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What We Do Working in the Theatre by Bo Metzler

What We Do Working in the Theatre

by Bo Metzler

258 pages
This book is a great resource and foundation for anyone contemplating a professional theatre career. It also helps explain your chosen theatre life to family and non-theatre friends. A must for every Intro-to-Theatre reading list.

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About the Book
Let me start by saying that the information and explanations in this book pertain, for the most part, to the theatre business as it exists in New York City—proudly and subjectively referred to as "The Theatre Capital of the World." This is where, arguably, the best professional theatre is presented. And this is where up-to-date theatre methodologies and technologies are developed and practiced to their full potential. This doesn’t mean, however, that theatre is different in other places. It is not. Generally speaking, theatre is theatre everywhere you go, anywhere in the world. There is a fundamental universal language of theatre and common universal procedures and applications. Some techniques may vary and some personnel may have different job descriptions or titles, but at the core, it is still the same theatre.

It should also be pointed out that a single book on theatre could never say everything there is to be said on the subject. There are already hundreds of books on bookstore shelves dealing with dozens of different aspects of theatre. Most of these books have a specific point-of-view and deal with specific areas of concentration. Many of these books tell you how to do things—like how to act or how to build scenery. This book is a little different. I am being specific only in the sense that I am dealing with the subject of theatre. My intention, however, is to approach the subject and discussion of theatre from a general point-of-view and deal with all the fundamental aspects of theatre in a universal way. I have written the book especially with the non-theatre person, or the theatre person-to-be, in mind. I believe, also, that even working theatre people will get something out of it.

What you will get here is an overview of the theatre, as a business, as an occupation, as a life style and even as a dream. We’ll explore where plays come from and how they get produced. Describe the kinds of people who work in the theatre, and a little of what they do. Find out how actors, directors, stage managers and others, look for work, keep their jobs and what they do when they are out of work. We’ll also look at the different types of theaters and theatre companies, and wherever possible, point out and explain the similar and contrasting features that make theatre anywhere the same—yet different. We’ll even outline a typical audition situation, take a look at an average rehearsal day and watch a load-in and a work call. In essence, a basic, fundamental, behind-the-scenes exploration of the who, what, where and maybe even why of theatre life in New York.

It may get a bit confusing at times. But once you get the hang of it, the world and the language of the theatre will become second nature to you. This book may not change theatre, but it will certainly help a lot more people understand it.

If you are a career theatre person then you are probably well aquatinted with nearly everything in this book, but maybe not. Read on, for you may discover a greater appreciation of theatre and of the variety of people who make it a career. If nothing else, you can give this book to a family member or a friend and once and for all let them know what you do.

If you are new to the business yet already possess a basic familiarity with the subject matter, consider this a preparatory or refresher course that will further enhance your present knowledge.

If you are a student of theatre, then I assume a certain interest or infatuation has brought you this far. Welcome. Let our adventure help to bring the theatre world into focus for you. It may help guide you on the right path in a theatrical career.

For any reader who is venturing into the world of the theatre for the first time, my warmest greetings! I am pleased that you are taking the time to discover and to understand our world. I hope your trip will be a memorable one. Whatever the reasons you have opened this book—WELCOME!


"What We Do... is my new Bible! This is the new essential book for everyone who is interested in show business, would like to be in show business, or who, like me, has been in show business all their lives. Seasoned professional or not, you'll learn new, valuable things about this industry.
- Brent Buell, Actor, Director, Producer
Bo Metzler's book WHAT WE DO gives clear and understandable explanations of what actually goes into putting on a Broadway show. Anyone who is interested in theater should read this book.
- Bob Adams, Broadway Production Prop Supervisor
Young people entering the profession will find Metzler's actual career path both grounding and inspiring. Even those with much experience will learn new things. What We Do fills a need. It’s an informative and entertaining read.
- Dave Williams, Theatre Design & Technology



About the Author
Bo Metzler has been involved in theatre and TV spanning 35+ years as a stagehand, stage manager & actor etc,. Broadway shows includes: La Cage aux Folles, 42nd Street, Jekyll & Hyde, Cats, Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, The Lion King and TV's Sesame Street, among others.



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