The Association of British Theatre Technicians is a charity and a company limited by the guarantee of its members. We campaign on behalf of the theatre industry to ensure legislation is appropriate to the industry’s needs, and that regulations are suitably drafted and enforced. We are governed by our Memorandum & Articles of Association.


  • To advise on safety, planning, good practice and enforcement.
  • To provide the best information and advice on safe working practices within the theatre industry.
  • To provide publications: Codes of Practice: Data Sheets: Journals.
  • To encourage pride at all times by enjoying and implementing good working practices.
  • To encourage technical education at all levels: provide in-service training and seminars.
  • To support the industry by networking information to members.
  • To provide a comprehensive building advice service.
  • Provide a comprehensive collection and dissemination of up to date information on technical matters.
  • Encourage exchange of information.

Safety Helpline

We provide a telephone and email enquiry service to help solve safety and technical problems for industry chat and difficult questions.


We run training courses for technical and managerial skills; these include the Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards and specialist courses including Pyrotechnics and Risk Management.


We produce Sightline, the quarterly industry magazine for technical theatre, with news, reviews, features and Safety Matters. Other publications include the theatre industry’s Codes of Practice specific to the industry’s needs.  We produce the Technical Standards for Places of Entertainment in association with the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, the District Surveyors Association and the Institute of Licensing. We also produce Guidance Notes on specific subjects when needed.

ABTT Theatre Show & Members’ Events

We organise the annual Theatre Show of backstage and front-of house equipment and supplies. We arrange visits, conferences, forums, lectures and meetings for our members. Trips to interesting theatres and productions are arranged, frequently organised by ABTT NorthNet, a very active branch of our members especially those north of Watford.


We have a number of highly influential committees, including Safety, Training, Theatre Planning and Historical Research. We also collaborate in the organisation of specialist interest groups such as the Production Managers Forum, which is a joint venture with the Stage Management Association.

International Theatre Engineering Architecture Conference

There has been an ITEAC event every four years since 2002 and in 2018 we will be hosting the fifth quadrennial ITEAC Conference.
More information can be found here:


The ABTT is the UK centre of OISTAT (International Organization of Scenographers, Theatre Architects and Technicians).


What people say:

“When Charcoalblue receive CVs we pay particular attention to those that have completed the ABTT CAD course and the Bronze, Silver and Gold qualifications.  ABTT membership is always an indication of commitment to the industry and to staying ‘current’.” Andy Hayles, Managing Partner, Charcoalblue LLP.

“When first entering the industry I trained as an ABTT Theatre Electrician and I would not be where I am today without their help, guidance and contacts. The organisation remains as it was then: the best place for theatre related training, advice and safety information. Join the ABTT and get informed and get connected.” Tom Mannings, Head of Technical, English National Opera.

“When we carry out recruitment we look for relevant industry experience and training. Membership of the ABTT helps to support this. It shows the person has a strong interest in current and developing technical theatre practices, as well as being up to date with relevant guidance. We also consider ABTT training particularly relevant.” Graeme McGinty, Technical Manager, The Place, London.

“We use the ABTT Technical Standards, Codes of Practice and Guidance Notes on a weekly basis. We are always interested in job candidates who have discovered these sources of information and have  already joined the ABTT. ” Paul Moore, Technical and Operations Director, Curve Theatre, Leicester.

“Membership of the ABTT always indicates to me that someone is interested in the “business” and the industry as a whole rather than a specific job – which I think is a good sign.” Bryan Raven, Managing Director, White Light Ltd.

“ABTT membership shows that a potential employee or technician is engaged with and understands the industry and the resources available to them. They are obviously fully committed to a career in professional theatre, know where to go to for guidance or information and membership helps them to stand out from the crowd.“ Chris Whybrow, Technical Manager, Fairfield Halls, Croydon.

“I am heavily involved in recruitment for technical posts in our organisation. I always look to see who has ABTT membership: it shows the candidate knows where to go for information and guidance.” John Young, Head of Technical Services, Ambassador Theatre Group.

“ABTT Membership indicates someone is passionate about technical theatre. You can be assured they are aware of the best channels to consult for relevant information and they care about issues that affect the industry.” Michael Brooksbank, General Manager, CHAUVET® Europe Ltd.

“We particularly expect UK-based candidates wishing to develop their career in theatre consulting with Arup to have the membership of the ABTT that is appropriate to their age, current position and experience”  Rob Harris, Director, Acoustics and Theatre Consulting, Arup Fellow.


The ABTT Annual Reports:

  • The ABTT 2012 Annual Report is available to read here.
  • The ABTT 2013 Annual Report is available to read here.
  • The ABTT 2014 Annual Report is available to read here.
  • The ABTT 2015 Annual Report is available to read here.
  • The ABTT 2016 Annual Report is available to read here.