Life as a Stage Hand

stagehand is a person who works backstage or behind the scenes in theatres, film, television, or location performance. Their work include setting up the scenery, lights, sound, propsrigging, and special effects for a production.


Stagehands are usually skilled in multiple disciplines, including rigging, carpentry, painting, stage electrics, stage lighting, audio, video/projection, and props. Stagehands are often responsible for operating the systems during shows or taping and also for the repair and maintenance of the equipment. Most stagehands have a general knowledge of all the phases of a production, but tend to develop specialties and focus on specific areas.

Riggers are in charge of the things that hang. This may include building structures that are tens of stories high. They use safety gear similar to that used for mountain climbing.[1]

Carpenters construct and set up scenery. They may also move scenery on stage during a show.

Electricians, or more commonly known as “Lighting technicians”, set up all the lights, program the light design in the lighting console and run the follow spot (what people often call a spotlight). Audio and Video departments fall under the Electricians label.

Stagehands are generally employed on a show-by-show basis, although most major theaters and studios maintain staff heads of departments and assistants. Often, they are union members, typically part of the I.A.T.S.E. in North America or ABTT in the UK.

Stagehand 101 ft. Kenny Barnwell (Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Seal)
ow To Over / Under Wrap Cables for A/V and Live Production Alan Hamilton Audio


Stagehand 101 Paperback – January 9, 2018 (Amazon)

by Kenny Barnwell (Author)

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