Theatre Green Book One Toolkit – Touring and Co-production

 

30. Information Sharing Between Companies and Venues

With thanks to Complicité and the members of the Touring Committee for producing this guidance.

Early information sharing for the design process

If venues (at each scale of touring) were able to hold a standard checklist of equipment, touring would become more sustainable. Touring companies would need to bring less equipment with them, knowing it will be available at each venue on the tour.

That may be a long-term aspiration. However, we can reduce the quantity of material and equipment we tour with, if we ensure close and early communication between touring companies and venues, so as to identify what each venue can offer.

Venues should share information with touring partners at an early stage of the design process

Sharing information early enables designers – where possible – to plan productions around available equipment. To be helpful, information will be needed for all venues on a tour at once. This information may be used either as an agreed creative constraint (eg the Lighting Designer must use only available in-house equipment), or for logistics planning (eg avoiding carrying equipment unnecessarily to venues who already hold it).  

Touring companies should share information early with venues

Equally, venues sometimes receive tech specs from companies very late, which does not give them time to source equipment in the most sustainable way. Consider including the venue tech managers at Green Card stage – or at least have early engagement with them to share knowledge about the design. 

Encouraging resource sharing

Resource sharing can be encouraged by requesting venues for the contact details of any other venues in their local area that might be willing to lend kit they don’t have. 

ABTT have created an online database of theatre tech specs for information sharing which is available here. 
https://www.abtt.org.uk/resources-guidance/theatre-information/

Additional information to request from the venue 

• Information on local suppliers of steel deck, lighting / sound and AV equipment,
• Local prop houses 
• Local charity/second hand shops / costume stores / haberdasheries.
• Listings of local shops for consumables, spares/repairs, hardware (including notes on any odd opening hours) , as local crew tend to know a lot of this info, but knowing in advance that venues have good availability locally might mean a reduced spares/repairs kit can be toured.
• Listings (with photos) of generic items could be useful to reduce the need to tour set items 
o Chairs 
o Tables
o Beds
o Flats 
o Bulky/irregular items particularly might allow a tour to use smaller transport
• Skills of local crew, eg a local carpenter