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theater technician what do they do?


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At the school I work in we have a new theater!

They are looking at making a new post of theater technician (possibly a fancier title) as he or she would be in charge of the venue on some shows.

What would you think the duties of this person would be?



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To put it bluntly in a school environment you will do lots of everything!


Ensuring all equipment and areas (lighting, sound, projection, video, stage, scenery, curtains/tracks, auditorium) are in full safe working order and that records of all maintenance are kept up to date.

All setup/rigging and operation for drama lessons/shows/concerts/assemblies.

Depending on your knowledge base and the courses your school offers (e.g. GCSE Media, A2 Music Tech, BTEC Performing Arts etc) you may be asked to help with the teaching some of the technical parts of the curriculum.

Depending on what roles other support staff have you may be expected to film lessons around the school and edit the video for use in the classroom.

Possibly responsible for your own budget.

Responsible for hiring in any extra equipment required.

And then there is that fantastic line at the end of the job specification 'And all other duties that fit in with this scale of work'. Basically you need to know where the mop and bucket are to keep the stage clear and safe (and a shovel can come in handy for when everyone else dumps their ####, asks you to support their lessons).

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Erm, whatever thems that pay them what the duties to be?


I'm a performing arts technician in a school, but my duties range from assisting the site team, to actual theatre tech, to fixing guitars, to assisting teaching.


You don't typically create a job then find something for that person to do. A job is created out of a need for someone to complete tasks within that organisation.

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Russ put it quite well - and for all this, they won't pay anywhere near what it's worth. You can bet your life there will be other technicians on the same pay scale, or above - who do hardly anything. Sadly, this is quite normal.


I was a technician for a year in the 90s. Another came up to me one day and said "Don't you ever suggest doing shows in the evenings, we don't do it". I hate jobsworths. Luckily, I discovered I wasn't a bad teacher - and from then on gave technician jobs to my best students - they'd done a 2 year interview!


One thing to watch are the teaching duties. This is a common cost-cutter. Schools and colleges who play the game will pay you for teaching, if that's what you are really doing. Looking after a group of students doing technical things is pretty fair I think - but planning sessions and marking/grading/assessing isn't!

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As a teacher I know that some schools do not regard their "technicians / science lab assistants" with the same respect as teachers. Often the theatre technician's job is sufficiently demanding that he deserves to be called "Technical Manager" (even if his pay doesn't match this!).


The School's Theatre Support Group is a support group for school theatre technicians and drama teachers.


The FAQ link on their web-site gives a short insight into the job, training requirements, conditions, etc.


Job description can be crucial to the theatre's success – it's worth looking at similar job adverts in The Stage and links from these ads to job descriptions.


There is an STSG members-only section on the Blue Room.

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