Survey ?


Active Member
I'm putting together an online survey of tech theatre. The primary focus is on high school and college theatre's, but can include community, pro, etc. My goal is to get a better handle on what typical high school theatre's are like (I'm new to high school theatre), what equipment they have, what paid and volunteer staffing is, what issues they face, etc. One purpose being to assist me in getting funds to upgrade the situation at the school I'm helping.

Some of what I plan to include:
How many of each instrument do you have: (6" Fres, 8" Fres, PAR64, PAR56, Leko, LED, Moving Lights) Possibly include something along the lines of mfr/model
How many dimmers (1.2, 2.4, 6)
Main light board mfr/model
Aux light board mfr/model
FOH audio desk
Mon audio desk
Main array
Mic inventory
Full time staff
Part time staff
Volunteer staff

I'd welcome input from others on what you would like included in a survey such as this and how much detail to go into (more detail takes more time and sometimes provides better info, but sometimes worse because people get tired of entering data).

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Senior Team
Senior Team
Premium Member
You might also want to include what you do with your gear.. ie do you hang a rep plot and go with it, do you change stuff for every show, do you do more talent shows then theatre, how many cues are in a typical theatre show, do you change color out for every show, do you get new sets for every show, do you have a scene shop and what does it have in it, steel work?, etc....


Active Member
9 S4 jr.
15 S4 par
25 6x9 - Altman
15 6x4.5 - Altman
25 6x12 - Altman
20 6x16 - Altman
15-20 Par64
15 Inky's
No LED or Moving Lights

96 Dimmers
Main Light Board - ETC Express 24/48

Audio Desk - SoundCraft 24ch K1
Mic's - 14 Wireless
-Shure 58A's
-Assorted other mics

Rep Plot Between Shows
New Plot for Every Show
New Scenery for most shows(we do some Readers Theatre)

Scene Shop
-Carentry Shop
-Paint Shop
-Metal Working Bench in Paint Shop


Active Member
High School

6 -S4 19
10 - 10" Fresnels
24 - Dimers
600amp 3 Phase Disconnect
We rent fixtures as needed.


Jands Esp II

Audio Desk - Mackie stuff

Rep Plot Between Shows
New Plot for Every Show
New Scenery for most shows(we do some Readers Theatre)

Scene Shop

Non existant.


A load of s4's
a load of altmans
alot of random fixtures that no one uses.
Some LED fixtures
4 auto yokes

5 theatres
allot Dimmers

Light Board's -

ETC Express 24/48
Grand Ma
Obession I
mini Light pallet

Audio Desk - I dont care not a sound guy

No Rep Plot Between Shows
New Plot for Every Show
New Scenery for Every show

Scene Shop
-Carentry Shop
-Paint Shop
-Metal Working welding and other stuff.



Well-Known Member
Fight Leukemia
High School:
Mainstage Lighting
full stage s4 front wash.
over 100 pars
15 colortran 2k Fresnels
4 cyc wash
grave yard with old altman fixtures
2 twin spins
No intelligent fixtures
196 Dimmers(?ish)
ETC insight II board
Rep plot modified a little per show

Black box:
12 S4's
8 S4 pars
24 dimmers (expandable with budget to 48)
lots of scopex multi cable
basic colortran board
plot modified on a need basis

Scene Shop
-15K wood budget per year
-basic powertoold
-no metal working
-about 1/3 of stage sized
-10 yard dedicated dumpster

College lighting:
mainstage: Inventory 2005.pdf
blackbox: Lighting Inventory.pdf
stage III: III Inventory8-05.pdf


Active Member
College theatre:

535-seat Proscenium:

ETC Obsession
572 dimmers (including 4 50A dimmers for 5K fresnels and such, all Sensor dimmers in six SR48 racks)
Step up transformer to 130V per phase before dimmer racks to compensate for line losses to raceways
7 electrics
8 FOH positions
31 360Q 6x9
10 Radial 6x9
55 360Q 6x12
59 360Q 6x16
20 360Q 6x22
40 Source Four 36
37 Source Four 26
22 Source Four 19
2 Source Four 10
27 8" Fresnel (2K)
2 12" Fresnel (5K)
42 PAR64
10 Far Cyc - 4 cell
20 Ground Cyc - 3 cell
3 Lycian 1272 Followspot
2 Satellite Followspot
2 MAC500
2 MAC600
600 amp company switch with distro

