Theatre Design Article


House Light Integration

Posted on December 12th, by Andrew Gibbs in Theatre Consultants, Theatre Design Article. No Comments

House lights are as much a part of an auditorium as the stage, the catwalks and all of the other elements that make up a complete performance space. And, until recently, there was the simple expectation that the house light fixtures would typically be provided in the building’s electrical equipment package to be controlled by the theatrical and/or architectural dimming and control system. More often than not, the house light fixtures were specified by the electrical engineer as incandescent or quartz products connected to the dimmers designed by the theatre consultant. Now, however, the game has changed a bit. Read More…


House Light Upgrades – It’s Not Just the Lamp (Bulb)

Posted on December 12th, by Peter Scheu in Theatre Consultants, Theatre Design Article. No Comments

It’s become an all too familiar scenario… A school district is looking to save on energy and maintenance costs and hires an energy efficiency consultant. With all good intentions, the consultant sees three dozen or so 500-watt PAR lamps in the auditorium house lights and recommends they be replaced by 17-watt LED PARs. The district also expects huge savings in replacement lamp costs and increased safety since the custodians won’t need to climb out on planks over the plaster lath ceiling. Read More…


Move the Floor

Posted on December 12th, by Paul Sanow in Theatre Consultants, Theatre Design Article. No Comments

For centuries it’s been a design goal of theatres and other places of public assembly to increase flexibility. For some venues, a theatre that is only a proscenium or thrust stage doesn’t provide enough possibilities for changing around the presentation method. In some cases, the goal is variety and experimentation. For other organizations the need is more options for revenue generation. At the most recent ASTC Forum held in San Antonio, TX, members explored the possibilities of adjustable audience floors. Read More…


Changes to Life Safety Code – Standpipes on Stage

Posted on December 12th, by William R. Conner, FASTC in Theatre Consultants, Theatre Design Article. No Comments

The practice and later code requirements to provide stand pipes and with hoses on stages is very old. They seemed to have originated from the factory fire brigade concept, where employees of the company were expected to respond first and fight fire. Despite some assertions to the contrary, they are for occupant fire fighting, and never have been intended for use by the fire service. The time to retire this code requirement is well past, and thankfully the NFPA’s 2018 Life Safety Code (101) will no longer require standpipes on stages. The substantiation for the change, initiated by the committee and not from a public comment stated, ”The variation in equipment and resources is different such that the AHJ should have freedom to make the call on hose requirements. If needed, they should be installed based on NFPA 13″. The discussion was, by my recollection, much broader. Read More…


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. Comments Off on New ASTC Member

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