Standards News

ABTT Launches New Guidance for ‘Respect and Dignity’ in the workplace

ABTT Launches New Guidance for ‘Respect and Dignity’ in the workplace
ABTT Launches New Guidance for ‘Respect and Dignity’ in the workplace

UK – The Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT) has launched the third document in its ‘W’ for ‘Welfare’ series of Guidance Notes. Following work with RB Health & Safety Solutions and the AAPTLE Well-being Working Group during the UK’s Mental Health Awareness month in May 2024, ABTT Guidance Note W3 Mental Health and Well-being in the Workplace: Respect & Dignity Policy Template was launched at the “New Guidance: Revolutionising Physical Well-being and Mental Health” seminar on the 6th June at the annual ABTT Theatre Show.

ABTT Guidance Note W3 Mental Health & Well-being in the Workplace: Respect & Dignity Policy Template captures guidance for developing an organisational respect and dignity policy promoting a healthy working culture backstage. The guidance note offers concise recommendations, outlining ten principles that employers and the workforce are encouraged to adopt and use in the workplace. The guidance sets out how to outline the behaviour that each person is expected to exhibit, but more importantly, what is considered not to be ‘OK’  and clearly indicate that it will not be tolerated.

Guidance Note W3 is part of the Code of Practice for the Theatre Industry in the UK which is produced by the ABTT with the support of the national Theatre Safety Committee and which is recognised by the HSE as an established standard.

This is the third in the ABTT’s “W” series of Guidance Notes which deal with legal duties and best practice for ensuring the welfare of all workers. ABTT Guidance Note W1 (Mental Health & Well-being: Supporting Freelancers in the Workplace) was launched in May 2022 to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week and Guidance Note W2 (A Practical Guide to Conducting Stress Risk Assessments and creating Well-being Policies) was launched in November of the same year to coincide with International Stress Awareness Week.

 It is part of the ABTT’s on-going commitment to promote awareness of welfare and well-being and complements its training initiative for Mental Health First Aid.

“I’m happy to see the welfare series of guidance expand with the launch of the W3 guidance note. I’m passionate about adding much needed Health and welfare to our industry technical standards. The respect and dignity policy and its ten principals have been written to help us reset and redefine behaviour in the workplace. Written for everyone from students, crew room staff, designers and senior management, its goal is to see us unite and work together to make our industry a kinder, safer and more understanding place to work. I hope the W3 guidance note can be used as a simple cost-effective way to create a cultural change towards well-being in the work place,” stated Mig Burgess Walsh, ABTT co-chair and senior lecturer at the Guildford School of Acting

“RB Health and Safety Solutions are proud to have supported the development of the ABTT’s latest Guidance Note W3. We pride ourselves on providing high quality health and safety advice and training so working on this proactive guidance for a respect and dignity policy which promotes the mental health and well-being of employees seemed to be a perfect fit. We are very pleased to be able to assist in adding this guidance to the code of practice for the theatre industry,” added Richard Beale, managing director at RB Health and Safety Solutions Ltd

“The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 quite clearly states: ‘2(1) It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all employees.’ As such it is important to note the core of this guidance note will become part of the Code of Practice for the Theatre Industry in the UK. Many will be familiar with the ‘Technical Standards for Places of Entertainment’ which specifically states that ‘Good management is essential to ensure safety and health and welfare…’ The ABTT is incredibly grateful to our co-chair, Mig Burgess Walsh and all her collaborators for leading on this area of work and producing the latest guidance note in the ‘W’ series which provides a library of guidance on welfare to complement the material the ABTT has already published and will continue to develop on Health and Safety,” concluded Robin Townley, ABTT chief executive.

Guidance Note W3: Mental Health and Well-Being: Respect and Dignity in the Workplace policy template can be downloaded at:

6th June 2024

Sennheiser launches new series of Sound Academy Wireless Masterclasses

Sennheiser launches new series of Sound Academy Wireless Masterclasses

UK – Sennheiser has announced the launch of new Sound Academy workshops, starting in June, at its new UK office in Marlow, Buckinghamshire. Marcus Blight, the UK's technical applications engineer at Sennheiser, will lead these sessions.

