A Weekly DIGEST for teachers and staff who want to level-up support and funding for MANAGEMENT OF their SCHOOL theatre. 

Issue 1, 2023

A big WELCOME to the first issue of PRESETT’s weekly newsletter, Cue3Go!  This is the only newsletter – that we know of – that connects our community around the challenges and celebrates the victories of school theatre management

Whether you have outside events that use your theatre or just school events, chances are your school theatre is being run like a ‘roadhouse’, with productions, concerts, talks and meetings, and many other events using your theatre.  And chances are that you, or another solo person, is in charge of ALL of this – as well as wearing other hats.  And chances are that your admin are not familiar with what’s involved in making a school theatre function. Whether this is your situation, or your school theatre is fully staffed and funded (as it should be!), we invite you to connect with PRESETT in advocating for safe, functional and educational school theatres.

The Cue3Go! weekly newsletter provides you with inspirations, mindsets, objectives, and actions to level-up support and funding of your school theatre.  We hope you will join us in the conversations and in the transformations.  Welcome! 

(Of course, if this is not for you, please forgive the email and you can unsubscribe below.)


Come backstage, and you'll see:

  • Techie Tip of the Week (editorial)
  • Safety Stories (reader submissions)
  • Dear Techie (advice column)
  • Techie Travesties

Join us in more conversation on

PRESETT's  Facebook page

Techie Tip of the Week


Part 1 of an 8-part series on ACTION STEPS you can take to level-up support and funding for your school theatre.


It’s likely that your district or school has a generic form that users (outside and other teachers) have to fill out in order to rent a facility in the district. But a theatre is not a classroom.  It’s not likely that that form provides you with the information needed to provide technical support for the event coming into your theatre.  All sorts of systems need to be put into place before the curtain opens.  This is something that needs expertise – and time (which you want to demonstrate to your admin that don’t have). 


Documentation is all about revealing and validating the level of administration needed to run your theatre.  

Create a detailed Theatre Rental Form (separate from the district facility rental form).

Schedule a time to talk with your admin about this - presenting an Event Rental Form to your admin will help them comprehend the extent of the administrative responsibilities of a Theatre Manager.

(For what information to include on your form, check out the Administrative Systems chapter of High School Theatre Operations. For more detailed guidance on creating forms, check out the Theatre Management Training online course or tutorials.)

This editorial is the express opinion of Beth Rand, and is not intended for substitution for professional advice regarding your specific situation or circumstances.


Send us your Techie Pix!

CLICK HERE TO RECEIVE 9 FREE Resources to help you level-up support and funding

Safety Stories

Safety 'Horror Stories' and/or Solutions(!), submitted by readers.

I arrived at the high school theatre that I am hired to manage one day around 3:00pm to find an adult volunteer locked in the theatre, using the table saw in the scene shop and building a set piece on stage. I do not allow even my professional and experienced theatre technicians to work in the theatre alone. I told her that she shouldn’t be working alone and that she should not be behind locked doors because if she did injure herself someone might not be able to get to her to help her. She shrugged this off and was not inclined to stop working. I left the doors open so that I could hear her working from my office. A couple of hours later I told her that I had to leave and that she would have to leave too. She mentioned that she needed to use the restroom before leaving, and as I followed her up the hallway in order to unlock the restroom door for her, she pulled out a set of keys from her pocket and let herself in. When I later informed my principal about this incident, he responded that it was “just” the Drama teacher’s mother-in-law. He seemed unconcerned that someone was working alone in the theatre, and also that a teacher had given her the keys. The principal clearly was in disregard of the risks involved for the district, and did nothing to ensure it would not happen in the future.

- Reader in Washington State

Share your safety horror story or solution at [email protected]. (We only disclose which state or country you are in.)


Dear Techie:

Dear Techie,

The high school where I used to teach is thinking of doing Peter Pan next year. The new Drama teacher thinks it will be no problem to get the proper rigging and be able to fly the kids during the show. I mentioned we’d talked about it before, and the cost and safety issues were crazy. Is there anything PRESETT could do if he decides to do it?

Safety-first in Seattle, Washington

Dear Safety-first in Seattle,

We’re very glad to hear that you are so safety conscious, and still care about your old high school! Unfortunately there is nothing PRESETT can do if a teacher choses to put his students in danger, however we can provide some advice for you to share with him to hopefully prevent him from going that far.

PRESETT does not recommend or endorse flying high school students. Nonetheless, there are professional companies, such as Flying by Foy ( or Hall Associates ( who have worked with schools before. But be aware that if you hire a professional company the cost can be between $5k to $10k, for an effect that lasts a few minutes per show. And even a professional company will inform you that there is an inherent danger in flying students, and that it can result in serious injury or even death (that’s why they carry such hefty liability insurance and why they have liability waivers).

If you do it yourself with unqualified people (read: students) the safety risks are incalculable, and any risk adverse school district would not allow it. It’s not a question of just going out and ‘getting the proper rigging’, and practicing a few times. For a start, you can’t just go out and get climbing harnesses and hardware, because flying harnesses are custom made and have a specific fit in order to deal with costumes and singing actors. How do you know if your grid is stable? If you rent trusses, who installs them? Consider that you would need one flyman per actor. Who would be your flymen? Students? Which students do you deem responsible enough, and who is qualified enough to teach them? Professional riggers have to pass rigorous (no pun intended) exams before they are qualified to do their jobs. Why would they need this training if it’s something a high school student is capable of doing? If this still doesn’t dissuade your replacement, direct him to and search: peter pan flying students.

Yes, audiences love to see flight. But a production of “Peter Pan” doesn’t require that the actors really leave the ground, any more than a production of “Westside Story” doesn’t require that the actors use real knives. There are safer alternatives for flying effects. One choice would be ‘heelies’ - sneakers with wheels in the heel (as long as the actors stay 6’ away from the edge of the stage!). Another would be to build a short roof top floor panel to hide uplights and fans, which the actors stand behind. Audiences (read: parents) are very accepting of “artistic license”, but they aren’t very forgiving of accidents that could have been prevented.

Submit your Dear Techie questions to [email protected].  



Techie Travesties

How many lighting technicians does it take to screw in a light bulb?

None!  It’s called a LAMP!!

Submit your Bad Theatre Joke or Funnies to [email protected].

And finally, always remember...

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Why the name Cue3Go?  Because often times (not always, of course) in a show, Cue 1 is house-to-half, Cue 2 is blackout, and Cue 3 is lights up!  We hope this newsletter will light you up each week with ideas and actions for managing your high school theatre.

It is PRESETT's mission to provide information to assist in endeavors for safe and functional operations of school theatres. However, PRESETT is not a safety consultant or professional, and any information provided or advocated is not intended to supplement, not supersede, industry safety training. Always consult a theatre safety specialist about your specific situation or circumstances.

Join the conversation.  Be a part of the ACTION!