In theatre the Managing Director works alongside the Artistic Director to plan the budget and mission of the company. The theatrical managing director, unlike a managing director of a corporation, is responsible for financial records, unless the company is lucky enough to have an accountant.

Most theatres are understaffed, so people do more than one job. Often. the managing director and artistic director is one person. This can create a conflict of interests between the creative and practical sides of the theatre. Generally, artistic directors want to spend more money on risky projects so that they can create innovative theatre, and fulfill the artistic mission of the theatre. The managing director, on the other hand, generally says, “that would be nice … but…” then he makes a case for doing a less experimental show, or shows with smaller budgets. When these positions are folded in to one—the artistic/managing director is hard pressed to find balance between her two responsibilities.

A good managing director learns to say “Maybe we could do that if…” He is always looking for a way to give the artistic staff the resources they need without ever putting them (and herself) in danger of being without a job.