Theatre Arts - Technical

What to expect from a career in Theatre Production

When we think of a night at the theatre, we typically think of the performers who bring the show to life. What we might not think of is the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes to ensure that stage productions go off without a hitch. Technical theatre programs at Ontario colleges help train students on all the aspects of backstage work, preparing them for a number of careers in the theatre industry.

If your interests are behind-the-scenes in the world of theatre, rather than centre stage, here’s what you need to know.

Technical Theatre Courses

Technical theatre programs are intensive, covering an extensive range of skills and theory. Just a few of the areas these programs focus on include:

  • Set Crafting. This includes crafting props, scenery, costumes and more. You’ll also learn how to manage these items during a live performance.
  • Lighting, Sound and Rigging. You’ll learn to use the various pieces of equipment associated with these tasks, and also learn techniques on how to integrate them into a live performance.
  • Special Effects. Learn to seamlessly integrate and control life-like effects into a stage production.

Most technical theatre programs also emphasize career planning in the curriculum, preparing students for work with an established company or as a freelance theatre production specialist.

General Technical Theatre Program Requirements

Ontario college technical theatre programs require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, which includes a grade 12 English credit. Experience working backstage in theatre productions is seen as an asset.

Technical Theatre Jobs and Salaries

With all the skills learned in technical theatre programs, students have the option to pursue a number of career fields, from costume and prop production to lighting and sound technician. Salaries will vary and will be dependent on whether you work independently or as part of a theatre company.

Starting salaries for jobs in technical theatre are typically around $28,000 per year, depending on position and experience. Salaries may rise to up to $60,000 or more per year with expertise and experience.

Ontario Colleges Offering Technical Theatre Programs

Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of technical theatre programs at Ontario colleges.

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