Pyrotechnics Operator

The Pyrotechnics Operator is responsible for safely setting up, operating and disposing of pyrotechnic effects during performances, working to cues given by the Deputy Stage Manager, 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 Pyrotechnics Operator is not repsonsible for the design of the effect. Any pyrotechnic effects 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 planned pyrotechnic effect.

Show-specific variations

Different theatres will have different rules as to whether pyrotechnic effects are allowed on stage in their venue, and who is allowed to operate them. Some theatres will insist that only technicians who work in the venue are allowed to operate pyrotechnic effects. Production teams should always check what their venue's rules are regarding pyrotechnics before attempting to recruit anyone from the Penguin Club to operate such effects.