Theatre Consultant (Stage Engineering)


Thank you for your interest in Charcoalblue.

To apply please complete the online application form and submit a short resume (1-2 pages max.) and a covering letter addressing the questions below:

  1. Why do you consider yourself to be a suitable person for the post and what you would like from the job?
  2. Which of your previous experience would you highlight as being particularly relevant? Please highlight any stage engineering design (production, rigging, platforming, automation) for performance buildings.
  3. Describe your experience of designing, specifying and commissioning stage engineering systems.
  4. Describe your experience and competency using CAD drawing tools for designing stage engineering and network systems.
  5. Please highlight the elements of the role requirement where you feel you have the least experience.
  6. What are your preferred working hours (32 or 40 per week) and salary expectations in line with experience?

    We look forward to receiving your application by 9am EST on Monday 4th October 2021.  We will only accept applications via our online system. 

Initial interviews will be held remotely (via Microsoft Teams), likely during the week commencing 11th October - time and date will be confirmed for shortlisted candidates.  

Company Overview

Charcoalblue is the world’s leading multi-national theatre, acoustic, and digital consultancy. Founded in 2004, we now have around ninety team members in London, Bristol, Glasgow, New York, Chicago, Melbourne, Seattle, Portland Oregon, Dallas, San Diego, and the Bay Area of California. Our team members currently work in a distributed way across the globe.

Charcoalblue provides guidance and designs for a broad range of buildings and events, including theatre, live performance, music, culture, education, workplaces, entertainment, and sport. We engage with all members of a project team - the clients, architects, engineers, cost consultant, and contractors - on how the design choices they make affect the functionality of the building. 

We strive to be the first and best choice for architects and clients who are designing new theatres or refurbishing existing ones. We want to recruit the finest and most capable people working in the arts or construction sectors today and are actively working to attract and retain a globally diverse team.

Equity & Diversity Overview

Charcoalblue is an equal opportunities employer. We strive to create a diverse and inclusive working environment across our practice, and we work consistently to ensure elimination of unfair and discriminatory practices within the company. Recruitment opportunities are open to all, but we particularly encourage applications from women, members of minority groups, people with disabilities, and anyone who does not currently see themselves significantly represented in our teams.

If you require this application in a different format or need support during the application process, please contact Sian Thompson via email ( or Lindsay Ricketts via telephone (212-645-0790). Equally, please contact Sian if you have any questions in relation to access, or how the role might need to respond to your personal circumstances.

Charcoalblue aims to provide a service that does not discriminate against its clients and customers and works to ensure all can access our supplied services. We believe that all employees and clients are entitled to be treated with respect and dignity.

Job Description 

We are currently seeking an experienced Stage Engineering Consultant with specific expertise in production/systems design for rigging, platforming, automation and other technical theatre systems in North America. You will be responsible for all aspects of design, documenting, and inspecting Stage Engineering systems on our projects, working as part of our project teams which can include theatre designers, lighting designers, stage equipment designers, and acousticians to deliver holistic, client-focused design solutions. Among these disciplines, Stage Engineering Designers primarily focus on the design and specification of overhead rigging, automation, staging and flexible seating systems.

You will report to one of our US Principals, who will manage your project assignments and workload along with Charcoalblue’s Operations Coordinator. You will have the chance to meet regularly with your line manager to ensure you are fully supported in your role. We will provide role-specific inductions, and ongoing training to help you succeed.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Provide general support for projects; producing drawings, specifications and reports for specific projects, as well as assisting more senior team members with research on new products, developing the principles of system design and the production of Charcoalblue’s ‘standard’ documentation
  • Produce drawings of all types of stage engineering systems (mechanical, electrical and manual) from concept design to detailed specification (Revit & AutoCAD).
  • Create equipment schedules,  reports and written specifications.
  • Estimate budgets for stage engineering equipment at all stages of design based on past bid returns and coordination with suppliers.
  • Attending design team meetings and co-ordination workshops on our building projects.
  • Researching feasibility of proposed designs, and forward-looking innovation.
  • Problem solving – finding custom/creative solutions to particular project challenges.
  • Conduct and document site inspection visits and witness testing.
  • From time-to-time, assisting with other design and administrative tasks in the studio that may not be stage engineering - for example, creating a drawing issue register for a project.
  • Contribute to the overall design philosophy of the practice of open collaborations and discussion.
  • Work to a consistently high standard, in line with Charcoalblue’s quality assurance and control procedures.
  • Ensure that the demands of your projects are fully met.
  • Operate without secretarial assistance: drafting emails, letters, reports and budgets as necessary.
  • Meeting with clients to evaluate their needs for a project as they relate to stage engineering systems and automation systems design (and beyond).
  • Coordinate with our internal design team to present a holistic design solution which balances all aspects of performance functionality and budget.  
  • Communicating with client teams to describe our solutions and ensure they reflect the right fit which balances the needs of various project constituents.  
  • Describing the functionality and purpose of stage engineering systems while adjusting communication styles for different audiences - for other creative designers, for experienced technicians, or electrical engineers.  
  • Conducting value engineering; adapting and revising designs to reduce cost while maintaining as much value and performance as possible.  
  • This position will require occasional travel, including international/overseas travel. Noting that during the pandemic long distance travel involving overnight stays is limited and conducted in accordance with CDC guidelines.
  • Working with our Team Leaders to set out project work plans, goals, and deliverables. 
  • Contributing to the continual development of our internal design and technical resources. 
  • Sharing your work and ideas with other designers at Charcoalblue. 
  • Serving as a resource for all our designers about stage engineering applicable to our projects. 

