Theatre Design Consultant


​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 design experience for performance buildings.
  3. Describe your experience of designing, specifying and commissioning performing arts spaces and how familiar (or not) you are with the RIBA architectural design stages.
  4. Describe your experience and competency using CAD drawing tools for designing performing arts spaces.
  5. Please highlight the elements of the role requirement where you may need support from us.
  6. What are your salary expectations in line with experience?

We look forward to receiving your application by 9am BST on Monday 1st November 2021.  We will only accept applications via our online system. 

Interviews will likely be held remotely (via Microsoft Teams), during early November. The 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, 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.

Equality & Diversity Overview

Charcoalblue is an equal opportunities employer, actively working towards becoming an inclusive organisation. We work consistently to ensure elimination of unfair and discriminatory practices within the Partnership and encourage full contribution from its diverse community.

Our mission is to manifest an inclusive ethos by creating a diverse and inclusive working environment across our practice. Recruitment opportunities are open to all, and we are particularly keen to hear from ethnically diverse and disabled candidates, as these voices are currently underrepresented within 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 telephone (+44 (0)20 7928 0000). 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.

The Partnership aims to provide a service that does not discriminate against its clients and customers and works to ensure all can access the services and goods supplied by the Partnership.

The Partnership believes that all employees and clients are entitled to be treated with respect and dignity.

Job Description 

As a Theatre Designer in the global Charcoalblue team you will be instrumental in conceiving, guiding and constructing some of the most amazing and creative venues for the performing arts across the world. Working with Clients, Architects and Consultants in a collaborative team structure, you will influence the design of a vast range of arts related building projects, all of which share a focus on innovative and inspired solutions to a client’s brief. Our Theatre Designers have a key role within that project team which starts in the early concept stages right through to completion and commissioning on site. Working closely with the team, your role will be instrumental in defining our venues’ look and feel, shape, form, and architectural integration.

As well as defining architectural and theatrical concepts, the responsibilities of a Theatre Designer also include technical auditorium design aspects such as sightlines, accessibility, code compliance, design coordination and seating specification. You will be expected to effectively communicate design ideas to clients and the wider design team using clear presentation skills and tools and produce supporting drawings and documentation.

You will report to one of our UK Principals, who will manage 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, and since theatre consultancy is a specialist field, we will provide role-specific inductions, and ongoing training to help you succeed.

The role is anticipated to service our UK and EMEA based projects working with our external project teams in local time zones. However, it may also involve providing Theatre Design on projects run from our other global offices in the Australia and USA and coordinating communication with Charcoalblue designers and external consultants in other time zones, including extensive use of video conferencing.

Primary Responsibilities

​As we operate within a niche field, this list is intended to provide a thorough understanding of what may be expected in the role:

  • Provide general design and compliance support for projects, working alongside Charcoalblue’s experienced designers and team leaders.
  • When required, you will produce, issue and present your own design solutions, room developments, sketches, drawings, reports, specifications, schedules, budgets and other information.
  • Meeting with clients to evaluate and discuss their needs for a project as they relate to theatre design (and beyond).
  • Working with the external architectural and engineering team to optimize the theatrical requirements of the project ensuring a continuity of the project’s aesthetic aspirations whilst maintaining the production requirements.
  • Working with our designers to develop an understanding of local and international building codes relevant to your area of involvement to ensure that the theatrical ambitions of a project are fulfilled within the local regulations.
  • In line with the ambitions of Charcoalblue ensure the accessibility of projects is meeting if not exceeding the requirements of local jurisdictions to promote the theatrical industry as a welcoming and open space.
  • Working with our internal design team to present a holistic design solution which balances all aspects of performance functionality and budget.  
  • Communicating with client and design teams to describe our solutions and ensure they reflect the right fit which balances the needs of various project constituents.  
  • Participating in site visits for client workshops, architectural coordination, commissioning, witness testing, construction progress, and other purposes as required. This position will require occasional interstate and international travel (noting that during the pandemic most flight travel has been put on hold).
  • When required you will actively manage the delivery of auditorium seating design and other relevant systems to client deadlines which will involve management of Charcoalblue resources, client resources and the work of appointed contractors. 
  • You will ensure that the demands of your projects are fully met.
  • We aim to be unassailable in the quality of our work, the speed of our response, and to motivate the entire design and construction team by the good humour and competence of our approach.
  • You will need to be able to operate with minimal administrative assistance: drafting emails, letters, reports and budgets as necessary, and attending meetings and site visits as required.
  • You must be self-motivated and able to plan working time around the demands of the projects assigned to you at any given time.
  • 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. 
  • Discussing yours and others’ work and ideas with other designers at Charcoalblue. 
  • Serving as a resource for all our designers about theatre design 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:

