What we do
The ABTT is a membership organisation which sets and upholds standards in technical excellence, safety and compliance for theatre and live performance. The ABTT is a resource to support members through the provision of information and advice on good practice, safe working and enforcement within the theatre industry. We advise on safety, planning, good practice and enforcement and provide publications to support your knowledge.
Support the Sector
The ABTT supports the theatre sector by:
- negotiating and implementing industry-wide Technical Standards to ensure safe working practices,
- providing recognised Technical Theatre Training across all levels to aid the development of relevant technical skills,
- encouraging networking and the exchange of information.
Advise the Industry
The ABTT takes an active role in ensuring that it both develops and collates relevant information to both maintain and develop the safety of individuals in the Theatre Industry.
The ABTT currently provides advice through the Codes of Practice, Technical Standards for Places of Entertainment and Guidance notes and Publications.
The ABTT also offers services such as Theatre Planning and Building Advice and a technical helpline. To obtain these benefits, join the ABTT here.
Provide Technical Education
The ABTT offers a wide range of practical on-site Technical courses. The courses progress in level, starting with Bronze which provides a general overview of all the skills required as a technician in the industry. This is often followed with Silver where candidates can specialise their area of expertise e.g. Sound, Lighting and Stage and Gold which is specifically for those in or moving towards managerial roles.
CPD Courses (specialised one day courses) are offered in a variety of subjects such as PAT Testing, Working at Height, Manual Handling, Flying. Online training in AutoCAD specifically for Theatre users is also available.
The ABTT arranges courses throughout the year in various locations but actively recommends members to get in touch to request a course to be run in their venue.
Generate Publications and Standards
The ABTT produces a Code of Practice for the Theatre Industry with the Support of the Safety Committee. This includes (but are not limited to) Technical Standards for Places of Entertainment , ‘Blue Books’: Guidance Notes, Safety Matters, Sightline and FAQs.
The ABTT sets the standards to promote self-regulation of safety and technical excellence.
Technical Standards for Places of Entertainment, acknowledged by the HSE, aspires to be a common guidance for the whole of the UK. These Technical Standards have been developed by an entertainment industry standing committee to help make improvements in building, maintaining, managing and operating places of entertainment. For a mobile workforce and touring product a common point of reference seemed the most logical solution to achieving a safe and compliant industry.
Provide Theatre Planning and Building Advice Services
The ABTT Theatre Planning Committee has been active for the past thirty years, providing 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.
The ABTT has two types of committees:
(1) Special interest groups that focus on subjects such as Safety, Theatre Planning and Historical Research etc. These groups have shaped the industry in a vital way with their advice & publications;
(2) Regional Committees in the UK and internationally that regularly hold meetings where members can exchange opinions and information. ABTT Members with an interest in these subjects, or who live in these areas can apply to become part of the committees – click here for more information.
Recognise commitment to the Industry
The ABTT prides itself on recognising those who have a manifest commitment to the Industry.
This in a number of ways, from the annual ABTT Award at the ABTT Theatre Show where the Technician of the Year is celebrated, along with product Awards (Engineering, Sound, Lighting, Widget and Stand of the year) to Honorary Memberships and Fellowships which are presented at the annual Christmas event.
For more information about the annual ABTT Awards presented at the Theatre Show please see here.
Maintain the ABTT Archive
The ABTT Archive is a collection of documents and materials that relate to significant activities and events that the Association has engaged with since its foundation in 1961.
The majority of the Archive exists in paper format held in the ABTT Office.
To find out more information about the ABTT Archivist please see here.
Operational and Management Consultancy
The ABTT has been providing impartial advice regarding the operational running of places of entertainment since its inception. It reviews both old, new and remodelled theatres, opera houses, performing arts centres and concert halls, which are brought to it by clients, consultants and architects.
You can read more about the operational and management consultancy that the Theatre Planning Committee provides here.
Join the ABTT today!
Individuals, Theatres and Companies should join the ABTT and benefit from the full range of support, information and training that we can provide. The greatest asset the ABTT has to offer is its independence and strength in membership; people who work in and care about a successful theatre industry.
Join the ABTT today!