What can I say? When you audition for Sight & Sound, you should know off the bat that it's one of, if not THE biggest Christian theatre in the country. I believe it also has bragging rights to the biggest theatrical stage in the country (300 foot wrap around, it's bigger than the Met!)
If you don't know any of this going in, you will, and very quickly. A part of the audition process is a Spiritual interview. I can't say how much this is taken into affect when casting, but it's relavent enough to be apart of their process in the first place. Anyways, I'll cut to the chase:
CONS: Constant prayer (before every show), NOT being allowed to bow (all glory is to God), NOT being able to be out of the closet (you heard me), the Human Resources team are NOT aware of what actual theatre business is (this leads to creative problems with both production and cast), you have to house yourself (you make enough to where this isnt a problem, but still) AND a highly superficial work environment for many of the aforementioned things.
PROS: AMAZING pay for Non-Eq (between $700-$1000 a WEEK), the production values are AMAZING (SERIOUSLY, we're talking Broadway caliber), LONG contracts (7-11 months), extensive work with live animals, as well as a great deal of work on enormous set pieces and the potential to do some wire/cable flying, depending on the show.
Over all, a pretty decent place to work, IF you're Christian. Otherwise, stay away. It might be too much to take in.
Thank you, this is extremely helpful.
Friends, don't work for a place that actively discriminates against your LGBT brothers and sisters. It's wrong - and I don't care what the production values are like. Stand on the right side of history. Don't work here.
If you take a contract here I can confidently say you are a terrible person.
Even as a Christian, much of this sounds disheartening. Although you say constant prayer like it's a bad thing... I've been in shows in which the majority of the cast weren't religious and they had no problem participating in prayer, like you said, for any Christian theatre, that's expected. But the now bowing...I get their mindset behind this, but even I find a tad on the extreme side, you can still have your curtain call and still give glory to God for it.
And as for the discrimination deal...yeah wrongo! But how do they find out in the first place, they can't outright ask you about your orientation legally so....huh?? Still don't condone discrimination obviously, just wondering how they go about that.
These shows are in PA and MO, both states in which it is still legal for a non-state employee to fire a worker for being LGBT.
I have worked for the theatre on and off since 2008 at both locations ( Branson & Pa) This theatre has made me a better person professionally and personally.
To perform in Premiere and original productions with opportunities for voice over work, commercials and promotions have helped me get jobs when I have not worked for them.
I met my Husband and my best friends who were my bridesmaids at the theatre. From employee to patron you are apart of their family.The family atmosphere is important.To work with over 250 employees ( PA Location) and know at any minute you may need help someone is going to be that for you.
Working for the company was one of the best contracts I have accepted. they are very supportive and care about everyone. As an actor I felt completely safe onstage and never worried about competition off stage.
All we do is for the glory of the Lord. This is made known to everyone who applys and or auditions. It is also mentioned in the spiritual interview which is a time for you to share your testimony on how God has impacted your life. Its for them to listen to you and get to know you on more than a superficial level. they want to know what makes you, you!
We pray before every show which is extremely important due to over 50 actors running on and off stage, over 60 live animals onstage and off, 40ft high set pieces, over 25plus deck,lighting & dresser crews,dim lighting backstage, up to over 6,000 patrons coming in and out of the theatre on a saturday along with the front of house staff and parking attendants- whew! :) thats alot
We pray for safety which has been a blessing in time of need, we also pray for the people seeing the show and the message each show holds, and we also pray for people we meet after the show who come up for prayer for sickness, financial troubles, marriages,hope, for people who just need to be hugged and sometimes to commit their life to the Lord.
Every show i have done being christian or secular theatre we pray. Prayer is as long as you need it to be. You can pray to yourself through out the day or before we head to "Places".........but its usually about 5 minutes.
