Back to the Future of Heritage Theatre Technology

Back to the Future of Heritage Theatre Technology

Workshop project 2019>2023

theatrEurope offers workshops for students and young professionals to teach them hands-on the possibilities of historic methods and techniques for contemporary use.


This workshop of at least 24 hours can be given in 3 days but should optimally take 5 days. All materials necessary for this workshop - and not standard available in an educational institution - are loaned by theatrEurope vzw for the duration of the workshop and will be transported by car by the workshop leader to each destination. The workshop will be adapted to the possibilities of each workshop location.

To make it affordable for every interested, at least 3 consecutive workshops should be combined in 1 trip. Schools can use the Erasmus+ program to cover the costs. At least this is the concept for Europe. Destinations farther away (American or Asian continent) can be taken into consideration and discussed.

Description workshop:

From classic Baroque technology and scene changes to contemporary use of this versatile machinery. First historic use is explained and how this heritage technology can serve contemporary scenography. An imaginative scenographer can surprise you with the most unexpected use of the miscellaneous opportunities of this neglected technology in contemporary stage design for present-day productions.

Contemporary theatre machinery accommodation consists of bars going up and down, be it with counterweight system or be it by computer commanded motors. The “Baroque" theatre machinery in the understage adds horizontal moves with a wing chariot system and brings scenic elements up from the understage with a cassette system. With restoration/modernisation of historic theatres, this understage with machinery is sacrificed to use mostly as extra storage space.

With full-sized material, we work on alternatives for heritage theatre technology, building an “understage” of 28mm on top of each available performance floor to be able to do the same movements as produced by a heritage wing chariot system. Also different flying movements based on heritage technology will be worked on. And what to think about a revolve platform moving on and off stage? All those alternatives are very budget-friendly and of course very sustainable, working on human power and counterweighted where needed: an alternative elevator system can prove that.

Folder in French and English

Our thanks for support to this workshop goes to: