The economic impact of Broadway is significant: contributing approximately $11.9 billion to New York City’s economy and supporting 87,000 jobs, plus the indirect economic impact of tourist spending and over 12 million tickets sold annually. It’s thanks to the men and women working on stage and behind the scenes that audiences continue to be delighted.
The actor is the most familiar face of the creative team for the audience and performs one or more roles in a show, as outlined by the director and other members of the creative team. The actor defines live theater by performing a character who brings a story to life with the help of staging, costumes, makeup, sets, and lighting.
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The casting director coordinates and runs the process by which the director and other key members of the creative team audition actors and assign roles.
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Child Actor Guardians oversee the care, professional behavior and well-being of Broadway’s youngest stars, the children performing on stage who are under sixteen years of age. The Guardians help create an atmosphere where children performers can be working professionals in a safe environment and still be kids off stage.
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The choreographer designs and directs the actors' dance and complex movement sequences for a production.
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The company and house manager supervises the cast and crew of a production. He or she oversees the front of house, box office, payroll, and other administrative matters, including the travel arrangements of a touring production.
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The composer creates all of the original music in a production, from short incidental music for specific scenes to an entire score for a musical.
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The costume designer transforms the actors into their characters through the use of clothing and helps situate a production in a specific time and place through the visual cues of clothing. He or she designs, researches, sources, and constructs the clothes for all actors in a production.
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Photo Credit: Tanya Briganti
The dance captain leads the dancers in rehearsals and warm ups and ensures that the choreography is maintained at each performance. He or she knows the movement and choreography for every character in a show.
The director provides the guiding creative vision for all members of the production. He or she take the lead in putting together the entire creative team and managing the overall staging and artistic vision of a production.
The fly man directs and supervises the movements of the scenery between the fly floor and the stage during a show. He or she moves painted backdrops and key scenic pieces in and out of the audience's line of vision.
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The head carpenter maintains theater stage equipment and may also serve as production carpenter, building sets and moving all scenery on and off stage for the installation and run of a production.
The head electrician maintains a theater's electrical systems and often serves as production electrician operating all lights during a show, including traditional and automated lighting, spotlights, special lighting effects, and house lights. He or she works closely with the lighting designer.
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The head prop person maintains certain aspects of the theater facility and may also serve as the prop person for a specific production. He or she researches, fabricates, and finds all necessary props for a show.
The lighting designer creates the lighting concept and equipment requirements for a producton. He or she works most closely with the director, scenic, costume, and projection designers to create a lighting scheme that communicates the feeling of a production and guides the audience's attention in specific ways throughout a performance.
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The make-up artist transforms the actors into their characters through the use of make-up and styling. He or she develops a look and style for each character that helps convey their story.
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The marketing director creates marketing, branding and promotional initiatives for a particular show, theater, or theater company.
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The musical director is in charge of all music-related aspects of a production. He or she works with the director to cast the show, with the composer to understand the score, and with the cheorographer to develop the show's tempo. He or she teaches the cast and orchestra the music and often serves as conductor at performances.
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The musician brings live music to Broadway audiences as a member of the orchestra. He or she follows direction of the musical director and conductor.
The orchestrator works with the composer to bring the score to life and plans for the specific musical needs of a production. He or she determines how many musicians will play how many instruments, what those instruments will be, and what notes each of the instruments will play.
The press agent represents a show to the media, including the coordination of publicity interviews, press releases, media and press nights, and social media outreach.
In the nascent stages of a production, the producer helps raise the necessary funds and fosters the creative team needed to bring a show to the stage.
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The projection designer creates all projections shown on stage, including still photos and filmed footage. He or she works with other scenic design elements to create the setting for a production's story to unfold.
The scenic designer creates the set design for a production, including backdrops, set pieces, and, in some cases, props.
Designs the audio experience of a production by creating the sound design, including sound playback, sound effects, music, and amplification. He or she directs the sound crew, who implements the vision for each live performance.
The sound mixer develops or sources music and sound effects according to the sound designer's specifications. The sound crew sets up the sound system for a production and runs it during the course of each performance. The sound mixer takes all of the sounds in a show—actors' voices, environmental noise, sound effects, the orchestra—and balances them to create a rich and exciting sound for the audience to experience.
The sound operator executes all sound during a show, including playback of music, special effects, and pre-recorded sound cues. He or she works closely with the sound designer and mixer.
The stage manager works on a production from the start of rehearsals through the last performance and coordinates rehearsals to keep things on track for the creative team. He or she "calls" the show—including lighting, sound, and deck cues—and maintains communication for all facets of the production during performances.
The technical director oversees all technical aspects of a production. He or she leads lighting, sound, and backstage crew.
The Ticket Sellers of Broadway provide theatergoers with expert and personalized customer service during ticket purchasing transactions; they play an integral role in the millions of Broadway tickets sold annually.
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The usher works in the front of the house to provide customer service for audience members, taking their tickets and escorting them to their seats in the theater.
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The vocal arranger works with the actors to bring a story's music to life. She or he builds the drama and story of a production through harmony and arrangement of the music.
During performances Wardrobe Workers dress performers, make fast changes, and keep track of costumes and accessories. Before the show they attend to beading, pressing, repairing, and anything else required to ensure that all finishing touches are in place before the curtain goes up. Thus, the costumes look just as beautiful years into a show’s run as they do on opening night.
The writer writes the play or, in the case of a musical, the book, that provides a blueprint for the actors and creative team to work from as they develop a show.