Theatre sound engineers use sound equipment in theatres to:
Theatre sound engineers consult with the artistic director, sound designer and other technical staff to determine their requirements. They then select the equipment to use, install it in the most suitable places and ensure it is all working.
Before rehearsals they work from a sound plot that shows exactly what sound effects, levels and microphones are required. At rehearsals they check everything is working satisfactorily, making any adjustments necessary.
During rehearsals and performances sound engineers sit at the sound control desk operating switches and volume controls as required, according to cues from the deputy stage manager.
There is no set pattern. In large theatres the basic working week is 37 to 40 hours, but longer hours are usually worked. Evening and weekend work is common; shifts may be operated to cover performances as well as daytime preparations, rehearsals and maintenance work.
Work is mainly in theatres (on stage and in the auditorium) or performance venues.
Theatre control boxes are often small with sound engineers sitting in one position for extended periods.
Working in a touring theatre company can involve extensive travel.
To be a sound engineer you should:
If you would like to know anything about Theatre Sound Engineer that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.
Association of British Theatre Technicians
55 Farringdon Road
Tel: 020 7242 9200
Professional Lighting and Sound Association
38 St Leonards Road
Tel: 01323 410335
National Council for Drama Training
1-7 Woburn Walk
Tel: 020 7387 3650
80-110 New Oxford Street
Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU)
373-377 Clapham Road