220 max seat flexible space (can be configured in full round, half round, end stage, and three-quarter thrust):

Strand 300 series
160-some dimmers, not sure which variety, may be CD80
36 360Q 6x9
10 Radial 6x9
28 360Q 6x12
35 Source Four 36
37 6” Fresnel
21 PAR64

Floating Inventory:

8 Source Four PAR
1 Source Four PARNel
1 10" Scoop
8 14" Scoop
10 10" Beam Projector
6 MR16 Zip Strip
6 PAR56 Strip
8 R40 Strip
12 3" Fresnel

This inventory list is kind of old, and I do know that they have gotten more S4's and a LOT more S4 Pars

Sound (actively used equipment):

Crest Audio V12 48-channel 12-VCA FOH console
DBX Drive Rack 260
2 Richmond Sound Design Audio Box
2 Rane MA6S 6-channel amplifier
2 Crown Xs500 amplifier
2 Meyer UPA-2P powered speakers
6 Meyer UPA-1P powered speakers
6 Meyer UPM-1P compact powered speakers
1 Meyer USW-1P powered subwoofer
4 EV Sx100
…plus tons of other miscellaneous equipment that gets pulled out from time to time.

Our scene shop is full height, with overhead doors that are also full height. We have a full size loading dock, and a dedicated college van.

Scene shop inventory:

That doesn't include the bench tools, tablesaw, radial arm saw, sliding compound miter, compound miter (chop), two band saws, jointer, planer, sanding station, drill press, two welders, oxyacetylene torch, and air compressor. That also doesn't include the paint cage, which is also very well stocked.


Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
Hey Fox,
Former High School Drama teacher turned College TD here. My guess is that more than half high schools in the country have very little gear, no budget, and no one who really knows anything about how to run a theater in the first place. I live in Seattle and I'm quite familiar with what's going on at 15 schools. I believe that currently only 4 of these schools have a full time Drama teacher and I believe there is only one part time tech guy.

Below is a summary of what's going on at 15 different high schools in the area, grab a kleenex it's kind of depressing:

1) New building with a great theater and a fabulous theater program
2) New building with a mediocre theater, trying to start a program but not much there yet.
3) Ancient building, no theater program at all
4) Building remodeled about 20 years ago, Good acting program but poor tech knowledge, theater is used regularly for lots of events.
5) A big government grant paid for a full theater remodel to make this school an art's magnet program, they had a full time real tech guy, but the grant that paid for him ran out about 5 years ago and as far as I know, the guy is gone. The magnet program has been a huge failure as student's fear for their safety at this school. They had it all, but now there's not much to show for it.
6) 40 year old theater, some decent equipment but no one knows how to use it anymore now that I am gone.
7) 40 year old building theater program is on life support, no tech at all
8) 40 year old building fairly decent theater program but no tech at all teacher's office is a desk in the last row of the house.
9) Beautiful small 200ish seat theater, remodeled 20 years ago, good program.
10) 20 year old full fly space theater, great drama program, but nobody knows anything about tech.
11) 40 year old building, 300 seat theater with "swing up desk arms" on seats, No shop, about 20 instruments, 36 dimmers... 8 don't work, Express 24/48, teacher has no tech knowledge (I volunteer to help teach the kids thee basics a couple times a year).

12) New black box, but poorly designed and poorly equipped... they have a loading dock but that's about it.
13) 15 year old remodeled theater. knowledgeable teacher but no equipment.
14) 10 year old building, full fly space, good equipment, teacher knows nothing about tech.
15) 20 year old theatere, full fly space, the only school on my list with a part time T.D. and a 1/2 time drama teacher... but the T.D. is really more of a theater manager who is responsible for running the space for outside rentals. No Shop, Lighting inventory of 60+ instruments, Old Coltran board, scraped together enough money to buy a new "B Stock" Mackie sound board, Although there is still a leak in the juice room that occasionally leaves the dimmer racks standing in water, they have come up with enough money to resurface the stage.

It's pretty sad when you look at it like that isn't it.
this is in our brand new theatre, so i am sorta unsure of all the specs atm

302 seat auditorium w/o proscenium

84 ADB dimmers (unsure of model atm)
25x Source 4 Zoom 25-50
19x Source 4 Zoom 15-30
27x ADB F51 (fresnels)
4x 4 lamp cycs from ADB
6x Par60
2x ADB followspots (unsure of model)
Lighting console: ADB MEntor with submaster extension.
Rep plot modified a little per show
New Plot for Every Show
New Scenery for most shows(we do some Readers Theatre)

Scene Shop - Non existant.

