Theatre faces to look out for in 2021

A message ahead of the new year

The London Palladium with an audience on stage
The London Palladium with an audience on stage
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Every year we do what we describe as a "theatre faces to watch" feature – a round-up of some of the most exciting new creatives making waves across the performing arts world. These have included writers, directors, sound designers, performers, designers, composers and more. If we do say so ourselves, we have a bit of a track record with some great picks – those listed have often gone on to achieve exciting things.

This year though, it's different. Our arts world has taken a bit of a bruising and though the Cultural Recovery Fund certainly did prop up venues and keep lights on (even when they had to be flicked off and back on with the fluctuating tier guidance), our freelance cohort, in particular, has been deprived of assistance and left to make do where possible.

So the essential point of this article is: if you want to look out for anyone in 2021 – look out for each other. No matter what role you're in – you're all valued and treasured and each of you can make a world of difference as we pick ourselves up and have another go for the new year.

We've grouped an extensive (but by no means exhaustive) list of these roles below – it's incredible to see just how wide-reaching our community can be – and the supply chain extends to tech providers, catering staff, hotel operators, events managers, drama teachers and many many more. We have thousands of rich, bold, dedicated and vibrant individuals in the arts – and each of them needs care and attention in 2021.

Also worth noting – some individuals wear about ten of these hats all at the same time!

Front of House Team

General Manager – Box Office Manager – Deputy Box Office Manager – Box Office Clerk – Customer Experience Manager – Deputy Customer Experience Manager – Senior Assistants – Front of House Manager – Front of House team members – Ushers – Access Officer

Publicists / Marketeers / Press

Head of Marketing – Press and Publicity Staff – Campaign Manager – Marketing Account Manager – Marketing Coordinator – Social Media Manager – Writers – Copywriters – Journalists – Photographers – Visual Designers – Graphic Designers – Videographers – Video Editors


Catering team – Serving Staff – Suppliers – Chefs

Education / Coaching

Drama teachers – Dialect Coaches – Ballet Teachers – Dance Teachers – English Teachers – Vocal coaches – Workshop Leaders – Participation and Engagement


Musical director – Musicians – Orchestrators – Orchestral Manager

Technical providers

Tech suppliers – Riggers – Projection Mappers – Camera Providers

Casting / Representation

Casting Director – Casting Assistant – Agent – Agent's Assistant


Access Officer – Audio Describer – BSL Interpreter

Administrative team

Chief Financial Officer – Head of Sales – Sales Assistant – Sales and Ticketing Director – Licensing Manager – Licensing Assistant – Accounts Manager – Accounts Assistant – Administrative Assistant – Legal Affairs – Office and IT Manager – Assistant Office and IT Manager – Office Management Assistant – Archivist – Assistant Archivist – Data Archivist – Foundation Appeals Director – Foundation Administrator – Outreach and Education Manager – Theatre Fundraiser – Chief Executive – Executive Director – HR Manager


Artistic Director – Director – Associate Director – Assistant Director – Theatre Fight Director – Festival Director – Movement Director – Intimacy Director –


Producer – Executive Producer – Associate Producer – Production Manager – Production Administrator


Choreographer – Associate Choreographer – Dance Captain

Writers / Composers / Text

Playwright – Composer – Orchestrator – Writers in the room – Dramaturg – Script Supervisor – Literary Manager – Librarian – Musical Librarian

Design team

Set Designer – Associate Set Designer – Costume Maker – Costume Designer – Costume Supervisor – Dresser – Pattern Cutter – Associate Costume Designer – Lighting Designer – Associate Lighting Designer – Sound Designer – Associate Sound Designer – Hair and Wig Designer – Head of Wardrobe – Deputy Head of Wardrobe – Wardrobe Assistants – Head of Wigs – Deputy Head of Wigs – Wigs Assistant – Prop Maker – Puppet Designer & Maker – Theatre Armourer – Make-up Artist – Video Designer

Company managers / ASMs / DSMs

Company Stage Manager – Stage Manager – Deputy Stage Manager – Assistant Stage Manager – Stage Door team

Venue Tech staff

Head of Sound – Deputy Head of Sound – Sound Technician – Lighting Technician – Head of Lighting – Deputy Head of Lighting – Master Carpenter – Deputy Master Carpenter – Chargehand Carpenter – Chief Electrician – Deputy Chief Electrician – Stage Crew – Scenic Automation Operator – Flyperson


Performer – Circus Performer – Voice-over Artist – Musician – Actor Musician – Cabaret Artist – Swings – Understudies – Video Operators