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November 8, 2023 46 mins

As the team at Roundabout Theatre Company considered the significant barriers to entry for potential technical theatre workers, they realized something was “off”. So, they created the Theatrical Workforce Development Program (TWDP) -  a partnership between Roundabout Theatre Company and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE.) TWDP offers participants hands-on, work-based training in four technical disciplines and connects them directly to employment opportunities in theatres across the city. 


In this episode, A.R.T./New York Theatre Operations Manager Sarah Lahue talks to the program leaders about how TWDP helps participants with everything from learning about self care on the job to avoiding student loan debt. Tune in to learn all about how this innovative program is helping to develop the next generation of theatrical workers.

“There's so many jobs out there where you can't get the job unless you've had the job. Technical theater is no different. It's about trust. It's about safety and making sure you're going to be able to do it when you show up." - Mitch Mattson


Episode Transcript 

For more information about A.R.T./New York and to learn more about the hosts and guest interviewer in this episod, please visitWebsite Link 



Njeri Baker is a dedicated Arts Administrator with more than 7 years of theater experience across production, company management, and theater administration. She graduated from Howard University and New York University with a BFA in Theater Technology & an MA in Performing Arts Administration, respectively. Currently, she's an Education Manager at Roundabout Theatre Company, managing their Theatrical Workforce Development Program. A program training young people in backstage theater work to diversify the technical theater industry.


Mitch Mattson is the Director of Career Training and Operations at Roundabout Theatre Company – NYC’s largest not-for-profit theatre company. He leads a team of arts administrators and teaching artists fostering the next generation of dynamic theatre professionals through career and workforce development programs. His work has created partnerships with over 5 professional theatres and shops across NYC – enabling Roundabout’s Theatrical Workforce Development Program to provide training and jobs to early career technicians. He facilitates workshops and presents on theatre education topics nationally and internationally. Mitch is the recent Board Chair of the American Alliance for Theatre & Education and an alum of Coro: Leadership New York, LNY31. Previous work of his at Arena Stage in Washington, DC was sponsored by the US State Department, taking him to India to create theater with young people.


Additional Links:

Roundabout’s Theatrical Workforce Development Program IATSE, The Union Behind Entertainment


For more information about A.R.T./New York, please visit


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To donate to A.R.T./New York, please visit:


“What’s Off?” Production Staff Erica Wray Barnes, Executive Producer David E. Shane, Associate Producer Nicky Maggio, Line Producer Dante32, Audio Engineer

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