Wednesday 9th June 17:00
Join the ABTT in commemorating the usual dates of the annual ABTT Theatre Show with a series of online seminars 9th-11th June.
An introduction to the STSG, an established network of professional theatre technicians, designers and managers working in UK schools and colleges.
Join us to find out about how we can support you, our conference and the STSG Performance Support Award. Plus we will be chatting about technical production and venue management issues in school venues.
Saturday 12th February 2022
We expect the next annual conference to take place as normal, at The King's School in Canterbury.
More details will be announced nearer the time.
The year began as normal for STSG with our Annual Conference; this year at Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire. As the UK braced itself for the arrival of Storm Dennis, we met for a packed day of workshops, seminars, break-out sessions and exhibitors, finishing with a splendid dinner at Ampleforth's on-site pub, The Windmill. (Photos )
Unfortunately back in February none of us could have predicted the impending severity of the emerging coronavirus situation, despite one delegate missing the conference at the last-minute with suspected COVID-19 symptoms.
By the end of March, we had to cancel our planned committee meeting and postpone the fully-booked 'IOSH' training course. However, for the most part, the STSG continued as a remote organisation - for the support and benefit of our members, as well as disseminating important advice and updates from the ABTT and other industry bodies. Some of us also attended the excellent webinars provided by the ABTT (see ABTT website for resources).
It was an uncertain time for us all, with schools closed for the rest of the academic year, moving to virtual teaching, no productions, and no clarity about schools opening again in September. We were sorry to hear of some members being made redundant. We created a Members' Survey as planning for Autumn Term productions commenced - which indicated a wide variety of responses to the pandemic, from the complete shutdown of Performing Arts, to near-normal plans for shows before Christmas. We quickly created a Shared Drive of COVID resources, with some members sharing their work on risk assessments and working policies (still available via the Members' Portal ).
Towards the end of the first lockdown period we began regular/weekly STSG Virtual Meets, which allowed members to share their thoughts and concerns, as well as simply being able to talk to others in the same situation. We continued to host several themed Virtual Meets during the Autumn Term; the most popular of which was a session on Live Streaming - as many of us have quickly become filming/editing/streaming experts as live performances have been substituted by filmed events.
Plans for further STSG training courses have had to be put on hold, including a repeat of the popular Props Making Workshop last held in September 2019 (Photos ). However, we were finally able to undertake the postponed 'IOSH Working Safely for Theatre' training course in October, albeit virtually. Other excellent Virtual Courses were provided for members on 'COVID-19 Compliance' and 'COVID-19 First Aid Top-up'. Looking ahead, we hope to run a virtual course in 2021 to cover 'Working at Height', at the request of some members.
As we reach the end of 2020, a vaccine is giving a light at the end of the tunnel, but the coming term is by no means certain with the prospect of further restrictions being imposed and another lockdown. STSG is planning for a Virtual Conference in February.
There is no doubt that challenging times still lie ahead. The STSG isn't able to be as proactive about supporting members as the larger organisations, but please be aware of the support which is available - whether that be within school, a union, the ABTT, friends, family or another source. The industry-run Theatre Helpline is as much for those working in school theatres/drama departments as it is for mainstream theatre. It is free and available 24/7 on 0800 915 4617 or email@example.com
We are supported by RB Health & Safety Solutions who provide essential Health & Safety services to STSG members, including free email consultancy, plus discounts on audits and training.
STSG also runs training courses for members, including IOSH 'Working Safely for Theatre' (every 3 years). If you would like to host a training course, or have specific training needs, please contact us.
Members can find details of STSG services on the Member Home Page.
ABTT's Bronze, Silver and Gold professional development awards for technicians are available every summer in Coventry and elsewhere in the country at other times.
Please visit the ABTT website for details of the next available courses.
Since June 2014 the STSG is affiliated as a committee of the Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT), giving us wider recognition as an organisation and also raising awareness of theatre work within schools.
We are continuing to operate independently with our own Constitution and Committee, but we will be adhering to the principles and objectives of the ABTT.
We are represented on the ABTT Council by Alexander Cann (former STSG member).
STSG membership is separate to ABTT membership, although from January 2020 eligible ABTT members can join STSG for free. For each member enrolled in this way, the ABTT will contribute a subsidy to the STSG at no extra cost to the member.