How technical culture’s hierarchies both strengthen and weaken the theatre

The sharply defined hierarchies of theatre life mean that those who work in technical fields have a rigorously policed identity, which builds camaraderie at the expense of rejecting outsiders.

Live performance relies on people. The people who watch it, the people who make it. But some of these makers seem to matter more than others. The spotlight’s circle of attention or the program’s credits tells all watchers, on both sides of the curtain, who we should pay attention to and who we shouldn’t.

This is difficult, maybe even dangerous, for those unseen and unacknowledged.

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Madeline Taylor
About the Author
Madeline Taylor has been a theatre costumer for her entire adult life, starting as a wide eyed 17-year-old costume trainee at Queensland Theatre (a program she would love to see spread across the industry). She is currently completing a PhD at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne examining collaboration in costume realisation and also teaches at Queensland University of Technology.