The comprehensive programme delves into the science and application of wireless audio, equipping participants with essential knowledge and expertise. Targeted at audio engineers, sound designers, live event professionals, RF technicians, installers and system integrators, these masterclasses offer hands-on experience with the latest wireless technologies from industry experts.

“We’re pleased to bring new dates for our Sound Academy Wireless Masterclasses, where attendees will gain practical skills through interactive sessions, participate in dedicated Q&A sessions, and network with fellow professionals, all while enhancing their wireless audio expertise,” says Blight.

Available Dates:

  • Monday, 10th June 2024
  • Monday, 8th July 2024
  • Monday, 9th September 2024

For anyone looking to stay ahead in wireless audio technology, register via the link here. Space is limited, so secure a spot today.

4th June 2024

Disguise and MARS Volume launch Virtual Production Training Course at the MARS West London facility

UK – Disguise is partnering with MARS Volume, created by Bild Studios, to launch an Accelerator course that lets students get hands-on with the same MARS LED volume used on 3 Body Problem, Culprits, Gangs of London and more.

The course, Disguise’s 23rd Accelerator to date, follows the success of its other training programmes in Los Angeles, New York, Barcelona, West Yorkshire and Asia. It will be taught in three distinct phases. The Disguise Learn phase enables students to access online tutorials on real-time fundamentals in Unreal Engine. Then the Classroom phase takes them through more advanced concepts with an instructor.

Finally, there is the practical phase. Taught over three days, this phase will immerse trainees in a pre-planned film shoot at MARS Volume, one of the largest virtual production facilities in the UK. There, they’ll capture scenes on the 8,000-square-foot MARS volume using its 220-degree 25.5 x 5m curved LED wall, 108m² lighting LED ceiling, stYpe RedSpy camera tracking systems and Disguise VX 4 media servers.

“As new UK tax credits bring more productions to London, we’ve seen increased demand for courses that give storytellers an accurate simulation of the demands faced on real VP sets,” says Addy Ghani, vice president of virtual production at Disguise. “With this London Virtual Production Accelerator, we’re not just helping more creatives bridge that gap. We’re also helping to advance career opportunities with virtual production operators.”

By the end of the course, students will have had practical experience trying multiple roles on set including Disguise operations, game engine integration, practical lighting and cinematography. From pre-production to in-camera VFX, colour workflows, frustum optimisation and more, each student will have all the skills to excel on a state-of-the-art LED production.

“We’ve been working with Disguise for over ten years, delivering hundreds of software training sessions globally while also using Disguise technology on some of our most ambitious projects ever since we first worked together on the Red Hot Chilli Peppers Tour and Coachella in 2011,” says Joanna Alpe, head of academic strategy at MARS Volume and MARS Academy. “Since we opened the doors in 2021, education has been at the forefront with the training courses we have delivered through MARS Academy, supported by Screenskills. Partnering with Disguise this summer to deliver the Virtual Production Accelerator in London represents another stride forward and great brand alignment, welcoming Disguise to our studio, an undeniable world leader in this field. We can’t wait to get started.”

3rd June 2024

Claypaky plays host to the Polytechnic University of Milan at the picturesque Teatro Sociale in Bergamo

Claypaky plays host to the Polytechnic University of Milan at the picturesque Teatro Sociale in Bergamo

Italy – Again, this year Claypaky played host to the students enrolled in the Master in Lighting Design and LED Technology, organised by the Polytechnic University of Milan. This course has long been devoted to nurturing the talents of aspiring young lighting professionals. The Master aims to equip them with the skills they need for diverse applications such as entertainment venues, interior architecture, urban landscapes, museum exhibitions and temporary installations and residential spaces. The curriculum focuses on the analysis and synthesis of lighting design methods, covering conception, organisation and rigging.

