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Gig&Tell: Media Theatre for the Performing Arts

  • Run the other way 01/11/2013  11:07pm

    Unless you are brand new to the theater scene, chances are you have heard a horror story about the media theater. Their reputation is well deserved. The sad thing is that they are aware of their reputation but have no desire to change. Run. Away.

    I was very dissapointed with my experience at this theatre. Sadly, I was warned beforehand by fellow actors based near the area, and I didn't proceed with caution, like I should have. I have never worked in a sexist environment before, and this experience was certainly an eye opener. I just assumed since everyone was so liberal, that they would be open minded, but I was way wrong! The disrespect towards women is through te roof. The drama, gossip, bickering, yelling, screaming, drinking, drugs, backstabbing, and abusing is out of control. If you are a man, then you will atleast be respected as an actor.But if your a woman, only speak when spoken to, keep your head down, and be a robot. But, sadly, this advice was given to me after the fact. It is a beautiful town and a lovely building, but on the inside it is rotten to the core. To anyone who may work here in the future, keep your mouth shut and your eyes on the floor, and you will atleast get a paycheck out of it.

    01/25/2013  11:44am

    I worked at Media last season and had a decent experience. But I also went in with a lot of knowledge and knew that I, a non equity female, would be treated as invisible. But it was an exciting show to be a part of so I got a lot out of it. I'd say, if it's the right show and right role (and they offer you enough to survive), take it! Just go in knowing as much as you can and STAY POSITIVE. You can only get out what you put in!

    10/03/2013  7:54pm


    Completely and utterly shocked to read these horrible reviews about Media Theatre.

    I actually worked at Media Theatre quite a few years back and, quite honestly, had a wonderful experience. Yes, their production values might be a little lower than other better funded theatres, but all in all, I thought it was pretty good. At the end of my time there, I had nothing bad to say about my experience. Perhaps, because it was a few years back, things are different now, perhaps different people. Who knows... But, nonetheless, for what it's worth, I thought my time at Media Theatre was great. Sad to read about the negative experiences there.

    01/31/2014  12:55am

    This place is TRULY A NIGHTMARE!!!! The production team is the worst in the business! How do you make some people pay for housing and not others? And you are living in the same house? One of the worst experiences of my life!

    04/29/2014  8:16am

    This needs to reported by equity and the theater needs to be taken over by new management. Until then do not work here.

    10/12/2015  2:39pm

    I was a painter here many years ago before the magic of the Internet. What everyone says about this place is completely true. They do not care about you, your craft, where you went to school, or where you've worked before. They care about two things, themselves, and money. If you're an actor and you're remotely famous they will love you. If you give them money they will really love you. If you kiss up they might love you. Yes people have complained equity I don't think anything has ever been done. They treat their actors like crap. And they treat the tech staff worse. If you have any sense at all don't ever work here and if you do don't even think about saying anything to the company manager that you don't want them to hear. Jesse Cline is the worst, most indecisive prissy pants, director on the planet. I would rather stab myself in the eye with my own paintbrush than ever work at this place again. It sucks. The pay sucks. The shows suck. The housing sucks and they are completely unprofessional. They are the absolute worst in my experience.

    12/16/2015  10:47pm

    I am so sorry to hear that you have had a bad experience at Media. I truly enjoyed my time there. The audiences and the volunteers are incredible. The work they do with young performers is great. I have always looked to have a positive experience wherever I have worked in theatre. They are all different and most theaters struggle. I am glad that there is a forum like this for all to communicate but I would hope that each actor would find out for themselves and come from their own experience.Here's wishing you all continued success and happiness.

