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How to Make a Technical Theater Resume

by Ellie Williams, studioD

As a technical theater professional, you want to convey to prospective employers both your technical knowledge and your extensive hands-on experience. On your resume, emphasize your previous production credits, the unique skills you can offer and with whom you’ve worked in the industry. Limit the document to one page, arranging the information so theater directors can see at a glance where you’ve worked and what you’ve done.

Customize It

Some technical theater professionals specialize in several aspects of production, especially when they work for smaller community theaters or student productions. Perhaps you co-designed the set and served as stage manager at your last project. Your resume should focus only on the position for which you’re applying, so if you have multiple specialties, create a resume for each one. When seeking a technical position, for example, emphasize your expertise in sound. You don’t need to list every position you’ve ever held, though you can briefly mention other experience in a “related skills” section.

List Specific Skills

Highlight your technical knowledge by including a skills or qualifications summary near or at the top of your resume. For example, note that you have extensive experience designing sets or working with lighting and audio equipment. Offer as much detail as you can about these talents, mentioning the specific type of lighting console you’ve used or experience with certain power tools commonly used in set construction. Only claim expert status in an area if you have extensive experience and can back up your assertion. An employer’s definition of expert might differ significantly from yours, so consider saying you’re familiar with or experienced in the area instead.

Describe Previous Projects

When listing your prior production experience, technical theater expert Steve Shelley recommends arranging the information in columns for easier reading. List the name of the show; the name of the venue, theater company or organization; the city and state; and the year. Also, include the name of your direct supervisor. In the theater, whom you know and how well you work with others carry as much weight as your technical skills. It’s important, then, to provide names of anyone who can speak to your character and talent. If you had a poor relationship with your supervisor, list someone else from the production or omit the project from your resume.

Other Information

Include relevant degrees or training, listing the name of the degree or course, the school or organization and the date. If you’re still in school, list your expected graduation date. Also, note academic awards and memberships such as honor societies for theater students or industry associations for technical theater professionals. In addition, mention awards for your technical theater work or any theater festivals you’ve worked or conferences in which you’ve attended or participated. Offer professional references only if the employer requests them. Only provide references that have supervised your work and can objectively evaluate your performance and skill.

About the Author

Ellie Williams has been a journalist since 2001. Her work has been recognized by her state's press association and by her local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Williams graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in mass communications and humanities, with minors in French and theater.

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