Among the esteemed instructors who teach on the Master course is Giovanni Pinna, a renowned lighting designer in Italy, known for his work with artists like Vasco Rossi. Pinna runs the "Lighting Design for Entertainment" module, which includes practical workshops hosted by entertainment industry partners. This year, besides the expertise contributed by Alberico D'Amato, Alessandro Colangelo and Marco Zucchinali, Claypaky also provided the exceptional venue of the Teatro Sociale in Bergamo, Italy.

This historic theatre, which opened its doors in 1809, was commissioned and built for the Bergamascan nobility, and was used right up until the 1920s. It mainly hosted art exhibitions and displays from 1974 to 2006, when it was decided to begin restoration work, jointly undertaken by the City Council and the Italian Ministry of Culture.

Giovanni Pinna conducted a session of the Master's course in this beautiful setting, attended by around 30 promising young lighting designers. During the workshop, Pinna explained programming techniques for lighting shows in detail, using an extensive rig consisting of Claypaky lights.

Giovanni Pinna remarked: “It was a unique opportunity for my students to gain real experience in a real venue with professional products, in a captivating setting. Only the Polytechnic University's master syllabus offers real-life lighting programming experience in a theatre. The day-long session was dedicated to understanding the entire creative process behind crafting a light show, from listening to the song and writing the cue list, to dealing with the stage and transforming creativity, ideas, personality and taste into reality. It was a truly unique experience for all the students, who fully appreciated the opportunity Claypaky had given them to get first-hand experience of an unknown world to them.” 

Claypaky plays host to the Polytechnic University of Milan at the picturesque Teatro Sociale in BergamoClaypaky plays host to the Polytechnic University of Milan at the picturesque Teatro Sociale in Bergamo

14th May 2024


ALPD Lumière Scheme

ALPD Lumière Scheme
ALPD Lumière Scheme

UK – The ALPD has announced the successful candidates for its Design Lumière and Production Lumière for 2024. This is the first year in which the ALPD has been able to offer a Production Lumière placement to complement its successful Design Lumière programme. 

A pathway scheme for emerging lighting designers, the Design Lumière Scheme gives the successful candidate valuable experience of working professionally as an assistant lighting designer for six months and the Production Lumière four months.

For both Lumières the Scheme begins with time spent at Glyndebourne.

The Production Lumière this year, Ellen Butterworth-Evans, is already at Glyndebourne and will continue there until mid-April, when she then spends four weeks at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and two weeks at Lamp & Pencil.

The Design Lumière for 2024 is Imogen Clarke. Imogen will spend three months at Glyndebourne followed by a further three months when she will work with several different lighting designers on a variety of productions.

Imogen started out as an apprentice at Fairfield Halls, moving to Richmond Theatre and then The Peacock Theatre to work full time. As a freelancer she works across dance, theatre, musical theatre and ballet as well as site-specific projects wearing lots of different hats. Imogen currently moves between touring and working on productions as relighter, programmer, associate, lighting designer and production manager/relighter. Recent credits include production manager/relighter The Rite of Spring/ Common Grounds Global tour (Pina Bausch Foundation/Ecoles des Sables/Sadler’s Wells, Zeynep Kepekli LD Common Grounds), programmer Trip The Light Fantastic – a collaboration with Paraorchestra with Surgeons Girl, Charles Hazlewood and Limbic Cinema, (Opening Bristol Beacon, Jenny Roxburgh LD, November 23), associate, California Connections, Yorke Dance Project (Zeynep Kepekli LD, 23 November Leeds, 24 March Linbury).

“I'm over the moon to become this year's Design Lumière and gain the opportunity to develop my craft and learn from working alongside the brilliant designers across this year's scheme. I’m greatly looking forward to beginning the course by working at such an extraordinary institution as Glyndebourne and for the opportunities to follow. I’m excited about the journey that this scheme will take me on and to grow my skills and knowledge in this unique environment."

