Theatre Design Article


The Ups and Downs of Stage Rigging

Posted on July 18th, by Stephen Placido in Theatre Consultants, Theatre Design Article. Comments Off on The Ups and Downs of Stage Rigging

Deciding between manual and motorized or automated stage rigging used to be an easy choice, largely driven by project needs and budget. Today, automated stage rigging has become more economical and wide-spread, making it a realistic choice for even public-school work. Read More…


Tips for Front of House Planning

Posted on July 18th, by Robert Long in Theatre Consultants, Theatre Design Article. Comments Off on Tips for Front of House Planning

In our last issue of ASTC:Notes we included a popular list of Back of House design features that make for a better facility. We turn the theatre around and consider the Front of House lobby and related public spaces. Read More….


Gender Identity Accommodation in Performing Arts Facility Planning

Posted on December 18th, by Peter Scheu in Theatre Consultants, Theatre Design Article. Comments Off on Gender Identity Accommodation in Performing Arts Facility Planning

For some the topic of gender identity and proper accommodations is uncharted territory, but it’s clear that more discussion and understanding is needed. Two ASTC members participated in a panel at the 2016 North American Theatre and Engineering Conference, and this article is adapted from that presentation. READ MORE….


Tips for Back of House Planning

Posted on December 18th, by Staff in Theatre Consultants, Theatre Design Article. Comments Off on Tips for Back of House Planning

As theatre consultants, many of us cut our teeth working in theatres, loading-in sets, and running shows. For that reason, we have a special passion for backstage areas. While theatre technicians are among the most resourceful people anywhere, there are many things we can do to make their lives easier. ASTC:Notes surveyed a few members for some of their favorite tips for a successful backstage. READ MORE….


ASTC Revit Summit NYC 2016

Posted on December 18th, by Paul Sanow in Theatre Consultants, Theatre Design Article. Comments Off on ASTC Revit Summit NYC 2016

Revit and other BIM (Building Information Modeling) software has been a hot topic amongst Theatre Consultants for the last few years, with no clear consensus on its best use. It’s clear this sort of software is gaining in popularity with a variety of results for projects and practices. ASTC gathered interested parties for a roundtable discussion of the realities as well as best practices. READ MORE….


New ASTC Member

Posted on December 18th, by Kent Conrad in Theatre Consultants, Theatre Design Article. 1 Comment

ASTC has accepted a new member for full membership. READ MORE….


Performing Arts Design Process and Estimating Trends

Posted on April 20th, by Stephen Placido in Theatre Consultants, Theatre Design Article. Comments Off on Performing Arts Design Process and Estimating Trends

It is important to be realistic about the cost of performing arts projects from the beginning to avoid Owner disappointment, redesign and other related problems. Everyone seems to agree projects are being designed more quickly, sometimes leaving out a critical step in the design process. READ MORE….


The Case for Rational Balcony Design

Posted on April 20th, by Peter Rosenbaum in Theatre Consultants, Theatre Design Article. Comments Off on The Case for Rational Balcony Design

On the subject of sightline constrained rails allowed by the International Building Code (IBC), after an injury or fall from height incident, a frequent response is to re-examine the design and construction of balcony fronts. However, research has revealed that most of the concerns are those of perception, rather than of actual life safety. There do not appear to be any incidents of falls from balconies in performing arts theatres in the United States that were not related to either alcohol use, patron negligence, or atypical health conditions. In fact, the vast majority of incidents related to balcony railings occur in stadia, arenas and amphitheatres that promote standing events, alcoholic consumption, and reaching for foul balls and t-shirts shot out of cannons.

Rather than solely focusing on these incidents, we should examine the more common issue of patron discomfort while walking … Read More »


Protecting the Best Seats in the House

Posted on April 20th, by Paul Sanow in Theatre Consultants, Theatre Design Article. Comments Off on Protecting the Best Seats in the House

From time to time the height of sight-constrained rails along a balcony becomes an issue, due to a fall or the simple perception that such railings are permitted to be quite low. Several ASTC members discussed the issues, perceptions and some possible solutions. READ MORE….


How Far Is Too Far?

Posted on September 16th, by Robert Shook in Theatre Consultants, Theatre Design Article. Comments Off on How Far Is Too Far?

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 »