  • This role will suit someone at the beginning or in the early stages of their design / consultancy career, with a desire to grow in experience within our team. Minimum anticipated experience of two to five years working as a designer with an architectural or theatre related background, and most of all have an interest and passion for the performing arts.
  • You have excellent CAD skills in both 2D and 3D are required. Rendering and visualisation skills would be an advantage, as well as experience of using Autodesk Revit.
  • You have experience in putting together reports and presentations including the ability to lay out text, photographs and drawings will be advantageous. Some ability to manipulate images for inclusion in reports (using InDesign or a similar package) would be advantageous.
  • You are personable, with an ability to adapt your communication style to liaise successfully with our global team, and ability to employ an awareness of local cultural nuances.
  • You understand how to communicate with people at all levels and, importantly, feel confident that you can introduce new ideas using your personal experience as a backdrop. You will also be aware of the need to listen, to avoid a ‘one size fits all’ or dictatorial attitude, and to take a proactive approach to finding solutions which meet all the constraints of a given project.
  • You feel comfortable in large meetings and able to present and discuss ideas.
  • You have knowledge of relevant building health and safety legislation, risk assessment and risk analysis procedures, and an understanding of all matters relating to the successful operation of a venue as a place in which the performing arts can thrive. 
  • You ideally have some knowledge of construction contractual issues and the RIBA Work Stages.
  • You ideally understand the holistic and operational needs of all building users, including staff, performers and audiences. Some understanding of the technical infrastructure of a performance venue is advantageous, including lighting, rigging and/or AV systems, an awareness of good backstage architectural planning, seating and sightline issues as well as environmental and acoustical issues.
  • Familiarity with the standard suite of Microsoft Office products is essential. Our written work is an integral part of Charcoalblue’s profile, so a high degree of literacy and accuracy is also important.
  • Familiarity with Adobe Acrobat and / or Bluebeam is also essential – we operate a paperless office and use the Adobe PDF format for all documents.
  • Experience and interest in live performance, broadcast, and/or events, and a passion for performing arts.
  • Experience working across multiple time zones is an advantage, but not essential.

Employment Details

Our standard full-time working week is 40 hours (flexible between 8am and 8pm Monday-Friday), plus an hour per day (unpaid) for lunch, with an understanding that flexible working hours will apply to meet our clients’ needs and to accommodate the company’s global time zones. Charcoalblue does not provide for the payment of overtime.  The nature of the job and the Partnership’s business could occasionally entail some work outside normal working hours.

We are also open to hearing from you if you would prefer to work part-time. In this instance, please state your preference within the application. There is a three-month probationary period for permanent roles.

We are currently working in a distributed (remote) model, meaning you may work between your home (or other place of your choosing) or our London or Bristol studio, depending on your preference, plus some site visits and project meetings as required. We will provide you with the necessary IT hardware and software to enable to you to carry out your role successfully in line with your duties.

Please note, although the role is distributed, our preference is that the successful applicant should be based in the UK, to effectively meet the current needs of our work and local team, being able to travel to site/client meetings and our UK studios as required.

Annual leave entitlement: 20 days minimum per annum*, plus statutory public holidays.
*We are currently trialling ‘unlimited annual leave’ which states that there may be the opportunity to benefit from some additional days’ leave in line with our Policy.

Employee Benefits

Charcoalblue will pay the superannuation guarantee in addition to your salary from the commencement of your employment.

Charcoalblue operates a bonus scheme which you will benefit from following successful completion of a three-month probationary period. Please note that this is subject to the Partnership’s performance year on year and is not guaranteed.

On successful completion of your probationary period, you will also receive two free theatre or live events tickets per month to enable you to immerse yourself in the industry as far as possible. We will also contribute to your home broadband and give you a monthly contribution towards your home utilities to enable you to work from home effectively in line with our distributed working model.

Start Date

November 2021


Please state in your cover letter your salary expectations in line with your experience.