9 Essential Comfort Items for the Theatre Professional

Written by Ashleigh Gardner

December 20, 2018

It’s a hard fact that sometimes, when we’re busy, we really fail to take care of ourselves – both physically and mentally. Just like actors, theatre technicians, theatre staff, directors, and designers are in need of some creature comforts, too! Take a look at these comfort items every theatre professional should have that’ll help you feel comfortable and cozy during work and play.

1. Insulated double-walled tea/coffee bottle.

Whether you’re a coffee or tea person, there’s nothing better than being able to enjoy a hot cup of your favorite beverage whenever you like, especially if it’s kept hot for longer than 20 minutes. This Klean Kanteen travel mug is double-wall insulated and comes in a bunch of colors!

2. Heating blanket.

Sometimes hang and focus, set construction, or choreographing a tap number can really make your back muscles sore. Heating blankets really go a long way in helping muscles relax, and during the colder months (when muscles are tighter from shivering your way to and from rehearsals), a heating blanket can help you settle in for the night.

3. Zip-up hoodie.

Let’s face it: theatres are cold. When you’re sitting at a light board, working on costumes in the shop, or putting up your hair in a fancy updo for your show, sometimes you need a little extra warmth to keep yourself comfy. Grab one of these zip-up hoodies so you don’t have to worry about lifting a hefty blob of fabric over your face (or over that giant up-do).

4. Reusable cotton bandage.

Sometimes, we pull muscles or overuse a certain part of our bodies like knees, wrists, or ankles. For those small injuries, try wrapping them with an Ace Bandage, or a reusable cotton bandage. It can greatly reduce pain and help you focus on what you do best: creating art.

5. Essential oil diffuser.

This is something that should be used at home (since not everyone we work with likes the same scents). An essential oil diffuser is great for helping with relaxation, stress relief, or focus.

6. Tiger Balm.

Tiger Balm is used for sore muscles and smells a little like cinnamon. Rub a small amount on the affected area and be patient as the salve warms your skin.

7. Socks.

If you consistently wear boots or sneakers to work, you’ll always need to wear socks. So make sure they’re comfortable! Thin socks tear easily if they’re worn a lot, so invest in a pair of thick socks that are both comfortable and durable. Plus, if you’re a dancer or an actor and you’re preparing in the dressing room sans-shoes, you’ll want to keep socks on to keep your feet warm against cold floors.

8. Headphones.

This may sound like a no-brainer, but a quality pair of headphones can do wonders for your sanity. Theatre professionals who listen to music while they’re researching, designing, writing, or rehearsing can benefit from drowning out outside noise so they can focus on their presentations, light plots, script, or lines.

9. A notebook.

Everyone needs a notebook. Everyone. Designers, actors, directors, dancers, dramaturges, prop makers, scenic painters, house management, playwrights  — everyone. And I’m not talking about tracking tasks for work (though that is a good use for a notebook). I’m talking about personal use. Notebooks help us take stock of the things we need in our personal lives. They’re great for journaling, list-making, doodling, budgeting, and more. You can even have a daily log of accomplishments or nice things that you’re grateful for every day. (If you’d like to delve into bullet journaling for theatre, take a look at this post.)

Don’t forget: treat yourself. Make a cup of tea. Rub some tiger balm on that sore knee, and wrap it in an Ace bandage. Put on your coziest socks and your hoodie. Light up your oil diffuser, and put on your favorite music. Wrap yourself in your warmest blanket, and take some time to reflect on you and what makes you amazing.

Need some advice? We’ve got you covered.

Ashleigh Gardner received her M.A. in Literary, Cultural, and Textual Studies (with concentrations in Contemporary Film, Psychoanalytic Theory, and Gender Studies) and her B.A. in English Literature (with concentrations in Early American Literature, Victorian & Gothic Literature, and Feminisms), both from the University of Central Florida. She is a playwright, a Shakespearean trained actor, a dramaturge, and a photographer.
Thumbnail: Kamil Szumotalski from Unsplash