A stage technician makes sure everything on the theater stage is in order and in sync. This includes the support staff and actors as well as the lighting, scenery and props. His job may be at a local or regional theater. He may also be employed to coordinate the technical aspects for studio, arena and stadium productions.
He is generally expected to be knowledgeable of all stage operations, so he is able to fill any position if needed. These jobs may include those of the stage manager, light and sound technicians and production assistants. He normally knows the duties of the wardrobe supervisor, prop handler and carpenter well enough to assume their duties as well.
From the inception of the production through the breakdown of the set, a stage technician is involved in all processes. Before the stage and set are constructed, he discusses the details of the blueprints and floor plans with the stage manager. Together they determine the best options for lighting, sound equipment locations and scenery and set designs.
When the set design is finalized and sound systems are in place, the technician commonly assists the prop staff in the assembly and construction of scenery. This commonly involves him using power and hand tools to build braces and support pipes for curtains and equipment. He typically assists in threading ropes, cables and weights in grids above the set to accommodate changes in staging and backdrops.
Lighting and sound are other areas in which the stage technician normally assists. He often connects set wiring and strategically places lights and fixtures around the set. The lighting operator is frequently assisted by the stage technician in positioning speakers and microphones to the best possible advantage while adhering to electrical codes and guidelines.
At the conclusion of the production, the technician regularly assists in all breakdown operations. These include dismantling the sound and rigging systems as well as properly packing and storing the equipment. He commonly assists in safely and efficiently tearing down sets and backdrops.
Good public relations and communications skills are necessary to excel in this position. A stage technician typically interacts with a wide range of performers and production personnel as well as managers and supervisors of theaters and other venues. He is typically required to be a great team player who can be equally productive working independently.
A high school diploma is not required but is desirable for this position. No formal education is normally mandatory to be a stage technician. The most important considerations to be hired are often an excellent understanding of the intricacies of stage productions and expertise in lighting and production operations.