How Do I Become a Theatrical Technician?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
A theatrical technician must be knowledgeable of all stage operations in a theater.
A theatrical technician must be knowledgeable of all stage operations in a theater.

Before you make the decision to become a theatrical technician, it helps to determine which area of theater tech you would like to pursue. A theatrical technician is generally anyone who works behind the scenes of at theater production to operate lights, sound equipment, sets, and other necessary equipment. If you have carpentry skills or are interested in developing them, you might be able to become a theatrical technician who specializes in set design and construction; if, instead, you are interested in developing your skills or using accrued skills in sound engineering, you may be able to work the soundboard or be part of the theater's musical ensemble.

Other options that will allow you to become a theatrical technician include working in wardrobe, lighting, or stage managing. Wardrobe is the appropriate department if you have design or sewing experience, as you will be responsible for designing and fitting costumes to individual performers, making repairs to garments when necessary, and otherwise altering materials to create a variety of useful garments. Lighting specialists will set up and operate various types of lights before, during, and after a performance. If you want to become a theatrical technician who deals with lights, you will need to learn how to use lighting equipment by acting as a lighting apprentice or job shadowing a more experienced lighting tech.

Most positions within theater do not require any specific level of education, though several college programs do exist to teach you the inner workings of a stage performance. You can become a theatrical technician by attending such a program, though you will need to pay tuition, which can be costly. Another way to become a theatrical technician without attending school is to simply volunteer your time at a local theater to learn the different skills necessary to become a theatrical technician.

Local theaters often do not pay people who are working on performances as technicians, but this is a great learning environment in which you can begin your education in various technical fields. You will probably start off working entry-level positions at the theater; don't be surprised if you end up working as an usher for your first few performances. Be sure to tell the directors what your interests are, and work hard in whatever positions you are given. Eventually you will get the opportunity to job shadow more experienced technicians who will be able to teach you the necessary skills.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register:
    • A theatrical technician must be knowledgeable of all stage operations in a theater.
      A theatrical technician must be knowledgeable of all stage operations in a theater.