Bill Conner Associates LLC

Theatre Consulting       |      Assembly Planning      |      Creative Solutions

Bill Conner Associates Llc Theatre Consulting

How Do We Work?

Every project is unique, requiring an approach while avoiding cookie-cutter designs:

  • We keep the owner's needs and aspirations foremost in our minds.  Once we fully understand how an owner intends to use a space, then we can begin the design process.  We work with the team to develop all available options to determine the best course of action.  In many cases, the design process demands extended visits and meetings with stake holders.
  • We focus on communication.  While communication within the design process is critical, it's also very important as a design principle.  Stage performers, designers and the audience must communicate together in an intimate and comfortable environment for the best entertainment experience.  The audience must see, hear and feel close to be part of the experience.  The same goes for performers.  Theatre and performance is an intimate experience.  We seek to support performance through design and technology, now and for the life of a facility.
  • It is our goal to develop and provide solutions, not simply identify problems for others to solve. Every project has challenges that must be overcome.  By using our extensive experience in the performing arts and construction, we develop practical and often more economical solutions to the challenges of theatre design.

When is a Theatre Consultant hired?

The real answer is, the sooner the better.  Theatre Consultants can help owners identify capacity and scale of a theatre.  For a lot of reasons, too many projects have early concepts that are too large or too small for the owner's requirements and budgets.  Theatre Consultants are adept at space planning and early design specific to this building type.  We can provide early budgets that will reduce later redesign brought on by overly optimistic budgeting early in the process.  As a project progresses through the design phases, it becomes more difficult to truly impact a design positively when budget or space are not carefully considered at the start.

Who uses a Theatre Consultant?

In most cases Theatre Consultants are hired by the project Architect and are a part of the design team.  In other cases we are hired by the owner directly and participate with the design team.  Regardless, Theatre Consultants provide critical detail and design assistance to all members of the design team.  We can provide specific advice and information about theatres and similar places of public assembly based on our extensive experience.

Bill Conner Associates LLC

Chicago: Bill Conner FASTC  637 North Marion Street  Oak Park IL 60302    (708) 437-0505

What We Do

  • Assembly planning and audience sight lines
  • Theatre and production facility adjacencies
  • Rigging systems (manual and motorized)
  • Curtains and Track
  • Lighting Control Systems
  • Lighting Design
  • Orchestra Pits (lifts and filler systems)
  • Orchestra Shell Systems
  • Turn Tables
  • Stage Floors and Stage Trap systems
  • Theatre specific codes


Bill Conner Associates LLC is not a sales organization.  We are design consultants only.  We believe that we can act in the best interests of the owner by providing unbiased opinions and designs that are both competitive and consider the needs of the entire facility.  There are many dealers that call themselves "consultant" but don't provide full design services, including contract documents for competitive bidding.

Theatre Consultants

Theatre Consultants are translators between the needs of owners or users and the Architect's design team.  We have one foot firmly in the world of theatre and performance and the other foot in the design and construction industry.  We understand what it takes to design and build a theatre.  We are equally at home standing in theatres, working around the table in an architect's office, or wearing muddy boots in the field looking at the space as it's being constructed.


Theatres are one of the most complicated building types to design and construct.  The number of things that go into a successful theatre are daunting, and many pieces compete for the same space.  A theatre is like a factory in that it must produce and be adaptable for multiple uses, while on the flip side have visual appeal to be a place that audiences want to gather.  No two theatres are the same, so each must be designed with great care to ensure the building functions as owners and audiences expect.


We provide solutions that solve challenges.