ABTT Council

The ABTT Council is the governing body of the Association. The Council consists of elected Trustees, ex-officio members and co-opted members.  Only Trustees have a vote.  The Trustees must be  full Members of the Association and are elected by their peers to serve for 3 years. Please see the ABTT Memorandum and Articles of Association for more details. Here are the current Council Members.

Historical Research Committee: more information and resources.

The Committee is the ABTT’s expert group on the physical and technical history of buildings, productions and associated entertainment installations and equipment.  It acts as technical adviser on these matters to The Theatres Trust and other bodies.

The Committee has two main concerns: to document and record the onset of technology being used in the field of entertainment, and to evaluate the importance of technical installations and artefacts, especially where they are threatened with either demolition or destruction.

The Committee is just as keen to write down what is going on now, In order to save someone, in 30 or 40 years time, having to delve about in creaky old files, to find out what is common knowledge to all of us.

The Committee has been able to provide policy advice for the Theatres Trust, working closely with them to monitor installations in theatre buildings. It is not a question of trying to stand in the way of progress, but rather making sure that what has been successful, useful and relevant is properly recorded.

Key objectives of the Committee are:

  • Researching, recording and publishing all aspects of physical and technical theatre history.
  • Maintaining active liaison with APAC (Association of Performing Arts Collections), SIBMAS (International Directory of Performing Arts Collections and Institutions) and other appropriate bodies.
  • Advising on and promoting ways of conserving historic theatre equipment, documentary material and artefacts.
  • Continuing a “Living History” programme of audio and video interviews of distinguished practitioners in creative and technical theatre for the ABTT and other appropriate archive collections.
  • Establishing and maintaining a professional archive of information, publications and transactions.
  • Nurturing an interest in the history of technical theatre for future generations through the presentation of public events both in London and around the United Kingdom.
  • Co-operating with others to promote the objectives of the Association whenever possible.

The ABTT Book Collection now resides at The Theatres Trust. More information on this can be found here.

The ABTT Historical Research Committee meetings for 2019 will be on the following dates:

23rd January
27th February
27th March
24th April
29th May

All meetings will be on a Wednesday, all commence at 13.00hrs and all are to be held at The Theatres Trust.

ABTT Cymru

The Wales Technical Forum joined ABTT in 2014 and formed ABTT Cymru. It is administered out of the Wales Millennium Centre with meetings taking place at least twice a year throughout Wales. Our aims are to develop a better trained workforce throughout Wales leading to more sustainable organisations able to offer enhanced creative productions to communities and improved employment opportunities to the current and future workforce.

In 2016 ABTT Cymru launched the Shared Technical Apprenticeship scheme. The scheme welcomes young people from a variety of different backgrounds and by using the ABTT Bronze award, alongside work based learning the Apprentices gain the skills and experience to enter the professional world of backstage technical theatre. The scheme has proved  popular and has been awarded funding from the Welsh Government, the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation and the Welsh Livery Guild.

List of ABTT Cymru organisation members

  • Wales Millennium Centre*
  • Welsh National Opera*
  • National Theatre Wales*
  • Theatr Clwyd*
  • Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama*
  • Aberystwyth Arts Centre
  • Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru*
  • Telgwen
  • Motorpoint Arena
  • Torch Theatre
  • Blackwood Miner’s Institute*
  • Sherman Cymru
  • New Theatre
  • Swansea Grand
  • St David’s Hall
  • Taliesin Arts Centre
  • Theatr Hafren*
  • Pontio**
  • Venue Cymru*
  • Theatr Mwldan
  • Theatr Ffwrnes
  • Chapter Arts Centre*
  • National Dance Company Wales*
  • St Donat’s Arts Centre

*ABTT Affiliated Organisation

** ABTT Large Affiliated Organisation

ABTT Hong Kong

A newly formed branch. More details to follow. Regional or local branches may be established in any part of the world.

ABTT NorthNet

The committee was formed in 1970 to provide a forum for technicians in the north of England. It is very active and has arranged visits and meetings covering a wide range of subjects.

ABTT School Theatre Support Group

The School Theatre Support Group (STSG) is a network of theatre technicians and other support staff working in schools and colleges, offering a community to this specialist yet important market, responsible for many professionally-equipped small theatres, as well as training and encouraging the next generation of theatre practitioners.  STSG is primarily a members-led organisation, focused around an annual weekend conference.

In conjunction with ABTT, the aims of the group are to allow networking opportunities between theatre professionals working in schools; to provide a discussion and problem-solving forum with a wide body of knowledge and experience; to facilitate training and development; and to raise awareness of theatre work within the education field.

Safety Committee

The Safety Committee is one of the busiest in the Association. It is responsible for the compilation and publication of the ABTT Codes of Practice and plays a vital role in the group publishing the Technical Standards for Places of Entertainment, known as the ‘Yellow Book’. As well as working on projects for the ABTT, members represent the industry on other bodies including the British Standards Institution and maintain contact with the Home Office, the Department of the Environment and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Health & Safety Executive.

ABTT Safety Committee Meetings for 2019 will be on the following dates:

31 January
28 February
28 March
25 April
30 May
27 June
TBC August
TBC September
TBC October
TBC November

All meetings will be on a Thursday, all commence at 1400hrs and all to be held at The Theatres Trust.

There are no meetings planned for JULY  or DECEMBER 2019.

Technical Theatre British Sign Language Committee

The ABTT Technical Theatre BSL Committee exists to:

  • Promote BSL as a technical language for accessing information for new and existing theatre professionals;
  • Promote a more inclusive professional theatre, in particular to advance Technical Theatre as a way of increasing creative work opportunities for deaf people and
  • develop future leaders who will become advocates of an inclusive and dynamic Theatre Industry

Theatre Planning Committee

The ABTT Theatre Planning Committee aims to provide impartial advice at planning stage to improve the design and technical standards to new or refurbished performing arts buildings of any size. It reviews plans for new and remodelled theatres, opera houses, performing arts centres and concert halls which are brought to it by clients, consultants and architects.

Training & Education Committee

The Training & Education Committee aims to work towards the best provision for pre-entry training for Technicians and Designers by engaging in all relevant debates affecting technical training and qualification of the Association members and thereby raise the profile of the ABTT in technical training.

Society of British Theatre Designers

The SBTD was a sister organisation of the ABTT and in 2010 became independent. It aims to enhance the standing of British theatre design at home and abroad. One example is the organisations have jointly every four years exhibited a work of theatre design which in part also represents Britain at the International Quadrennial in Prague. When the SBTD was administered by the ABTT members obtained membership of both organisations. If those people who were members wish to remain members of both the ABTT and SBTD they must make separate application and undertake renewals with the respective association.

Contact details for the SBTD are, 07539 088 6333
ABTT 020 7242 9200

Production Managers Forum (PMF)

The Production Managers’ Forum is a joint venture between the ABTT and the SMA (Stage Management Association) in recognition of the fact that there was no organisation dedicated to the needs of the Production Manager specifically. There aren’t vast numbers of Production Managers out there, and most of them are either members of the ABTT or the SMA…hence the collaboration. Production Management is a lonely job – you’re probably the only one within 60 miles, unless you work in London, so the PMF offers an opportunity to meet up with peers and form networks.