Theatre Production and AV Services Manager, Reading

Closing date:

The Abbey School ReadingReading

Date posted:
Start date: 1 September 2019
Contract type: Full Time
Salary: £32,000-£35,000
Contract term: Permanent



The Abbey School prides itself in the production of performances and events to external and internal audiences.  These performances are of a high standard showcasing the skills and talents of our students in all the arts, and in particular music and drama.  As well as major productions and concerts we regularly welcome external speakers to present to the school and guests.


The Theatre & AV Services Manager would be a member of the Technical Services Team and will be responsible to the Head of IT.  The Head of Finance and Resources has overall responsibility for all members of support staff.

The Theatre & AV Services Manager with be responsible for all technical aspects of Junior and Senior School productions, internal and external events and general school audio-visual requirements.

The Theatre Production and AV Services Manager would work alongside the Drama and Music Departments throughout the school year, liaising with them about their requirements and planning their needs well in advance of the productions. They would provide creative lighting design and audio-visual guidance in preparation for performances, attend rehearsals as required and support performances.

The Theatre & AV Services Manager would carry out all reasonable tasks required by the Head of IT, or the Head of Finance and Resources.


The Theatre & AV Services Manager would: 

• Ensure all relevant support was anticipated and provided for all events by attending regular planning and event meetings with Senior & Junior Schools and liaising with individuals and departments.  

• Work to ensure the efficient organisation of our busy school events calendar, participate in the production and review of the proposed annual calendar to identify any clashes across the school.

• Ensure external hirers were fully briefed on the safe use of the performance spaces and equipment

• Play a leadership role in all aspects of health and safety compliance in the theatre and drama spaces, training staff and pupils as appropriate

• Ensure AV resources requirements were attended to, and that the school theatre spaces were in continuous working order be it for theatre related activities, daily assemblies or other events

• Train and develop technical staff and casual assistants in order that appropriate levels of staff were available for productions as required

• Mentor, supervise, and work with students in technical theatre activities.  Support pupils through the production process

• Liaise with the Estates department on any maintenance requirements and event set-up and set-down

• Be a visible point of contact for staff and students so that they could communicate on technical requirements, follow protocols and correct channels


The Theatre & AV Services Manager would: 

• Ensure effective venue preparation, perform all rigging/setting up of lighting and audio-visual equipment to the highest possible standard and in an agreed timeframe

• Programme and operate the lighting desk for performances/events as required

• Take responsibility for the filming of productions and lessons, as appropriate, for archive and/or curricular purposes, including the preparation of exam related performance videos throughout the year. 

• Set up temporary projection as required for all lectures and presentations

• Provide technical support and expertise as required for curricular drama lessons and examination performances.

• Arrange PAT testing of all production equipment

• Liaise with TST colleagues over software requirements and support

• Update the Schools digital media with information, film and photos of events


The Theatre & AV Services Manager would: 

• Work with the Head of IT (budget holder) regarding any budgetary requirements for technical equipment and technical hires and to ensure production expenditure was clearly documented

• Update and maintain an electronic register of all the equipment (including its value) both fixed and portable

• Assess and review the existing equipment, make recommendations about upgrades and purchases.  They would also make recommendations about purchase or hire of equipment

• Identify when outside consultants were required and manage them appropriately


The Theatre & AV Services Manager would have or be: 

• Theatre industry experience in all aspects of live performance and events, including public performances. 

• Design, building and crewing experience in all aspects of performing arts. 

• Knowledge and experience of safe rigging and staging equipment.

• Knowledge of electrical principles and electrical safety. 

• Filming / editing experience. 

• Strong proven experience in stage / production management.

• Strong proven experience and / or qualification in sound and lighting design. 

• Excellent working knowledge of IT including projector set-up, PowerPoint presentations and specific theatre industry operating and design programmes. 

• Up to date knowledge of lighting systems, control apparatus, equipment and its maintenance, e.g. VISTA.

• Up to date knowledge of digital audio and audio-visual equipment and its use in relation to live, recorded and play-back techniques. 

• An enthusiasm for working with and advising young people in technical theatre and production. 

• Excellent interpersonal skills, able to communicate clearly and consistently with all theatre and event space users, especially non-technical users. 

• Highly organized with successful experience in meeting deadlines and managing conflicting priorities. 

• Experienced in managing a budget

• Experience in implementing health and safety requirements and risk assessments.

• Confident in working independently but also willing to collaborate across many departments.

• Ability to work flexible hours including some evenings and weekends. 

• Knowledge of digital SD cameras and camcorders.


Ideally the Theatre & AV Services Manager would have or be: 

• Theatre Studies / Media A Level or BTech in Stage Management or an appropriate degree qualification.

• Experience of supporting students in the technical aspects of external Drama examinations. 

• Full Clean Driving License.

• Driving license which includes the category D1 (minibuses). The School are prepared to sponsor this training if it were to be required.

• Current first aid qualification.

• PASMA mobile tower trained. 

• Experience of working in theatre for a school, college, university or industry venue. 

• Trained in manual-handling/heavy lifting of theatre equipment, working at heights etc. and able to do so safely (training would be provided, if required).

Salary and Benefits 

• Salary is £32 - £35K pro –rata for the term time only role.


The Abbey is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and as an employee of The Abbey you would be expected to share this commitment.  The protection of our students’ welfare is the responsibility of all staff within The Abbey School and individuals are expected to conduct themselves in a way that reflects the principles of our organisation

More about The Abbey School Reading
Type: Mainstream School
Phase: All-through with sixth form
Funding status: Independent
Gender: Girls
Age Range: 3 - 18 years
Denomination: Christian
Address: 17 Kendrick Road, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 5DZ, United Kingdom. View in Google Maps
Telephone: +44 118 9872256
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The Abbey is a vibrant and welcoming community of almost 1,070 girls aged 3-18 years. Academic excellence is achieved in an environment that is diverse, inclusive and energetic, while an exceptional extra-curricular programme enables girls to develop...