Technical Theatre Symposium 2021

Visions of 2020: The future of Technical Theatre and Production Arts and Design Training

online event
4th February 2021 7:00pm, 5th February 2021 9:00am – 6:00pm


Tickets for the Scottish Drama Training Network’s symposium Visions of  2020: The future of Technical Theatre and Production Arts and Design Training in Scotland are on sale now.


The SDTN Technical Theatre Symposium 2021 will look at our collective visions of 2020 and bring together experts, practitioners and educators from across Scotland in the areas of production arts to explore the impact of lockdown and blended learning. During this online event, you will hear from a range of speakers on what innovative practices are being used now to enable a brighter future for all learners from school aged children to professionals.


This symposium is an opportunity for those in the sector, and for those in training, to engage with a wide range of industry, to share best practice and hear what’s working well and what we need to learn to support the future needs of the sector – and all from the comfort of your own home.


SDTN is asking attendees to make an affordable contribution to access this event and its associated online content. We suggest a contribution range from £5 to £50. The pandemic continues to challenge our industry and we are trying to assist by continuing to offer opportunities virtually and paying industry rates to our contributors.


If you are a freelancer who has been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, please contact to discuss complimentary attendance.

We need your voice at the symposium.


SDTN are delighted to be working with Snootie Studios who will be delivering the event on  Slack Channel and Zoom.

Snootie Studios is a creative studio specialising in Graphic Design, Illustration and online Events Production. 


Technical Theatre Symposium 2021: what to expect


Your delegate pass unlocks access to a range of online content plus a full day of interactive sessions, workshops and networking opportunities, taking place online.


The schedule of events includes:


Private digital screening of The Assumption An original play written by Douglas Maxwell, co-produced by Solar Bear and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and performed by BA Performance in BSL and English students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.


Education and Industry Stalls: A chance to ‘break out’ and chat with education and industry at our virtual stalls. Connect with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Creative Edinburgh, Equity and more. We even provide you with your own tea and biscuits through the post in advance!


CPD sessions: These will be limited in number and on a first-booked, first-served basis. CPD sessions will be run with industry partners including Flints, Association of British Theatre Technicians and more to be announced.


Spotlight Sessions: Quick-fire 10-minute sessions with a huge range of education and industry sharing their innovations. Hear from Ayrshire College, Tramway & STAGEPORT, Creative & Cultural Skills, CallQ, Federation of Scottish Theatre, Solar Bear and more.


Industry discussion: Gemma Swallow (National Theatre of Scotland) and Craig Fleming (Centrline) update us on their innovative collaborative work on environmental sustainability in this online Q and A.

Statement from Gemma Swallow: We have run out of time to sit and ponder how we deal with the climate crisis.  It’s here and now.  Sustainability and the environment have to sit at the heart of our sector, our organisations and our workforce.  To do this we need to come together as a community to support each other through the challenges, and possibilities, and ensure a better and more sustainable future for our industry.

Outcome of the session will inform SDTN programming of a CPD session on Sustainability in Practice Spring 2021.


Creative Conversations: Chat with experts on everything from video design to set model making. Jamie Wardrop, Hazel Blue and Kate Bonney return from our 2020 CPD sessions to hold more Creative Conversations with you.


And lots more!


Full Day Schedules


4th February 2021


19:00 Private digital screening of The Assumption


5th February 2021


09:00 – 09.30 Registration


09:00 – 18.00 Education and Industry Stalls

These will be delivered via our Slack channel. You will have the chance to chat one on one, ask questions, and join others to replicate that marketplace feel but without the February drafts whistling through the venue front doors! Companies and organisations participating are: 



Ayrshire College

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Creative Edinburgh


Federation of Scottish Theatre

Association of Sound Designers

Edinburgh College

Association of British Theatre Technicians


09:30 – 09.40 Opening Symposium Welcome


09:40 – 11:20 CPD Sessions

Flints: Working with Worbla

Association of Sound Designers: Adventures in Creative Audio Story Telling

Association of British Theatre Technicians: Bronze Award Rope, Knots and Splicing with Alastair Noonan


