Tips on Using Sight Lines in Theatre Venues

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Specialty Theatre, a division of Specialty Group Pty Ltd, has provided tips for theatres on how to use sight lines.

"If you haven’t thought about sight lines, chances are views from particular seats will be blocked by other theatregoers, the set or technical equipment," said Grant Gaylor, Sales and Project Coordinator at Specialty Theatre.

According to the leading theatre equipment supplier, many first-time theatre directors and venue managers struggle with correctly using sightlines, which can have a significant impact on the quality of productions.

“You can’t edit a live performance, so you need to take the size and seating arrangement of your venue into account. If you haven’t thought about sight lines, chances are views from particular seats will be blocked by other theatregoers, the set or technical equipment,” said Grant Gaylor, Sales and Project Coordinator at Specialty Theatre.

Specialty Theatre has provided the following tips on how to correctly use sight lines in theatres:

1. Create a detailed plan of your theatre venue. Ensuring all your patrons have an unobstructed view of the stage begins by creating a clear plan of what your theatre and stage will look like. With some basic geometry and theatre planning, you’ll be able to work out the sight lines and potential problems.
2. Consider both horizontal and vertical sight lines. On the horizontal line, you need to consider your audience’s view of the stage and whether it’s blocked by stage curtains, parts of the set or the heads of other patrons. There are more factors to consider with the vertical sight line: you want to make sure that the sight lines aren’t blocked by the curtains, but you also want to mask the lighting, rigging and other stage equipment.
3. Use clever seating solutions. By planning your seating correctly, you can avoid broken sight lines. Smaller venues can arrange seating so that each member of the audience looks between the heads of people in front of them. In a larger theatre, raised or tiered seating is often required.

About Specialty Group Pty Ltd: Since 1969, Specialty Group has been providing theatre, stage and cinema equipment and services to the performing arts and cinema exhibition industries in Australia, New Zealand and 28 countries around the world. Specialty Group operates under the Specialty Theatre (http://www.specialtytheatre.com) and Specialty Cinema (http://www.specialtycinema.com) brand names.

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