Why should I hire a theatre consultant?
A theatre consultant is versed in the day-to-day operations of a theatre and the architectural design process followed to design a theatre. A theatre consultant is your advocate during the design process and is likely the only person on the design team (architect, engineers and other consultants) cognizant of the unique requirements of a performing arts facility.The theater consultant works with the architect to design the type of audience/stage configuration, sightlines, backstage layout and other ancillary spaces. The theater consultant designs the theatrical systems and provides the architect and engineers with the information they need to properly incorporate the theatrical systems into the building.
Why should I hire an ASTC theatre consultant?
The members of the ASTC are professional theatre consultants who have demonstrated a broad range of capability and experience necessary to qualify for membership. As professionals, ASTC members have individual and collective interests in providing unbiased, functionally sound and practical consulting and design services to owners, users, architects, and engineers or performance and assembly facilities.
Why can’t my technical director/lighting designer/scenic designer take care of the theatrical systems?
They may have intimate knowledge of how theatrical systems are used, but may not necessarily have experience in their design nor the architectural process. The design of the theatrical systems are but one component that must be designed, integrated and coordinated into the entire building.The design team for a performing arts facility has its own unique cast of characters that differ from those involved in putting on a show. They typically include: architect, owner, structural engineer, mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, civil engineer, theater consultant and acoustician. A large or multi-venue facility might also include: code consultant, cost consultant, lighting consultant, interior designer, parking consultant, signage consultant, ADA consultant and art consultant.
What does the ASTC do?
The primary objective of the ASTC is to inform owners, users, and planners about the services that theatre consultants offer and about the value of those services to the achievement of effective and economically viable performance and assembly facilities, whether large or small, whether new construction or remodeling/renovation project.
Will the ASTC select a theatre consultant for me?
The ASTC will provide contact information for its membership so you may do your own research and make your own selection.
How do I know which theatre consultant is the right one for my project?
Choosing from the ASTC membership assures that the consultant you select meets the professional requirements of the industry. Go to Membership Criteria. Your selection may be informed by geographic location or by the type of performing arts facility you are considering. A particular project, by an ASTC member, may be similar to the direction you envisage. All of these are valid considerations. As you would with any professional: solicit the qualifications of at least three (3) theatre consultants, look at their portfolio of projects, speak with principals of the firm, discuss their approach to the design of a theatre, visit nearby projects (if possible), and ask for references from current and past clients. The theatre consultant will be your ally during what may range from 1-5 years – – – listen to your “gut” and be comfortable with your choice.
What fee should I expect to pay a theatre consultant?
Fees vary by consultant depending upon the size of the firm and the scale of your project. As you research theatre consultants, ask them to prepare a fee proposal for your project. Theatre consultants can charge a fixed fee for the entire project; separate fees for different phases of a project or on an hourly basis. Fees and payment schedules are almost always negotiable and the consultant can be expected to work with you to find a mutually acceptable structure.
When should I hire a theatre consultant?
To get the maximum value, a theatre consultant should be engaged as early in the project as possible.
Why do I need a theatre consultant when the architect is designing the building?
The architect has overall responsibility for the design of the building, but works with a team of consultants (electrical, mechanical, structural engineers, interior designers, code consultants, landscape designers, elevator consultants, parking and traffic consultants, acousticians, and theatre consultants) each who has specific experience and expertise.Unlike many building types, which do the exact same thing for the life of the building, a theater may see some activities very often and others infrequently. An infrequent activity may be precluded in some buildings, but a theater needs to function in all aspects – – no matter how often they occur. A theater consultant is aware of the necessary day-to-day operations and can offer explanations and/or alternatives to the architect and design team.
Should I select the theatre consultant directly or should the selection be made by the architect?
It is customary that the architect selects the electrical, mechanical, structural engineers, interior designers, code consultants, landscape designers, etc. Specialty consultants, such as an acoustician or theatre consultant are a different matter. Certain entities, such as municipalities, school districts and universities, require that the theatre consultant, as well as all other consultants, be hired by the architect. Sometimes there are exceptions to that rule and some institutions do not have any specific rules. Which party “hires” the theatre consultant is an organizational question about who is responsible for direct payments to the theatre consultant. Whatever the organizational hierarchy, we recommend that you should be directly involved in the selection of the theatre consultant.
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