Careers at FDA

Fisher Dachs Associates is a relatively small firm and positions open up infrequently. When they do we place notices on industry web sites and listings that we hope are followed by those with the skills we seek. But we also reach out to theater and architecture programs at colleges and universities and put the word out generally in the field. Sometimes we hire search firms. We are committed to continuing to build a diverse staff of designers, consultants, and administrative personnel. We continue to work on finding better ways to attract LGBQT as well as Black, Indigenous, and other people of color into the field.

FDA’s staff come from a variety of backgrounds; set and lighting designers, production managers, stage managers, architects, digital media, marketing, and accounting. They apply their expertise to all the Theater Consulting sub-specialties (facility planning and layout, stage and auditorium design, theatrical lighting and power, rigging and stage machinery).

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Careers in Theater Consulting

Theatre Consulting is often a second career for most people. After spending some years working in theatre production, stage technology development or sales, or as an architect people decide to move into the consulting world. But there have been many notable examples of people who came to the profession straight out of a university program, including our own principals Robert Campbell, Joshua Dachs, Joe Mobilia and Peter Rosenbaum, all of whom started at the firm as draftspersons.

Recent graduates are most likely to be considered for entry level designer positions, and skills in basic professional software (Revit) are necessary (Rhino, Grasshopper, Unity, and Unreal Engine experience are a plus). We expect people to learn a lot on the job. We try to fill our Project Manager and technical designer positions from candidates with prior work experience in theater technology, theater design, or architecture.

Careers in Related Fields

People with an interest in theater spaces that are currently still in Architecture or Engineering degree programs are encouraged to consider reaching out to FDA or other theater consulting firms to see if they are currently hiring. But there are several Architecture and Engineering firms in North America that have extensive experience with performing arts projects that may be able to offer positions where you could work on our fascinating building type while gaining valuable experience and perhaps getting licensed.  Our Planning and Design department is comprised of women who came to us from positions at architecture firms.

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Diversity

Theater consulting as a field, while changing, is still predominantly White and male. In order to find a more diverse field of qualified candidates to join our field we need to encourage more diversity in the feeder professions and to work harder to attract women and BIPOC practitioners from those fields to come into our own.

Our business development lead Alexa Antopol, with Associate Cathy Bachman and Consultant Laura Wagner have teamed up with theatre consultants from firms and offices across the country to found WITC – Womxn in Theatre Consulting. Their mission is to promote, support, empower, and advocate for women, those who identify as female, and non-binary individuals, and engage their allies, in the theatre consulting field. WITC is committed to embracing intersectional feminism, a theoretical framework that posits that multiple social categories (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, socioeconomic status) intersect at the micro level of individual experience to reflect multiple interlocking systems of privilege and oppression at the macro, social-structural level (e.g., racism, sexism, homophobia). They have FDA’s full support and encouragement in this endeavor.

Peter Rosenbaum, in his capacity as the President of the American Society of Theatre Consultants created the organization’s first field-wide initiatives to develop and implement plans to redress this imbalance, including:

  • Educate the public about the theatre consulting profession, with a specific focus on diverse young professionals and students.
  • Develop a new performing arts high-school mentorship program focused on diversity and inclusion.
  • Build strategies for the recruitment of women, black, indigenous, and people of color to our industry.
  • Create accountability for the implementation of our diversity and inclusivity goals.
  • FDA is committed to supporting these efforts through ASTC and on its own, and to creating and maintaining an environment that is diverse, inclusive, and free
  • of discrimination. We value people with diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and experience. We recognize the power of difference, and we welcome the opportunity to build on the strengths of our rich and varied community of committed individuals.

FDA also supports organizations which provide support for Indigenous rights, cultural equity, and artists, technicians and designers of color including:

The Cody Renard Richard Scholarship Program strives to encourage more Black, Asian, Latinx, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) individuals to pursue degrees in the theatrical management and artistic fields, such as Stage Management, Technical Theatre, Theatre Design, Playwriting, Directing or Theatre Management.

The Broadway Advocacy Coalition builds the capacity of individuals, organizations, and communities to dismantle the systems that perpetuate racism through the power of storytelling and the leadership of people directly affected.

The mission of the Black Opera Alliance is to empower Black classical artists and administrators by exposing systems of racial inequity and under-representation of the African diaspora in all facets of the industry and challenging institutions to implement drastic reform.

Arts Administrators of Color Network has set up the Arts Leaders of Color Emergency Fund  in support of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) artists AND administrators (consultants, facilitators, box office staff, seasonal/temporary employees, etc.) who have been financially impacted due to COVID-19. Creatives practicing and teaching their art as well as the administrators who are supporting that art will without a doubt need our financial support to weather this unexpected and uncertain storm.

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