Archive for February, 2017

Stage Pass

AIST working for Appropriate Technical Staffing for all Touring Theatre

Following on from the motion passed at the AIST AGM 2016, the AIST Board have been looking at the issues associated with the lack of appropriate technical staffing for touring productions commonly referred to as ‘Show In A Bag’.

Issues identified:

  • Venues do not receive the same quality product they have seen in a festival or production week setting. Even though the shows lighting will have already been hugely curtailed the touring company does not have the appropriate staff to implement this reduced version of the show on tour
  • The true cost of this touring model is hidden as venues who normally have staffing levels to receive shows have to supply their normal staff plus the extra technical staff that would in the past travelled with the company
  • No technical production staff in the touring company results in poor advance communication of the technical needs of the production with the venues. This makes it difficult for the venue to plan for the touring shows needs and plan for their get in day.
  • The touring show suffers from lack of quality and consistency as it tours from venue to venue with no one to oversee the quality of lighting, sound, staging or video used.
  • After the arrival of the company quite often rehanging or moving of equipment is needed due to lack of venue specific plans or poor communication of generic plans.
  • Longer focusing sessions as there is no one from the company present that can call the focus in the normal professional  fashion
  • Longer lighting plotting sessions and longer cue to cue sessions with actors creating longer working days for stage managers, actors and venue staff
  • Less opportunity for appropriate breaks as more time is needed to setup the show resulting in increased stress and poorer working conditions for all
  • Health and Safety is put at risk. The risks are most acute in relation to working at height where minimum staffing levels are required regardless of how simple or complicated the setup of a show is.
  • General decline in the professional standard of professional touring theatre

Aims of the AIST:

  • To communicate the concerns of its members and the issues associated with Show In A Bag style production to all parties involved
  • Encourage all venues to insist that touring productions they book have the appropriate level of technical staffing
  • Encourage the funders of touring productions to make appropriate technical staffing a normal part of the application process and a necessity in order to receive funding
  • Help organisations involved in the development of new work to fully understand the need for appropriate technical staffing
  • Encourage members of AIST who work in venues to really engage with their venue managers to ensure that they fully understand the costs and short comings associated with an understaffed Show In A Bag production
  • To promote safety and technical excellence in Irish Theatre.

What next:

  • We encourage all members to get involved. We would like to hear your feedback, experiences and suggestions
  • We plan to meet with Theatre Forum, Fishamble, Irish Theatre Institute and Dublin Fringe Festival to start the discussion on the issues outlined above.



Stage Pass

AIST AGM 2017 Reminder and Venue Confirmation

Our AGM will be held on Thursday the 2nd March 2017 at 12 noon in The Clarence Hotel Dublin.

Registration is from 11.30am, with the AGM running from 12 noon until 1.30pm

If you can hang around after for some chats there will be tea, coffee and sandwiches too.

It would be great to get some new people involved in the organization. If anyone is interested in becoming a board member email or chat to one of the board members. Nominations may be made by the nominee or any paid up member.

Board Positions:
Ordinary board members (at present 8 seats but the AGM may vote to change this)

Any item you would like to add to the agenda may be done so by email by February 24th.
We will endeavor to get all items in but the more notice given the easier it will be.
Any item you want to add after this date can be put forward under “any other business” through the chair.

All are welcome to attend that AGM and contribute but only paid up members may vote.

Fees are €20 or €10 for Students.
You can join on the day by cash or by credit/debit card via the Website ( by 6pm on 01st March

We hope you can make it.

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