I think it's high time someone made a clear outline of the hierarchy and best roles to have in theatre. So I’ve taken that duty upon myself. In my most humble opinion these are the clear and indisputable rankings of theatrical roles. See where you fit in.
The director has the almighty vision!
They have this strange ability to read a script and then translate those words into a world. And then create it! They organise the actors, maintain a rehearsal schedule, liase with marketing, tech and front of house to make sure performances run at all. They manage everyone else the way an artist moves paints around a canvas.
Without directors, shows wouldn’t happen.
That’s why Directors are ranked Number One.
Marketing is such an important job because without it, no one would come to see the show! And it's more than just designing posters! It’s organising photography of the show, talking to media outlets, managing social media and talking the actors through how to self promote the show! They are great outsourcers and have to be a real people person, all while having great budgeting and organisational skills.
It’s obvious why these guys are Number One in the theatre world.
Have you ever been to an actorless performance? Of course you haven’t!
It couldn’t exist and even if it did I think we’d all be asking for our tickets to be refunded. Performers are the paints on a canvas. They move around the stage and make the world of the play come to life. They physically and emotionally adapt themselves to be a different person all for your entertainment. They have amazing memories and creative ability and you couldn’t do without them.
I think it’s clear why they are the Number One role.
The tech crew are so much more than turning the house lights up and down to find your seat. They are designers who enhance the theatrical world and experience.
These guys make a dark room turn into a bright sunny day or a mysterious forest through sound and lighting. They are also the masters of multitasking and improvisation. Not only do they follow along in the script checking for upcoming lighting cues, they are ready to change things around and jump on a different cue if lines are skipped or something goes wrong on stage.
These amazing people definitely deserve to be ranked the Number One role in theatre.
Front of House
Front of house are the true social butterflies of the theatre world.
They make sure everyone is comfortable and safe in the building, answering questions like: “Where’s the bathroom?”, “How long until the play starts?”, “Can we take our drinks into the theatre?” all while keeping a smile on their face. They balance the ticketing, crowd herding and often catering for a production.
Could there be a better choice for Number One? I think not.
You cannot have a production without an audience.
Whether they’re in the building or behind a screen, these are the people we do this for. Their laughter, tears and feedback all give us joy, and without them there's no point to the art of storytelling. And then these people spread the good word of our productions, retell our stories and bring their friends to future productions!
Honestly, the audience is indispensable, and a fan favorite for Number One.
Without the playwright, where would we even start? There would be no story to tell!
These people are so important that their legacy reaches us from beyond the grave! They are gods of their own worlds and have given birth to so many beautiful characters for the actors to inhabit. Without them, where would the rest of us even start? And the beauty of it is that anyone who is a storyteller can be a playwright - all they need is a pen and paper.
They are the obvious choice for Number One.
(If you haven’t realised by now, this is obviously a piece of bait. No one role is better than another in theatre.
I’ve been in far to many productions where one person thinks they are number 1 and the production, without fail, turns to... well, bad things. The point of theatre is to work together, to create a safe place of enjoyment and entertainment for all.)