Theatre Books.


Resident Curmudgeon
Senior Team
Premium Member
I put this thread in “Theatre Management and Development” as I couldn’t find a better place for it. Although I am primarily lighting, I’d like to open the thread to every department of theatre, thus the title: Theatre Books.

Moved by the OP to the "Collaborative Articles" area. Which is where he should have put it in the first place.
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1. Backstage Handbook.
It was published in 1994, and is a bit out of date with newer technology, but there is a lot of usefull information in there.
2. Stage Rigging Handbook, Third Edition
Everything you will need to know about rigging, including all the math.


Active Member
The Theater Prop Handbook (Thurston James) and its companion, "The What, Where and When of Thaeter Props" - also by Thurston James. These are great references and invaluable for new prop people.

A series that I live by is the "Surfaces" (Judy Juracek) books("Surfaces", "Natural Surfaces" and "Soft Surfaces"). They come with CDs that you can reference on your PC, which is a godsend at times. Bascially, they are nothing but various photos of just about anything you would want to paint. Director says, I want a brick wall - go to the section on brick walls - there are dozens of choices- and it allows everyone to be on the same page before the painting starts. Absolutely the best books I've ever invested in.



CB Mods
Premium Member
I second Backstage Handbook and the Stage Rigging Handbook. I also like "Practical Health and Safety Guidelines for School Theatre Operations" By Dr. Randall W.A. Davidson (aka. Dr. Doom). It is not the cheapest book, but I found it to be very informative, very dense with lots of good information and photos. Don't let the title fool you, everyone can benefit from it equally, not just schools. It is nice if you are looking to convince non theatre administrators (either a board of directors, school administration, etc.) of the risks that can be found in a theatre.

For sound, I enjoyed the Yamaha "Sound Reinforcement Handbook" by Davis and Jones. The material is a bit dated, but it does a good job of explaning the theory and mathematics behind audio.



Active Member
Photometrics Handbook by Robert C Mumm is an excellent resource,
I had a couple more in mind but they just left me. I'll post a few more later when I'm not browsing at 5 AM trying to make myself tired ;)

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