4x DT100 headphones
2x Beta 57A mic
2x Evolution 600/800 series mic
2x Shure SM57 mic
2x Shure SM58 mic
2x Rode Mic with shock mounts
4x Shure SLX wireless mic
4x MX 202b/NC
5 mic omni system
3x MX monitors (not sure of the exact model)
5x Shure Wireless headsets (for the hard of hearing or alternate languages)
Mixer: Allen and Harvey PA-20

The auditorium also has 4 IR radiators installed which work with the shure headsets.

The A/V rack:
4 Shure SLX 4 wireless mic receivers
a Shure scx810
a denon MD player
a Denon CD player
a BBS FCS966 Equalizer
a Kramer VP-311DVI balanced audio matrix switcher
a Kramer VP-725DSA digital scan converter

we have a HD ready projector (not sure or model/make)

1 fulltime "audio/Visual engineer"
the rest of the crew are all volunteers

The theatre itself has a CAT5 (ethernet) network of its own (and a connection to the rest-of-school network), a DMX512 network, a XLR network for mics and a RI (Ring Intercom Network). Equipment can be plugged in via wallboxes all around the theatre.
We have an 8 bar motorised scenery flying system which we currnetly use mainly for hanging our lights from.

The whole building has an integral PA system, where announcements can e made from the stage managers desk, the lighting booth, the sound booth, or the green room. The foyer 4 has LCD monitors which can display either computer feeds, or live video feeds. there is also an LCD monitor in each wing so the actors and crew can see whats goin on


Active Member
Thanks all. I'm actually working on an online survey (done by Monday?), but these posts are interesting and have provided me with some info to make the online version better. And a couple of you have made me pretty jealous. More soon...
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Active Member
Here is a rundown of what we have at my local youth church.
How many of each instrument do you have:
6 Source 4 PAR
28 PAR 56
8 Source 4
4 PAR 64
4 of something I have no idea about, I'm more of an audio guy
4 Studio Beams
2 Studio Colours
2 Trackspots
4 Technobeams
4 Mac 500
4 Colour Pro (they aren't movers per say, but they are intelligent lights)
1 Martin hazer
How many dimmers (1.2, 2.4, 6)
About all I know about our dimmers is they are by ET. I'll guess 24 channels of 1.2kw, but I don't know.
Main light board mfr/model
Flying Pig (High End)/Hog iPC w/playback wing
Aux light board mfr/model
(we never use it but we have a Powercue DMX laying around somewhere)
FOH audio desk
Soundcraft Series TWO 32 channel frame
Mon audio desk
none as our budget for the new building got cut
Main array
We don't really have an array, but we have 4 EAW cabinets (JFX 560 I believe) that are bi-amped and some JBL dual 18" cabinets.
Mic inventory
Mics for a drum kit and a front line, 5 handheld wireless (Shure UHF, Sennheiser 5000, Audio Technica 3000 or 5000, I don't remember) and one earset
In addition we have several dynamics/effects processors and some EQs and a couple of DSPs.
Full time staff
1 (He does lights but does other things during the week.)
Part time staff
1 (Comes in for audio for services)
Volunteer staff
1 (Projection)
Private: High School
3 plays per year new set/ light plot
A Concert once a week- New set/ light plot which means new programming every 3 weeks

1 s4 32
3 s4 26
3 s4 19
We bought 32 Altmans as is and like 4 didnt work... light bulbs but the others did so im still not sure on thier angle
5- par can 64
2- S4 Par's- My FAVORITE

Horizon Computer Control and interface
about to upgrade that to BlueLite x1


Workshop- None
Room- Multipurpose- Lunch room, Exam room, picture day room, chapel room, after school events room, assemblies room, special events room, all the plays are in there. Its a multi functional room where nothing can be perminate. IT BUGS ME! b/c i have to change everything every 3 weeks and do it all by myself light plot, design, programming, placement, cord configuration... we have a 12 channel Stage pin bar in the back of the room where the lights are 90 degree angles so i have ran extenders up to the stage and hang lights by the conduit in the cieling. LOL well yea welcome to my world!
Here are my 2 recent shows, the one with the 8 ft tall boomerangs, the light on the left in the backdrop was knocked a little bit b/c when the band was playing we had them pink blue and orange and so during the video they were switched by stage hands to red and white.


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