Having worked with many school at the various venues that I work at. I wonder if the students are being taught the correct technical information at their schools. In the last few years I have year 12 students thinking they know what is what in the technical side of theatre. And their lack of knowledge is scary. And if they are stage managing it is amazing what they have been told some amazing strange information regarding the requirements of the stage manager. One show I did a few years ago the student who was acting as the stage manager was at the plotting session for the lights with the Director and I. Now this is as it should be. So the Director and I plotted away with me also making notes as I recorded the cues, the notes I made were written into a copy of the script that I had. As the plotting session progressed I noticed that the student stage manager was not marking the cues into their prompt copy. Now I thought this odd as the student had been learning about Stage Managing during their drama sessions, and surely one of the lessons that they learn is setting up their prompt script and the sort of info that is needed in it – like lighting cues. But as I am only a technician not a teacher I thought to myself were will this lead to when we do the first tech rehearsal. The time arrived for the first technical rehearsal, and it became a farce as the Teacher/Director realised that the lighting cues were not happening the way he wanted them, the Stage Manager became slightly upset. I then explained that it was the SM’s responsibility for them to call the cues as required. This student had not obviously picked up that information in their studies. So it was a good thing that I had notes on all of the lighting cues in my script. This is something I now do all the time. But it makes you wonder what is being taught to our students at school. Are drama teachers etc. being taught the necessary skills to pass on technical information to their students. I personally know of a couple of teachers who have an exceptional knowledge of the technical side of theatre. More and more I am trying to assist these students learn rapidly what they need to know so that they may get a better mark. But is it really my task to teach them and is it undermining what their teaching staff has already taught them. Or do I have an obligation to make sure these students know enough so that they could eventually enter the industry. I know it slows down what I am trying to achieve for the client as I spend time showing the shows what to do and how to do it. some teachers appreciate what I have done and make allowances when they book a venue, so that I have more time. But an ideal solution would be to get technicians into the schools to teach some basic technical theatre skills. Then when they come into a theatre they have an understanding of what is going on and have a basic skills to make it happen and to be able to communicate with professional technicians.