Automation (Scenic)

[photo above: The Lord of the Rings, Theatre Royal Drury Lane]

Scenic automation is at the forefront of the largest most complex productions in the world, ensuring that the most mind-numbingly complex sequences of scene changes can happen at the touch of a button right in front of the audiences’ eyes.

Relevant pages at

Automation Credits

Random Glossary Entry

A manual or electrically driven system for lifting performers off the stage and allowing spectacular stunts and aerial sequences to be performed.

A selection of notable shows and designers / suppliers


Modern automation systems have a high degree of safety systems built-in.The automation operator has easy access to an E-Stop (emergency stop) button, enabling the system to stop moving in the event of a problem. There are also E-Stop buttons in locations where problems might occur, such as in the theatre basement where an actor may get onto a platform lift, or at high level if performer flying is used. The automation operator has a number of closed-circuit TV monitors to enable her/him to see all parts of the system.

This video shows a ‘safe edge’ on a lift for a production of The Bodyguard. As soon as something gets in the way of the scissor lift, it stops moving instantly, preventing what could be a serious injury.



External Links


Broadweigh Portable wireless load monitoring [UK]
PRG Scenic Rigging & Automation [USA]
Unusual Rigging Rigging, suspension and automation [London, UK]


Fisher Technical Services 3D Flying [USA]


Automation London Theatre Automation & Motion Control jobs [London, UK]


Weld-Fab Stage Engineering Ltd Revolves, Scissor Lifts, Scenic Engineering [UK]


AVW Controls Impressario System [London, UK]
Bosch Rexroth Stage Technology [Germany]
Creative Conners Inc.
Delstar Engineering [UK]
KEB America Automation Products [USA]
Kinesys Motion control
Q Motion Stage engineering and automation
Silicon Theatre Scenery Scenic automation and performer flying [The Netherlands]
Stage Machines LLC
Stage One Scenic Automation Projects [UK]
Stage Technologies Includes many examples of their projects
Tait Scenic Rigging & Automation
VisualAct Technology & Engineering for the entertainment industry [Sweden]


Podcast: Circuit & Gear - Scenic Automation


Spikemark Scenic Automation & Visualisation

Keywords: Scenic Automation, Automated Scenery, Moving Scenery