Firearms Operator

The Firearms Operator is responsible for safely setting up, potentially operating (if not done by the cast on stage), and storing of blank-firing guns or similar weapons during performances, working to cues given by the Deputy Stage Manager (if they are operating the effect themselves), and following procedures defined by the Technical Director or Special Effects Designer. Even though this role can be done by different people each night, all of them should be present for a technical rehearsal and trial run, and therefore it is most commonly done by the same person for the whole run, or two people sharing.

The firearms operator is not repsonsible for the design of the effect. Any effects involving firearms should be planned very early in a show's production schedule, in conjunction with the Technical Director and/or Special Effects Designer. The Stage Manager or Deputy Stage Manager should be present in rehearsals and ensure that no blocking or choreography prevents the safe operation of any effect involving firearms.

Show-specific variations

Different theatres will have different rules as to whether firearms are allowed on stage in their venue, and who must look after them. Production teams should always check what their venue's rules are regarding firearms before attempting to recruit anyone from the Penguin Club to work with such effects.