11:40 – 13:10 CPD Sessions repeat


13:10 – 13:50 Lunch Break

Education and Industry Stalls on Slack open again


14:10 – 16:00 Spotlight Sessions

RCS & SDTN – Helen McVey and Karen Townsend

Solar Bear – Jonathan Lloyd

Ayrshire College – Patrick Devlin

Federation of Scottish Theatre – Alice McGrath

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland – Steve Macluskie

White Light – Jonathan Haynes and Stuart Porter

Tramway & STAGEPORT – Stephen Roe and Janie Hopkins

Call Q – Gail Pallin, Iain McConnell & Germán Martins

Creative Edinburgh – Anna Gormezano Marks

Creative & Cultural Skills – Katheryn Willens

Edinburgh College – Chris Aberdeen and Tim Childs

Equity – Adam Adnyana

Association of British Theatre Technicians – Robin Townley


16:10 – 16:40 Industry Discussion

SDTN are delighted to welcome Gemma Swallow (National Theatre of Scotland) and Craig Fleming (Centrline) update us on their ideas around working collaboratively for a more sustainable future in this online Q and A


16:40 – 17:25 Creative Conversations

Video design with Jamie Wardrop

Set Model Making/Costume with Hazel Blue

Lighting Design with Kate Bonney


16:40 – 17:25 Summer & Autumn CPD Sessions – Available to watch again

Sound Composition – Gary Cameron

Teaching Production Sound – Clare Hibberd

Special Effects Make-Up – Michelle Chambers

Costume Roles – Karen Short and Laura Hunt

Technical Stage Management – Steve Macluskie

Health and Safety – Andrew Evans


17:25 – 17:30 Round Up of the Day


17:30 – 18:00 Networking Reception

Please join us for this informal and confidential reception (along with mood music) giving you all an opportunity to talk honestly about what we have learnt over the last 11 months and what will help us all get out the other side.

No recording or note taking allowed by order of SDTN.

We wish we could provide a spot of the stronger stuff to all those who partake but even with the miracle of Zoom that’s not possible, and yes, we checked.


Booking Information

To book your place click here.

Workshop Information

Flints: Working with Worbla

Join Michelle Greer from Flints THE theatrical supply company in this practical CPD session using the incredible Worbla; an eco-friendly, safe-to-use thermoplastic ideal for prop making for stage and screen.  

You will receive a practical pack before the 5th of February for you to try at home while Michelle demonstrates. Worbla can be used stand alone, around a structure, in a mould, and built into layers. Not only that, but can be sanded and painted into the bargain. Interested? Yes? Then please book your place by 10AM Mon 1st Feb 2021 to ensure you receive your pack in time. 

Association of Sound Designers: Adventures in Creative Audio Story Telling 

Join Dominic Bilkey – ASD Chair, Head of Sound & Video at the National Theatre and Zoe Milton – ASD Administrator & freelance Sound Engineer as they introduce you to the world of audio story telling through sound design for performance. This interactive session will equip delegates with a renewed understanding of sound for performance. Delegates will work in teams to create a unique ending to the story. Dominic and Zoe talk about equipment they use when creating content for shows, regardless of the budget and let delegates in on a few secrets along the way!  Through pre-recorded soundscapes and delegate recordings we will work together to create a brand-new piece of Sound Storytelling. Please make sure you have a set of headphones to use for this session.

Association of British Theatre Technicians: Bronze Award Rope, Knots and Splicing with Alastair Noonan

Alastair will talk about his path into the industry and give delegates an overview of the Ropes, Knots and Splicing session which forms part of the ABTT Bronze Award. The course gives the candidates practical knowledge about types of ropes they will encounter in theatres, selection and safe use. The session will include useful examples of course content, attempt to teach how to tie a knot or two remotely and finish with an opportunity to ask questions.





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