The theater arts extend far beyond performance and include all creative, technical, and administrative aspects of theatrical production. Theater is an extremely collaborative form of art, requiring the wrangling of many different skills and personalities and culminating in a live performance that can range greatly in terms of size and length of engagement. Theatrical production can involve intense period of focused energy, but can also be seasonal and/or inconsistent in terms of scheduling.
The broad category of performing arts includes music, theater, and dance. Performers in this industry also include comedians, mimes, spoken-word artists, street performers, and others. Although talent is critical to success, the establishment and maintenance of industry contacts, and patient preparation for when the right opportunity might come play significant roles. Just as for fine/visual artists, many performing artists practice their art while working to support themselves in adjacent fields.
Things to Consider
The collaborative nature of theater also makes it extremely community driven. Networking is of central importance, along with the training, credentials, and portfolios necessary to support both creative and technical pursuits. Theater is also enormously popular at Yale, providing a range of different opportunities to extend skills and establish collaborative relationships.
For the performing arts, talent and the interest/ability to perform in front of audiences are crucial. Performing artists must be committed to the practice of and improvement of their art. Music/Theater/Dance schools and graduate programs can provide opportunities to improve skills, develop a repertoire, and to make connections and learn the business of being a performer. Practice, auditions, rehearsals, and performances are constants throughout a performing artist’s career. Take advantage of opportunities to perform at Yale, in the community, and during the summer.