CALL FOR ESSAYS AND INTERVIEWS - Routledge Guide to Alternative Careers in the Performing Arts

deadline for submissions: 
September 12, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Jason Dorwart, PhD, Oberlin College

NEW DEADLINE This CFP was first sent last year but the book was delayed and is now under contract for 2021 publication.

This is a call for essays and interviews for a book titled “Alternative Careers for the Performing Arts,” a new book in Routledge's "PERFORM: Succeeding as a Creative Professional" series, which will explore possibilities for making use of a theatre education.

Contributors to this book will share their perspectives on professions and theatrical work available to individuals educated in theatre, closely examining career paths that fall outside of the traditional acting, directing, designing, and stage-managing paths. We are particularly interested in inclusion & diversity and the book will have an international perspective.

The book will have ~30 contributors, approximately half essays and half interviews. Essays and interviews will be ~3,000 words. The book will have five chapters with the following titles: "Getting Started"; "Sticking It Out"; "Finding Success"; "Getting Ahead"; and "Starting Again." First-person narratives, magazine style articles, informational lectures, research summaries, and interviews with high-profile industry professionals are welcome as long as the primary context of the submission fits within one of the five chapter titles listed above.

Please visit the book's website at

Appropriate contributors and interviewees for the book could include:

  • Ushers, stagedoorpersons
  • Adaptive Arts Teachers
  • Accessibility Coordinators
  • Arts Administrators
  • Arts camp leaders
  • Arts Journalists
  • Box Office Managers
  • Business Managers
  • Company Managers
  • Casting Directors
  • Development Directors
  • Directors of Audience Services
  • Directors of Community Engagement
  • Directors of Education
  • Drama Therapists
  • Dramaturgs
  • Event Coordinators
  • Group Sales Managers
  • Grants Specialists
  • Haunted House workers
  • House Managers
  • Literary Agents
  • Literary Managers
  • Press Agents
  • Prison Theatre Program facilitators
  • Publications Coordinators
  • Publicists
  • Religious Arts Instructors
  • School Program Outreach Coordinators
  • Talent Agents
  • Talent Managers
  • Theatre for social change/Applied Drama
  • Theatre Historians
  • Volunteer Coordinators

This series serves as supplemental text for undergraduate and graduate students that professors across disciplines in the arts can use to accompany their primary textbooks. The books have a conversational tone and serve as career development to help students understand how to navigate the industry and vocational possibilities in theatre. Specifically, this series addresses business as opposed to craft and offers insights into the day-to-day realities of theatrical professions as well as long-term planning strategies to build and sustain a career.

The first three books in the series were:

• Directing for the Screen

• Writing for the Screen

• Acting for the Stage


Researchers, practitioners, scholars, and theatre professionals covering theatre are invited to submit a 250-word proposal and brief bio on or before Sept. 12, 2020. Proposals should indicate "essay" or "interview" and should explain what the piece will cover (five to ten main points), the name and profession of the interviewee, if relevant (and any connection to that individual), why the contributor is suited to write and/or interview about this topic, and any unique experience and input the contributor or interviewee can offer readers about the subject. 

The chapters will be organized around various stages in a career from starting out to finding success and starting again. Each chapter will include interviews or essays from four different categories of career paths. The following list is potentially the essays and interviews we will include--please let us know if you would like to take one of these topics, or feel free to propose your own.

Research & Writing (R&W)

Talent Management (TM)

Administration (A)

Education and Applied Theatre (E&AT)


Chapter 1: Getting Started

-- Essay by university career counselor about internships and connections (A)

-- Interview with Director of audience services at major theatre (A)

-- Essay about career planning for theatre (E&AT)

-- Interview with coordinator at major arts camp about getting hired as a theater camp counselor (E&AT)

-- Interview with Broadway publicist (TM)

-- Essay about preparing for a career in dramaturgy (R&W)



Chapter 2: Sticking It Out

-- Interview with a graduate of a JD/MFA joint degree program about why they decided to do such a program (A)

-- Essay by theatre camp counselor/early career theatre teacher about finding freelance and part-time teaching jobs (E&AT)

-- Interview with religious arts instructor at a church or Jewish Community Center (E&AT)

-- Interview with intern or early career associate at major talent agent (TM)

-- Essay by early career dramaturg about balancing side gigs with trying to build a resume (R&W)


Chapter 3: Finding Success

-- Essay by grant writer at a major regional theatre (A)

-- Interview with executive at haunted house production company (A)

-- Essay by theatre history/dramatic literature professor at a university theatre department (E&AT)

-- Interview with acquisitions editor at a major play publisher such as Samuel French or Dramatic Publishing (TM)

-- Interview with Jamie Gahlon, Director & Co-Founder, HowlRound Theatre Commons about (R&W)


Chapter 4: Getting Ahead

-- Interview with a Broadway producer (A)

-- Interview with a full-time adaptive arts teacher about what skills they use at their job (E&AT)

-- Essay by senior agent Broadway talent agency (TM)

-- Interview with executive at advertising agency specializing in theatrical promotion (TM)


Chapter 5: Starting Again

--interview with NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) administrator (A)

-- Essay about prison arts programs and discovering new ways to use theatre (E&AT)

-- Essay with a drama therapist who moved from theatre to therapy (E&AT)