Stage layouts

Five different stage layouts: Arena Stage, Proscenium Theatre, Thrust Stage, Traverse, Theatre in the Round

The pros and cons of stage layouts

Arena stage

  • Pros: The audience feel included. Creates an intimate atmosphere.
  • Cons: Sight lines might be an issue so there needs to be lots of movement around the space.

Proscenium theatre

  • Pros: Sight lines are excellent and work is easy to stage.
  • Cons: The audience can feel quite removed from the action.

Thrust stage

  • Pros: The audience feel included and an intimate atmosphere is created. Having one end which is visible to all provides a ‘back’ to the stage.
  • Cons: Sight lines can still be an issue.

Theatre in the round

  • Pros: An intimate and exciting atmosphere. Audience feel included.
  • Cons: Sight lines can be very tricky.


  • Pros: The audience on either side can clearly see work that happens at two sides. The audience can see each other, creating intimacy.
  • Cons: The opposing sides of the audience might see two entirely different shows and sight lines are still an issue.

Promenade staging

  • Pros: Can work brilliantly when locations suit the work presented. Interesting experience for the audience.
  • Cons: Moving between locations can break the tension of the piece and take some time.

Remember you can also create an informal stage in any location. Plays have been known to be performed in forests, supermarkets and on the beach to name but a few. The world is your stage!