No curtain calls. but we do a finale reprise. When you do 2 to 3 shows a day (up to 11 shows a week & maybe performing between 300-500 shows that year)) you find out pretty quickly that its not important. The focus is on the productions message and how every show you leave thousands of people in a standing ovation praising the Lord and sometimes worshipping at the top of their lungs. Its the best feeling you will ever have and its all for God and not you who had 3 lines and possibly a step out solo. even if its the best 3 lines you have ever delivered. their are no small actors lol.
Its everyone in the company that makes the theatre there what it is not just the actors. So ( speaking as an actor) if the actors bow i say the over 500 employees at both locations deserve a bow-Now thats alot of people to bow before the next show :)
Theres a message from their show JOSEPH *& Its cool to realize that "its not about us being great but serving the greater ONE!" I realized that i was just a small part of Sight & Sounds ministry.
Its the best Job I have ever had. A job with extreme amount of talent. some actors have gone onto broadway & some leaving amazing gigs to work there
S&S is a job with people who work hard ( and i worked for the barn theatre so i know hard work lol) ,and a job that has a large amount of grace and love for each other.
everyone comes from different walks of life. everyone has a testimony.
if you get the chance to work for this theatre it will be the best decision of your life!
Any insight re: the treatment of the animals?? Where do they live, who cares for them, what they are trained to do and how the trainers are with them, etc?
how do you reconcile the undeniable fact that if you accept a contract here you are actively participating in the alienation of your LGBT brothers and sisters? This is not open for debate, either. If a company can deny or fire on that condition, you are complicit in such discrimination if you participate.
(I mean, I know at least a dozen performers by name who just lied about their orientation / beliefs to get the money anyway...but that's not the point I'm presently making.)
My personal opinion, independent of the irrefutable facts above is that no actor should EVER work for a company with such a robust and active policy of exclusion who claims to be Christian. It's disgusting and shameful.
There is no program book with with cast/creative photos/bios. Again, because all glory is given to God.
The lighting/tech aspect of the show is 100% better than any Broadway/West End show I have ever seen.
I've had the pleasure of working at both MO and PA locations as well. If you think for even a second that hatred abounds within this theatre, you are so wrong. There could not be more LOVE. We're all human and flawed in so many ways and not a single person there is too stuck on themselves to admit that.
I've worked in both secular and Christian theatre and beliefs aside, this is by far the best gig I've ever had. You are a person for once. Not cattle with a number. You are valuable. You're a wife, husband, mother, father, daughter, son, sister, brother, friend, etc. first above an employee. I highly recommend you take a contract here if offered. You will not be treated poorly.
Unless you're LGBT and fired. #justsaying
I'm sure that the love itself there is abundant, I'm sure they treat everyone in the community itself with grace and respect...but grace is also about inclusion, NOT exclusion from that same community.
They have their right to their belief and stance, like we all do, but to exclude for these same reasons is by every conviction in my soul...wrong. And I'm a Christian also. To exclude is the opposite of what "Christian" is, even the church I attend believes this, they will absolutely welcome you into the church in love regardless of any sin. Because by this logic that S and S has, they may as well not hire/fire you for getting a divorce, having and affair, etc. We ALL sin, none are worse than the other in God's eyes. They are welcome their stance, but to discriminate because of those stances...I cannot agree with.
^ALL of this.
Having attended a particular Christmas production during this Holiday season, have to state that this is one of the greatest messages I've ever heard from a production and knowing that each and everyone in the cast as well as the employees are professed Christians, at least for me reassures that everything in their acting is glorifying our Lord! I'm not desparaging or discounting the frustrations of those that discussed their issues wrt LGBT issues as it applies to participating with this company, but I would state to those individuals, that if you disagree with this company's hiring practices based on Christian beliefs, then I would suggest looking for another opportunity (for which there are many)to exercise your God given talents. Seriously, just respect that these believers are truly glorifying God with no spriritual compromise in their message as would not be the case otherwise. God Bless!!
What was the housing situation like? Do they help you find affordable housing?
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