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Teamwork in Theatre

Alright, in case I haven’t told you…I LOVE theatre. I love it for so many reasons, but one of the top reasons is the teamwork required in theatre. It is true. A theatre company is a team. It is a family. Sure, it can be a dramatic crazy messed up family at times, but still a fantastic team. 

You see, I’ve had the chance over the years to be a part of many productions and one incredible theatre company. Every time, it amazes me how all these different types of people can work together to create something wonderful. And seriously, it takes every single role to put on a production well.

Let’s analyze the team, shall we?

  • Actors-memorizing lines and blocking, attending countless rehearsals, and responsible for bringing characters alive.
  • Directors-responsible for a vision for the production, guiding actors through the script,
  • Stage manager-managing everyone during a show: actors, running crew, all the cues
  • Design team- Set designer, Light designer, Costume designer, Props designer, Sound designer.
  • Work crew- those who assist in building or creating what the designers have designed.
  • Running crew- those who help back stage during a show: stage hands, sound operator, light board operator, etc.
  • Front of house- ushers, house manager, and box office.

And often, people have to fill multiple roles. An actor could also be assisting with building the set, or a costume designer may be running the box office. People come together because they are passionate about the art of theatre just like how any IMG_4821team is passionate about their sport or an a cappella group about their music. Every role is so essential. Without one person or a person not fully playing their part, the whole system could falter. Got a light person who isn’t paying attention, cues could be missed. Got a lazy actor who misses his cue to come on stage, you may end up with an awkward situation on stage. Every role relies on the others. An actor relies on another actor to say their lines on time, on the stage manager to call the right cues, on the usher to get the audience seated in an orderly fashion so no one is a disruption to the show.

I have also seen a theatre team come together in crisis:

  • An actor dropped out. Alright, put in the understudy and help them get caught up.
  • The set isn’t finished. Everyone–director, actors, crew, designers–comes in one day and works for hours to get everything finished.
  • Something broke. Alright, who can fix it? What do we need to do?
  • The lights are not working before a show is about to start or a group is late so the show is delayed. With a children audience at that! Actors improve entertainment during the delay.

Excellent team members in theatre, from my experience, tend to go above and beyond their role or duty.

A theatre company is also a supportive team. The world/career of theatre is a competitive one. However, I have still found that in a theatre company there is always support, advice, and encouragement. They support your success inside the theatre company and outside of it. They support the theatre aspects of your life and others. 10675616_897538056924280_8769389562425829333_nI’ve had a theatre company promote my fundraisers for missions, celebrate my accomplishments in college and in life, and encourage/support my decisions.

Bottom line, most important teamwork lessons I’ve learned in theatre:

  • Every role is essential. So play your role and encourage/appreciate others.
  • Know when to lead and when to take direction.
  • Always be prepared to help even in areas that are not your role.
  • A positive attitude can go a long ways 🙂
  • Remember to focus on success for the whole team/production.
  • It is incredible what a team can do, create, and accomplish when they share the same passion and different strengths.

I love theatre! I love the theatre company I got the opportunity to be a part of. I am so thankful for that team, that family–for their support and for how they have helped me become both a better team-player and leader.

-Steph 🙂

P.S. Have you learned anything from theatre? What organization, club, or situation has taught you the most about teamwork?