A production manager works with designers, the technical crew, and the management team to make sure the technical elements of a show are completed safely, on time, and on budget. Production managers are often full-time staff members at large theatres and work on every show during a season. Some midsize or small theatres may hire production managers on a per-show contract basis. They have to be very organized, have extensive knowledge about technical theatre, and should enjoy working with a diverse group of people. Production managers usually studied technical theatre at the undergraduate level, and many hold a master's degree in production management or technical direction.
About the Video: Kate Coltun, Assistant Production Manager, Mark Taper Forum
Kate Coltun takes a hands-on role in everything from budgeting and scheduling to load-in and personnel management in order to make the show happen. Coltun discusses the different duties of her job, how she got to where she is, and why being a production manager is so much fun.
Resources & More Information:
- Wondering how production managers are different from stage managers? Linda Cooper, Production Manager for La Jolla Playhouse, can clear things up!
- Watch production managers from the National Theatre and The Public Theater talk about their jobs.
- A few universities offer graduate programs in production management, including Carnegie Mellon University and the Yale School of Drama.
If you’re curious about careers in theatre and wondering which ones might be right for you, we’ve created a quick quiz to help you think about the type of job you might want within the arts and what kind of lifestyle and education that career path requires.Take the Quiz