Ellen Butterworth-Evans graduated from LIPA in 2020 she was one of many caught up in the chaos Covid and its impact on the industry. Happily she was able to take part in the ALPD’s Team Lumière 20:20 and to network with others in the industry.  As the world opened up, she was able to get some casual work in the West Midlands, working at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Newcastle-Under-Lyme’s New VicTheatre, and is now a full-time freelance technician. She applied for the Production Lumiere scheme as someone who wanting to improve the gaps in her knowledge that the pandemic had created.

Ellen said: “I felt incredibly honoured to be the first participant of the Production Lumière Scheme, and have already learnt so much from my first six weeks at Glyndebourne. Having been at this prestigious venue since the end of January it has been nothing short of a whirlwind, making up practicals for each of the operas, rigging the overhead rig and booms and learning more about EOS and programming. Learning from the inhouse team has been a joy, working with such a kind, friendly team has made this experience even more enjoyable and meant that no question has felt too stupid! I’m excited as we go into the technical weeks for each of the shows, seeing the practicals come to fruition in each piece of set, as well as see how the lighting designers work in the space.”

The ALPD would like to thank Glyndebourne, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and Lamp & Pencil, Christie Lites, Vectorworks and all who donate to the scheme. If anyone reading this would be interested in offering sponsorship to the Lumière Schemes Lumière Scheme in future years, please contact 

In picture: Ellen Butterworth-Evans and Imogen Clarke.

19th March 2024

K-array announces 2024 programme of in-person K-academy & K-experience sessions

K-array announces 2024 programme of in-person K-academy & K-experience sessions
K-array announces 2024 programme of in-person K-academy & K-experience sessions

Italy – K-array, a leading manufacturer of innovative audio technology, recently unveiled its 2024 programme of in-person K-academy training sessions. Tailored for system integrators, consultants, distributors and industry professionals, these events offer a deep dive into the K-ARRAY, KSCAPE and KGEAR ecosystems through a three-day-long K-experience.

The training sessions, occurring almost monthly, will be held at K-array's headquarters, not far from the Italian city of Florence, Tuscany and will provide attendees with a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the company's latest technologies, products and values of the brand.

“I believe that a K-academy course must go beyond merely presenting technical data; it's about warmly welcoming participants into the unique world of K-array,” expresses Daniele Mochi, customer support director. “In our online courses, we strive to transmit our values, vision, and overall passion for the industry. While we put our best effort into these virtual experiences, visiting our headquarters provides the complete K-experience. It’s a delightful blend of education, entertainment and a unique chance to meet the minds behind the development of our solutions.”

The K-academy trainings begin with a unique K-experience on the first day, a new format for 2024. The event includes presentations, audio experiences and project examples for an introduction to the foundations of the K-array ecosystem. Day 2 continues with sessions on installation techniques and introductory sessions on amplifiers and software components. Optional workshops allow attendees to focus on their target skill areas, including amplifier programming and API management, recommended for anyone involved in K-array, KSCAPE or KGEAR installations.

Focus groups on the KSCAPE brand and technologies, electronic beam steering and home cinema configurations are also available, alongside specific product workshops for K-array’s flagship Mugello and Firenze loudspeaker products.

K-array plans to make these training opportunities available to a wider audience later in the year through the development of a dedicated E-learning platform.

“The introduction of monthly K-experience and workshops at our headquarters allows for more people to join us, although we recognise that not everyone can make it to Italy,” reflects Mochi. “We're actively working to enhance the K-academy presence online with a new E-learning platform. This initiative aims to make our courses more accessible, allowing individuals to conveniently participate from the comfort of their homes or offices.”

28th February 2024

Martin Audio US announces two-day training programme

Martin Audio US announces two-day training programme

USA – Martin Audio US has set two training days to ensure system users and designers are properly equipped to get the best outcome from their implementations. They will learn how to achieve full optimisation, control and monitoring of performance on a variety of Martin Audio systems.

The two-day programme will take place on 13 and 14 March at Frost Productions, 6 Empire Blvd, Moonachie, NJ 07074 and the trainer will be product support engineer, Joe Lima.

