SCDA is now in receipt of a BOPA covering Youth performances between February 2022 and June 2023

See our page for full details

Published: February 14, 2022 


Finally after a redraft to take account of Scottish Government’s alteration to the rules, we have published our Risk Assessment Template. It has been prepared to assist clubs in returning to meetings, rehearsals and performances.  It takes account of the changes to social distancing rules for rehearsals and public performances under certain circumstances announced by the Scottish Government and effective from 3 September 2021.  Hopefully it will be self-explanatory.

It will help clubs by highlighting the matters that require attention to make returning to performances as safe as possible as they carry out this risk assessment.
It is in Word format as it requires editing to tailor it to local circumstances.
Published: September 8, 2021 

A while back I posted some links to useful resources on lighting and promised a follow up on sound so here it, finally, is!

First a couple of texts you can download as pdf documents on sound design and amplifying live performances.

Theatrical Sound Design Understanding and designing theatre Sound

This is a teaching guide and gives an overview of the design process and implementation and is a good place to start.

The Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook is a technical guide to amplifying live performances   

This, although first published in 1987, it is still an excellent guide to the theory of amplification etc.  It covers the issues you will encounter if you stage musicals, pantos, concerts or any production where you use microphones and aim to achieve  a high volume level.  Its pretty technical and if you’re not into maths you can skim over these bits – the chapter ‘Sound Indoors’ is an explanation of what happens in an auditorium and will be useful to those of us – and it will probably be all of us, who have experienced the dreaded feedback.  My own club uses a Sabine feedback suppressor and has made sound deadening panels which we have yet to test as the Covid situation arose before we were able.  Some further advice on reducing feedback can be found here, here and here.

Sound cueing systems

Sound has traditionally been played back from tape, CD and minidisk.  These are becoming rare though and more and more people are using computers to play back digital sound files.  There are several software products you can use.  Many are high end and designed for the professional theatre and are priced accordingly.  Free software is scarcer but here are two.  I’m sure that we will get comments suggesting others.

If you use an Apple Mac, then the obvious app is QLab.

Sadly QLab is not available for a PC but here is a couple of possibilities.  I myself use   CSC Show Control Free version which does pretty well all I need.  Its updated fairly regularly – most recently November 2019.  It’s the same package as the paid for version but has fewer features (I don’t think you would miss them).  Another possibility is Multiplay but it has not been updated since 2013.

Sources of sound effects

FreeSound is a database of browsable, downloadable sounds under a Creative Commons License.

Royalty-free sound effects. Partners in Rhyme 

The world’s largest archive of wildlife sounds. Macaulay Library from the Cornell Lab of Orinthology 

BBC Sound Effects

16,000 BBC Sound Effects are made available by the BBC in WAV format to download for personal, educational or research purposes. (Commercial uses require a license.)

British Library: English Accents and Dialects 

Includes over 600 audio examples of English dialects from England and Wales.

IDEA: International Dialects of English Archive 

“The International Dialects of English Archive was created in 1997 as the first online archive of primary-source recordings of English dialects and accents as heard around the world….Professor Paul Meier established the archive in 1997 to enable actors to hear real-life models for their characters’ accents and dialects.” The materials in the archive have applications in a number of disciplines. Includes audio recordings of speakers from around the world, all speaking in English, with an extensive collection of North American voices.

Sound editing

For PC, MAC and Linux, Audacity offers pretty well all you need and is free.

Feedback – the useful kind!

Please use the comments below to ask questions or proffer advice.

Tony Flisch 18 May 2020


Published: May 18, 2020 

Here are some links for those interested in lighting.  I have checked them out and believe they are useful.  Sadly there is so much stuff out there which is frankly awful.

Please use the comments below if you find the links useful and to add any resources you have found and recommend.

Tony Flisch

Really engaging, very well produced 23 minute video insight into the professional creative lighting process.  Inspirational rather than instructional.

Useful Print resource introduction to light types and how to light a show.

Introduction to DMX

In depth guide with clickable contents page covering all aspects of lighting design aimed at students.

Resource rich source of articles tutorials etc on all aspects of lighting.


Although every care has been taken by SCDA in the recommendation of these resources, they exist on external servers outwith the control of SCDA and they have not been subject to detailed evaluation. Accordingly no guarantee is given by SCDA as to their suitability. SCDA shall not be responsible or liable for any loss or damage whatsoever arising by virtue of accessing these links.

Published: April 10, 2020 

This is the first of a new series of blogs about staying connected.  There will be posts from Carole Williams and others with ideas and links.

Published: March 27, 2020 

SCDA Citizens Directors’ training

We are proud to announce that applications for this exciting opportunity are  now open

See Here
Published: February 12, 2018 

Festival forms and documents are now available for download

Published: October 2, 2017 

Dominic Hill is the highly respected Artistic Director of the Citizens’ Theatre Glasgow, who gave an inspiring talk at the 2016 AGM in Stirling. He will be running a 5 day intensive acting course between 19 and 23 June. The course is aimed at experienced non-professionals or those intending to follow a career in acting. You have to be at least 17 and there are only
15 places. Cost is £500 for the 5 ays.
If you are interested you need to get your application in soon! Full details here:-

Published: March 28, 2017 

Don’t forget to post your District Results on the website


Published: February 24, 2017