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Theatre Mechanist

No Formal Qualifications On The Job Training VOC Course Subject Prerequisites Traineeship Year 10 Preferred

Also known as Stagehand.

Theatre mechanists prepare and put together sets for live performances, theatre, opera, musical concerts and dance performances.

Theatre mechanists work as part of a small team.

Working hours are irregular and may include long shifts, nights and weekends.

Experienced mechanists may be employed as theatre 'flypersons', whose work involves operating the flying systems which control flown scenery.


    Theatre mechanists may perform the following tasks:

  • load and unload scenery
  • build and set up stage scenery and suspended scenery (or 'flown' scenery)
  • determine the best method for storage and setting of scenery in performances
  • run the scenery movements in a performance
  • operate the mechanical components of the stage including trap doors, lifting equipment and movable scenery
  • carry out maintenance and repairs of stage scenery


  • enjoy manual work
  • able to use a variety of tools
  • able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • enjoy working with people in a team environment

Interest Area

Artistic/Creative Technical/Engineering


No Formal Qualifications On The Job Training VOC Course Subject Prerequisites Traineeship Year 10 Preferred

You can work as a theatre mechanist without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job.

Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have qualifications.

You may like to consider a VOC qualification in live production and services, live production and technical services or a related field. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information.

You can also become a theatre mechanist through a traineeship in Live Production and Services or Live Production and Technical Services.

Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

Additional Information

    Once you are employed, you may be able to develop, and have recognised, additional skills under the Live Performance and Entertainment Training Package that will expand your career opportunities within this industry.


Theatre mechanists are employed by theatres and other performance venues.

Occasionally, a producer will employ a head mechanist to tour with a major production. Most employment is casual, although it is usual to be employed for extended periods such as the run of a play. Some major entertainment centres employ permanent mechanists, but these positions are rare.

Opportunities in this very competitive industry are mainly found in the major centres of entertainment production, such as Melbourne and Sydney, or overseas.

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More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Theatre Mechanist Innovation and Business Skills Australia Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance

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