Theatrical technician

"Techie" redirects here. For more general uses, see technician and Technologist.

A theatrical technician, (variably known as a tech, techie, technician, theatre tech or theatre technician) is a person who operates technical equipment and systems in the performing arts and entertainment industry. In contrast to performers, this broad category contains all "unseen" theatrical personnel who practice stagecraft and are responsible for the logistic and production-related aspects of a performance including designers, operators, and supervisors. Many professional designers and technicians consider the diminutive, "techie," to be offensive.

Typical Positions

Theatrical responsibilities taken by technicians include:

A single theatrical technician may regularly do one or more of the above jobs during load in, load outs (strike), rehearsal and performance. Performance technicians are generally divided between those backstage (stagehands, Stage Managers) and those in a control room (lighting and audio technicians). During load in and load out additional crew members may be needed due to the amount of work required to be completed in a short time span. Larger and more complex shows require larger crews and often personnel with specialized advanced skills to perform these job functions.

The position may be volunteer or a paid position. It is not uncommon to receive compensation (such as comp/free tickets to the current or future productions or items used in the show) in other forms than money for pay. This type of compensation allows the person working to receive value for their services while not costing the producer more out-of-pocket expenses. Theatrical technicians are represented by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees in the United States.

Stagecraft Classifications

Stagecraft and technicians can be classified into departments and jobs as follows. Not all productions will have all departments or jobs filled, and, in many cases, one technician will perform multiple jobs (even if only possessing one title).


This is the general name for all work involving scenery, including the deck (floor) of the stage.


This department is responsible for all of the onstage lighting for a show including, but not limited to, practicals, stage lighting and followspots. Electricians are responsible for the assembly, installation, operation and maintenance of the lighting for a production. The Electrics department is also typically in charge of any fog or haze machines used during a production, as well as the configuration of pyrotechnics and other special hardware.


This department is responsible for all equipment hung (flown) in the theater space. This department varies greatly from show to show, sometimes being absorbed into the Electrics or Carpentry departments. If the production incorporates personnel flying (such as in the staging of Peter Pan), there will usually be designated riggers specifically trained in flying actors.


The properties department is responsible for all hand and scenic props for a show. This usually includes furniture, weaponry and consumables (paper, food and drink) for a production. In addition to the above duties, the props department is responsible for the cleanliness of the stage floor, including sweeping and mopping of the stage surface.


The audio department is responsible for all sound production for a show, including the configuration of microphones, speakers and control equipment, as well as the production of any necessary audio tracks. Personnel in this department include:

Pyrotechnics/Special Effects

A rarely seen department in theatre due to the heavy restrictions on the use of true pyrotechnics. This department is sometimes combined with others (usually the Electrics department). Responsible for the production and operation of explosives, special effects and illusions. On sufficiently large productions may be responsible for duties usually assigned to other departments (e.g.: fog and haze)

Stage Management

The Stage manager is in control of a production during its run. Responsibilities include calling the cues and determining the starting time of the show and ensuring the safety of all persons involved. Depending on circumstances, multiple positions are possible:


Responsible for the creation and maintenance of costume pieces and dressing the performers.

See also

External links

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