    08/03/2016  4:31pm
  • NO NO NO 11/13/2012  3:02pm

    Unless you are desperate for money, no actually even then, don't work here! They are an Equity theater, but they are certainly not run like one. You will love your cast and that, along with your love for the craft is the only reason you'll get through a show here. The production team is awful, i repeat, AWFUL! They are power hungry and have serious pride issues. They don't care about actors unless they are famous or are large donors. I was warned by several actors before I worked here. They all had similar experiences, but I thought ya know I want to give it a try and gather my own opinion. Although I think it's great to give people a chance and get your own opinion of things in life rather than listening to others, trust me enough people have been treated poorly there. They do not deserve talented and kind actors. Which is probably why most people that work for them, do not return. I have worked at numerous theaters both equity and non-equity all of which I have loved! Hell, I've even worked at community theaters that treat you better than this place. If you're an equity actor working here, at least you're making a decent amount of money and perhaps you can use that as a reason for being disrespected, but for non-equity it's not worth it. You get paid pennies to work your butt off and not be appreciated. We had people quit and others fired during our run. It was crazy. Our costumes were always wrinkled and rarely cleaned or fixed when needed. Wigs were not kept up AT ALL, even when asked. Good thing most of us knew how to work with them and just took it up on our own. That's the sort of thing that happens here. They don't do their job and the actors pick up the slack and make the theater look good and in the end, not only are they never thanked, but they are actually yelled at for no reason and highly disrespected. The company manager of the company was in our show. He was mad at one of the girls in our show because she said she felt disrespected that the theater did not even ask about the state of the actors homes or whereabouts before they called a show the day after hurricane Sandy, while a flood warning was still in effect mind you. Almost everyone in the cast sent similar emails, but since hers was first, he targeted her of course. Since he was mad at her for ya know being concerned with her safety he decided to take it out on her not only by screaming at her and threatening her, but also took it out on her in a show. They were dance partners for one number and when they went on stage he did not do any of the assigned choreography. She continued to do what she had been directed to do, but he just stood there doing his own thing because he was mad and decided to throw a hissy fit. THIS IS THE COMPANY MANAGER!! Then when the lights went down she said, "That was very professional" and he said,"Well, you're a bitch". This is one of the FEW examples of how awful they were to their actors during this run. This man was not fined or fired, no, they gave into his tantrum and made them switch partners. I'm telling you, the people who run this theater are not nice, for lack of better words. Just seriously mean people who are only concerned with themselves and money. Our assistant stage manager was actually told that he was not allowed to be friends with the actors ha. So it seems to me they actually strive for a divide between the two, instead of having the whole company work together. After many members of the cast voiced their concerns about the show called after hurricane Sandy, concerns such as not feeling comfortable driving in a flood warning, or not being able to make it because the septa regional rail has been shut down, or not being able to make it because people were literally not allowed in or out of Delaware, some weren't even able to respond because they didn't have power, or they were tending to their destroyed homes in Jersey or New York. . .you get the point. . .so after people voiced these concerns, many passive aggressive emails were sent out by Roger Ricker, the company manager I have previously mentioned, one of which stated that the theater business is a small world, pretty much threatening our future careers- meanwhile most of us already had bookings directly after this contract to work for MUCH better theaters- sorry Rog :) . Feel free to get your own experience and opinion on this place, but don't say you haven't been warned. If you are desperate for money and it's a dream role go for it, but keep all of this in mind. . .and keep your opinions to yourself. Keep a low profile and you should be fine, but do something like oh, I don't know, make a short and simple speech thanking your director/choreographer for his work at the opening night party. If so, be ready to be pulled aside and yelled at by Roger Ricker because no one makes speeches at Jesse Cline's theater, but Jesse Cline. Yes, that happened. Best of luck in your endeavors. . .there are plenty of wonderful theaters out there, you probably don't need to work at awful places like this. All the best!

    Did anyone complain to Equity? I'm curious what their response would be.

    11/13/2012  6:27pm

    It seems clear that Equity needs to hear about this. Although, if it comes down to attitude and professionalism versus literal contractual obligations of the theater, Equity may not be able to improve anything.

    Although, considering what you mentioned, it seems hard to believe.

    12/03/2012  10:38pm

    Yup.... It's all true, I witnessed all of it. Literally, my worst nightmare. STAY AWAY!

    12/18/2012  8:11am

    To sum it all up:

    02/10/2013  11:01am

    These posts are so funny and so true. This place is a mess. The Philadelphia theater community is fantastic but the media theater is just... tragic.

    03/03/2013  11:32pm

    would just like to say thank you to all of you for posting this information! was going to trek out to Philly for their Joseph open call. now i can save my money. it doesn't seem worth it to me, especially as non-eq. :D

    09/16/2013  10:52am

    Oh wow. I also want to say thank you for these post. I was planning to head out to the Joseph call and yea I think I'll pass now.

    09/16/2013  6:34pm