Theatre Design Article


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 »


Getting Anyone Into the Control Booth

Posted on September 16th, by Paul Sanow in Theatre Consultants, Theatre Design Article. Comments Off on Getting Anyone Into the Control Booth

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 »