Day 1 will examine in depth Martin Audio’s proprietary software platforms, Display 2, Display 3 and Vu-Net. The following day will see attendees explore the MLA Mini, in groundstack and flown configurations, before diving into networking and connectivity and concluding with an XE system overview.

Joe Lima comments: “As the demand for Martin Audio products continues to increase in the US market, training on systems like Display and Vu-Net is not just beneficial but vital. With our products gaining significant traction and recognition within the marketplace, ensuring that professionals are well-versed in the intricacies of our software is paramount.”


22nd February 2024

ISCVE launches comprehensive guide and code of practice for assistive listening systems

ISCVE launches comprehensive guide and code of practice for assistive listening systems

UK – In a world where technology is rapidly advancing, it can be overwhelming to keep up with the latest innovations in assistive listening systems for the hearing impaired. That's why ISCVE, the Institute of Sound, Communications and Visual Engineers, has taken the initiative to launch a new Assistive Listening Systems Guide and a Code of Practice. 

This comprehensive guide is aimed at users, system designers and installation companies looking to improve their knowledge and understanding of assistive listening systems. 

With the Code of Practice, ISCVE aims to set a new standard for the industry and make it easier for those with hearing impairments to access clear and intelligible sound. The Guide and Code of Practice are available for free and can now be downloaded from the ISCVE website.

Meticulously outlining the core principles of assistive listening technology, starting with an introductory section that explains the necessity and basic functioning of such systems the Guide and Code of Practice also delve into the technical aspects of assistive listening systems, discussing system types and their respective features, spanning from induction loop systems to infrared, FM, WiFi and Bluetooth systems.

They also provide a comprehensive exploration of common challenges and solutions associated with system design and installation. Key considerations for compliance with legal and regulatory standards are addressed, ensuring that users are equipped with knowledge to create accessible environments. 

The documents also offer practical advice on system maintenance and troubleshooting, ensuring longevity and optimal performance.

If you'd like to find out more visit: ISCVE Website

23rd January 2024

Production Futures Partners with Cheshire College to Break Ground on Education Partnerships

Production Futures Partners with Cheshire College to Break Ground on Education Partnerships

UK – Production Futures, the organisation founded to create opportunities for young people to learn, train, network and develop real careers in every sector of the production industries, has announced a partnership with Cheshire College – South and West. The arrangement sees the College’s programme leader for events and technical theatre, Angie Berwick (pictured), become Production Futures’ education ambassador, a role which it is hoped will lead the way to groundbreaking collaborations with a variety of education institutes across the UK.

Angie is well-placed to take on the challenge, combining as she does her programme leader role with more than twenty years’ experience of running her own events business. She will provide expert strategic advice to Production Futures on the needs of young people in education, as well as working with education providers to raise awareness of the opportunities within the production industries, helping them to develop job-ready talent when the time is right. The existential threat to courses connected with production has never been greater, so Production Futures chief executive, Hannah Eakins believes that working directly with education institutions to maintain the visibility of the industry to government, parents and young people, has never been more important.

“A better understanding of, and closer relationship with, the education sector is key to our aim of ensuring that there is a consistent pipeline of talent entering the production industry. We’ve worked informally with Cheshire College as a partner for some years, but meeting Angie in person and enjoying a lengthy discussion about improving the connections between education and opportunities in our industry, showed us that our views were very closely aligned.

“Angie has experience of linking her students with the industry, having worked closely with Robe Lighting and lighting designer Tim Routledge in this area. We realised that if we combined our passion, effort and knowledge, we could work together to create a wider collaboration between industry and education to include FE, HE and apprenticeships.”

For too long, according to Hannah, the industry has relied on a ‘right place, right time’ scenario, or drawn from a relatively limited pool of enthusiasts.

In a fast-growing sector like the production industries, she considers this wholly unsustainable: “We need to create awareness and improve knowledge of the sector amongst young people and parents as a matter of urgency. There’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’, we want young people to be able to take advantage of every pathway into what is an exciting and rewarding industry and which offers an incredible variety of roles. Whether that’s by progressing through further and higher education, via apprenticeships, or straight into full time employment, we need to open doors.

