & Community partnerships through our website or @ctgcommunity on Instagram.

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