Qualifications & Key Skills

We are open to receiving applications from candidates with a varied range of experience and education. If you meet most of the qualifications below, we encourage you to apply:

  • Minimum anticipated experience of 5+ years working in a technical consulting role; likely in some combination of performing arts and architecture, and ideally, a formal qualification (certificate or diploma) in a relevant field.
  • OR, in lieu of a relevant qualification above: Minimum experience of 10+ years working in a technical design or production role; likely in some combination of performing arts and architecture.
  • Experience in 3D computer drafting in Autocad. Proficiency in REVIT or the ability to quickly learn will be required.
  • Familiarity with the standard suite of Microsoft Office products is essential. Our written work is an integral part of Charcoalblue’s profile.
  • Familiarity with Adobe Acrobat and / or Bluebeam.
  • ETCP Certified Rigging qualification (theatre or arena) is preferred.
  • Some ability to manipulate images for inclusion in reports (using InDesign or a similar package).
  • Some familiarity or training in mechanical or structural engineering would be desirable.
  • Operational and design experience of stage engineering systems, including manual and automated rigging systems and other stage machinery.
  • Self-starter with initiative, excellent time management and interpersonal skills.
  • We will expect you to be self-motivated in your own research, expanding your knowledge of the theatre and the construction industries.
  • A practical knowledge of Theatre Health & Safety practice.
  • Experience and interest in live performance, broadcast, and/or events.
  • We welcome you to highlight any potentially relevant skills or experience which we have not listed here on your application form.

Employment Details

In response to the pandemic, Charcoalblue is operating a remote working model with team members working primarily from their own homes but affiliated with a geographical team. You will not be required to work from a Charcoalblue studio, but you must be able to travel to one of our studios from time to time, when the company deems it is safe to do so in line with federal/state advice. At that time, our studio spaces will be available to employees and clients as collaborative, social spaces, with quiet working areas if required.

We will consider applicants from all locations without the need to relocate.

This is a full-time, salaried, exempt position and employment at Charcoalblue is at will.

We are offering this role on either a 32 hour or 40 hour working week basis to encourage applications from as wide a range of candidates as possible. Please state your preference within your covering letter.

Salary Range

$80,000-$95,000 gross per annum, based on a 40-hour working week. Please state your salary expectations in your covering letter in line with your experience.


We currently operate an ‘unlimited vacation’ policy* – meaning that you are entitled to a minimum of 15 days’ vacation per year to support your personal wellbeing. This is in addition to federal and some local Public Holidays. *Should you wish to take additional days’ vacation, you may request these through your line manager and approval will be given subject to the demands of your projects and the company’s needs at the time.

We traditionally close our studios between Christmas and New Year, resulting in an additional discretionary average 4-5 days’ holiday per annum. 

Following 60 days of employment, you will be eligible to join our 401K scheme (employee contributions only). Charcoalblue will provide 5% annual employer contribution following two years of employment.

Following 60 days of employment, you will be eligible to join our company health insurance plan subject to the terms and conditions of the policy which are subject to alteration from time to time.

Charcoalblue operates a bonus scheme which is subject to the Partnership’s performance year on year and is not guaranteed.

Two free theatre/ live performance tickets per month to enable you to immerse yourself in the industry as far as possible.

Monthly contribution to your home internet service and home utilities to enable you to work from home effectively in line with our distributed working model.

Start Date

As soon as practicable, ideally October 2021.