“This partnership is the beginning of a very exciting collaboration with the education sector, with Angie’s expertise and the example set by Cheshire College leading the way. We look forward to working closely together to ensure that we serve the best interests of young people and encourage more and more education institutions to join our mission.”

Cheshire College offers technical theatre courses ranging from Level 3 to Level 5 and the department provides students with the practical training and industry experience to become fully qualified, confident and skilled employees within the sector.

Throughout students’ time at the college, they have access to recording and sequencing studios and a fully equipped theatre with control desks, lighting and staging equipment.

On the new partnership, Angie Berwick says: “It is very humbling to be invited to be a part of Production Futures’ efforts to link the production industry with education institutions across the country. In my role at Cheshire College, I have seen so many students progress into the role of their dreams with the skills and confidence they learn with us.

“As education ambassador, I am looking forward to sharing my experience and advice on a national stage, growing the community and providing more opportunities for those wishing to have a successful career in production.”

Paul Browne, assistant principal of curriculum at Cheshire College, adds: “It has been fantastic to see the relationship between Production Futures and the college grow over the years. We are thankful for their support and advocacy within the industry, promoting the necessary technical training students require to gain sustainable and diverse employment within the sector.

“We have no doubt that Angie will be an asset to the team, and we look forward to seeing the positive impact this partnership creates.”

Lighting designer Tim Routledge concludes: “Angie is a huge supporter of her students, and I couldn’t have been prouder of the two students that came to work on the ESC with us who were a credit to the college and the hard work and talent that is available in the area.”

5th December 2023

The ALPD Lumiere Scheme 2024

UK - Established by the ALPD in 2015, the Lumière Scheme is an exciting professional development programme that provides pathways into the industry for emerging lighting practitioners and designers.

The ALPD will partner with Glyndebourne on this scheme for the third year running and delighted to announce that this year they can also offer a second scheme: The Production Lumière Scheme. 

A pathway scheme for emerging lighting designers, the Design Lumière Scheme gives the successful candidate valuable experience of working professionally as an assistant lighting designer for six months. For the first three months, the Lumière will be placed at Glyndebourne, assisting visiting lighting designers within the lighting and AV department.

Danny Vavrečka, the 2023 Design Lumière, wrote of his time with the team at Glyndebourne: “I’m so grateful for their support and all the combined knowledge they have generously shared with me.”

In the second stage, the Design Lumière will be matched with a number of established lighting designers and will spend a total of three months assisting them, travelling around the country. The Production Lumiere will spend four weeks at Regent’s Park Theatre and a further two weeks at Lamp & Pencil. Alongside this, each Lumière will receive a bespoke package of mentoring and support. The Design Lumière may have the opportunity to take on associate lighting designer roles toward the end of their attachments. Previous Design Lumières include Charlotte Burton, Rachel Cleary, Alex Musgrave, Jason Addison and Ed Saunders.

The Production Scheme will offer a 12-week placement at Glyndebourne, Regent’s Park Theatre and Lamp & Pencil alongside established freelance and resident production electricians and programmers. The Scheme will provide mentorship and real-world experiences over a period of four months. The Lumiere on the scheme will make contacts and gain invaluable experience to enable them to take the next steps in their careers.

Johanna Town, chair of the ALPD says: “We are delighted that we have been able to extend our Lumiere Scheme in 2024 by adding an opportunity for a Production Lumiere in 2024 in line with our commitment to support all those who work in lighting for live performance.”

Applications are welcome from anyone who has a minimum of one year’s professional experience working in the industry. The ALPD cannot accept anyone who is currently in full-time education.

The ALPD is committed to inclusivity and is actively encouraging applications from those who feel they are currently under-represented in the UK theatre industry. The association would also like to encourage applicants who may have moved away from theatre for various reasons and want to return to the industry. You do not need to be a member of the ALPD to apply for the Lumière Scheme. Applications close on 11 December for Production Lumiere and 16 December for Design Lumiere.

Further information about the positions and how to apply can be found at: 

23rd November 2023