Every fall the American Society of Theatre Consultants holds a Forum for its members, this past year in New Orleans. The Forum is centered around a particular topic of current interest. This year’s topic was “Renovations”. READ MORE….
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For more than 30 years the American Society of Theatre Consultants has championed the need for professional consultants to be part of the design team for assembly spaces. ASTC members consult on every type of performance venue, from traditional theatres to cruise ships and from music halls to houses of worship. As professional theatre planners and consultants, ASTC members are uniquely qualified to assist architects, engineers, owners and users to design great entertainment and assembly spaces. In addition, members of ASTC frequently speak at industry conferences, are involved in the development of codes that affect assembly spaces, and write articles for a wide variety of industry publications.
This new digital edition of our … Read More »
A Discussion of Maximum Seating Distance
Rarely does the design of a performing arts facility progress very far before the architect looks up from the tracing paper – or the Revit display – and asks the theatre consultant the inevitable question, “What is the maximum distance from the stage to the last row?” Any architect who has done more than one theatre – and therefore has asked that question more than once – knows that there is no answer to that question; or rather that there are many answers. In fact, there are probably more answers than there are theatre consultants.
Every theatre consultant has her or his own way of answering this question. In some cases the consultant will venture forth with an actual dimension – and then usually proceed to qualify that dimension in a number of different ways. Others … Read More »
Early in the design of nearly every theatre facility we must tackle the subject of control booth accessibility. It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s a school, small civic entity or commercial space, the issues are important. If not planned early, it can be difficult or expensive to integrate accessibility so technicians with mobility disabilities can access control booths to operate lighting, A/V or other similar functions.
While the challenge might be all of these things, it is clear that accessibility is required in some way. There is little specific reference in the current International Building Code (IBC) or Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standard for a “control booth”. Because these codes require all parts of every building to be accessible unless specifically excepted, accommodation is required. The language in ADA regarding Employee Work Areas (ADA 2010-203.9) has been used to … Read More »
A career in theatrical design or stage crew work isn’t the only choice for technical theatre students. In an effort to expose students to other available career paths, ASTC and The United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) teamed up in 2014 to create the ASTC-USITT Student Theatre Renovation Challenge. The Challenge is a long-term project where ASTC Members “mentor” teams of university students to plan and design a theoretical renovation of an existing facility.
By working together with an ASTC professional theatre consultant, the team explores how a facility is used and impacts live presentation. Teams are given wide latitude to determine what will be renovated and how to present their work. Projects may include modifying an existing theatre or even repurposing an existing building into a new performing arts space. Along the way, the team will learn about and … Read More »
Every autumn the American Society of Theatre Consultants sponsors an ASTC Forum for members to explore in depth an idea or theme pertaining to performing arts facilities. The Forum typically revolves around tours of performing arts buildings and seminars related to the theme.
The ASTC Forum 2015 will be held September 25-27 at the Hotel Dupuy in New Orleans. Our theme is “Renovations” and our tentative plans include tours of recently renovated Saenger Theater, which was heavily damaged during Hurricane Katrina and the Old US Mint, which has been renovated to include a music venue. Our members will also share presentations of particularly unusual or challenging renovation projects. As we always do at each of our gatherings, we make time to discuss various topics of interest and to share the benefit of our experience and practices with our colleagues across the … Read More »
The American Society of Theatre Consultants was founded in 1983 and currently has 74 full members and two associate members representing 31 consulting companies. Now in our 32nd year, we have initiated an honorary Fellow designation and have awarded this distinction to five ASTC members. At our previous ASTC Forum, the following four individuals were elected to full membership: Todd Berling of Harvey Marshall Berling Associates; D. Andrew Gibbs from D.A. Gibbs and Associates; Fritz Schwentker of Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon & Williams Inc.; and Christopher Sprague of Schuler Shook. S. Lars Klein, an independent consultant and project manager, was elected as an associate member. A complete list of members and their contact information is available on the ASTC website, ASTC MEMBERSHIP ROSTER.
By Kent Conrad, ASTC
Click to go to “ASTC:Notes Fall 2015″ newsletter for all … Read More »
On March 20, 2015 awards for the second annual ASTC/USITT Venue Renovation Challenge were presented in Cincinnati, Ohio at the 55th annual USITT Conference and Expo. The Renovation Challenge was created to give student USITT members an opportunity to work with a practicing ASTC theatre consultant and to stretch their skills and knowledge by developing a scope of work for the improvement of an existing performance venue and present it, as they would in the real world to a client, at an USITT Panel with a live audience.
The members of the Yale University team were Jeong Sik Yoo and Mitchell Cramond with Gene Leitermann serving as ASTC mentor with Matt Welander as faculty advisor. The Yale University team selected their subject to be the University Theatre at Yale. The members of the DePaul University team were; Jamie Davis, David Millard, … Read More »
ASTC is pleased to announce an extension to the deadline for Applications to the 2015 ASTC USITT Venue Renovation Challenge. The extra time will permit more teams to submit. This is a unique opportunity for theatre tech student to explore the spaces that they work in from a very different perspective under the guidance of an ASTC member Theatre Consultant. As Jules Lauve, ASTC Mentor to the team from Stephen F. Austin State University said during last year’s competition, “This has been a truly rewarding and fulfilling process. The students I am working with have been 100% committed and have grown tremendously. They’ve proven to be true winners regardless of any judging results. As is typical at this level, mentoring is a two-way street, and I am sure I learned as much or more from the mentees as they from me.” … Read More »
On March 29, 2014 awards for the first annual ASTC/USITT Venue Renovation Challenge were presented in Fort Worth, Texas at the 54th annual USITT Conference and Expo. Three teams of student USITT members participated in a challenge designed to engage students in real world theatre renovation problems under the guidance of practicing professional theatre consultants. Each team selected an existing venue and developed a scope of work for practical improvements to a building as a performance venue. Students presented their design concepts to a live audience at a USITT Panel.
The participants from the three teams included 1. Amanda Warren and Jason Monmaney from Stephen F. Austin State University with Jules Lauve, ASTC; 2. Sandy Everett, Meghan Potter, Jeff Lindquist, Brad Shaw & John Houtler-McCoy from Indiana University with Van Phillips, ASTC; and 3. Andy Baker, Evan Bunner, Shane Cinal and … Read More »