Project management tips for theatre venues



Effective project management is crucial for the successful development and operation of theatre venues.
Whether you’re revamping your venue, or just updating individual elements like draping and lighting, here are some project management tips specifically tailored for theatre venues:

Clear Project Scope:

Define the project scope clearly, including the purpose, objectives, and deliverables of the theatre venue. This will serve as a roadmap for all stakeholders involved.

Experienced Project Manager:

Appoint an experienced project manager who understands the unique challenges of theatre projects and has a background in managing similar ventures.

Collaborative Planning:

Involve all key stakeholders, including theatre directors, designers, technical staff, architects, and local authorities, in the planning process. Their input will ensure a comprehensive and well-rounded plan.

Realistic Timeline:

Develop a realistic project timeline that considers all stages, from design and construction to commissioning and opening. Be prepared for potential delays and have contingency plans in place.

Detailed Budgeting:

Create a detailed budget that covers all aspects of the theatre venue, including construction, technology installation, equipment, staffing, marketing, and operating costs.

Risk Management:

Identify potential risks and challenges early on and develop strategies to mitigate them. Regularly review and update the risk management plan throughout the project.

Communication and Transparency:

Maintain open and transparent communication with all stakeholders throughout the project. Regular meetings and progress reports will keep everyone informed and involved.

Permits and Regulations:

Ensure that all necessary permits and approvals are obtained from relevant authorities before starting construction or operation.

Quality Control:

Implement stringent quality control measures during construction and equipment installation to ensure that the venue meets the highest standards.


Be prepared to adapt and make adjustments as the project progresses. Theatre projects often require last-minute changes based on artistic decisions or unforeseen circumstances.

Testing and Commissioning:

Conduct thorough testing and commissioning of all systems before the venue's opening to ensure everything functions as intended.

Staffing and Training:

Recruit and train a skilled and dedicated team of theatre staff, including technical personnel, ushers, and front-of-house staff, well in advance of the opening.

Promotion and Marketing:

Start promoting the theatre venue well ahead of the opening, building anticipation and excitement within the community.

Soft Opening and Previews:

Consider hosting soft openings and previews to test the venue's operations, gather feedback, and make final adjustments before the official opening.

Post-Opening Evaluation:

After the venue's opening, conduct a comprehensive evaluation to identify strengths and areas for improvement. Use this feedback to continuously enhance the theatre's offerings

By implementing these project management tips, theatre venues can ensure a smoother and more successful development process and provide a welcoming and enjoyable experience for both performers and audiences alike.

About the Author


Reg Berry is a Director at Henley Theatre Services, working with performance venues and schools to rethink and reshape their environments with the latest technology. With over 20 years of experience in the theatre space, Reg has worked with some of the top performance venues in the UK to come up with amazing technical designs and lead the implementation project to great success.

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