What is Tech Theatre?

Tech theatre encompasses all the technical elements of a live performance, from set design and construction to lighting and sound. It’s a vital part of any production, and can make or break a show. If you’re interested in working in tech theatre, read on to find out more about what it involves.

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Introduction to Technical Theatre

Have you ever wondered how a stage production comes together? Or how a set is designed and built? Or how lighting and sound are used to create an atmosphere? Technical theatre is the answer to all of these questions. It is the process of bringing a play or musical to life through the use of lights, sounds, and sets.

What is Technical Theatre?

Technical theatre is a branch of the performing arts that deals with the design and implementation of stagecraft, lighting, sound, and other technical elements of a production. It is often considered to be a separate field from acting and directing, but it is essential to the success of any live performance.

A technical director (TD) is responsible for the overall technical aspects of a production, including design, construction, and operation of the set, lighting, sound, and other technical elements. A TD may also be responsible for supervising technicians and managing the tech crew.

A stage manager (SM) is responsible for coordinating all aspects of a live performance, including directing the backstage crew, managing cueing and timing, and handling props and costume changes. The SM is also typically responsible for calling rehearsals and maintaining rehearsal schedules.

Theresa Maynard-Susan Actor in training

The History of Technical Theatre

Technical theatre is a branch of the performing arts that covers the design and operation of the technical aspects of a production. It includes everything from set design and construction to lighting and sound design.

The history of technical theatre can be traced back to the early days of theatre, when there was a need for stage managers and other backstage crew to keep the show running smoothly. As theatre became more complex, so too did the technical side of things. Today, technical theatre is an essential part of any production, whether it’s a small community play or a large-scale Broadway musical.

The Three Main Areas of Technical Theatre

Technical theatre is a branch of the performing arts that deals with the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of the technical aspects of a production. These aspects can include scenic design, lighting design, sound design, and properties. Technical theatre is a vital part of any production and can make or break a show.

Scenic Design

In technical theatre, scenic design is the creation of the physical environment of the performance. A scenic designer is one who designs the sets and scenery for a theatre production. The role of scenic designer can encompass a variety of activities, including drafting supplementary illustrations for the playbill or program, painting backdrops or researching props.

Lighting Design

Lighting design is concerned with the creation of light using a variety of tools and lighting instruments. A lighting designer is responsible for the look of the production as it related to light. This can include the color of light, where the light is placed onstage, how bright or dim the light is, and when the light should change during the course of a production.

Sound Design

In technical theatre, sound design is the process of specifying, creating and controlling the audio elements of a production. It involves the selection and placement of microphones, the design of sound reinforcement systems, the mixing and equalization of onstage sound, the design of offstage sound effects (e.g. thunder, birdsong) and the preparation of playback tapes or Digital Audio Files for use in performances.

Sound Designers are responsible for all aspects of a show’s audio, from pre-production planning to opening night and beyond. In some cases they will also be responsible for operating audio equipment during performances.


So, in conclusion, tech theatre is a way of making theatre more accessible to everyone. It can be used to create more immersive and innovate productions, and it can also be used to make theatre more accessible to those with disabilities.

The Importance of Technical Theatre

Many people may not realize the importance of technical theatre. To the untrained eye, it may just look like a group of people working behind the scenes to make a performance happen. But the truth is, technical theatre is a vital part of any production.

Without technical theatre, there would be no lights, no sound, no set design, and no costumes. In other words, there would be no way to create the illusion of a world on stage. Technical theatre is essential to telling a story through live performance.

And it’s not just about creating illusions – technical theatre is also about creating safety. Every performance has the potential for danger, and it is the responsibility of the technical team to make sure that everyone involved in a production is safe.

So next time you see a show, take a moment to appreciate all the hard work that goes into making it happen – both on stage and off. Without technical theatre, live performance would simply not be possible.

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