Jim Niesel  

Jim Niesel
As a theatre consultant, Jim has spent the last 15 years programming and planning theatre buildings around the world.  In addition to planning, he is responsible for designing and coordinating the integration of lighting, video, audio, seating, rigging, and stage machinery as part of the Theatre Projects team.  His experience as a theatre technician guides his design and planning of functional, efficient theatres and buildings. Jim specialized in audio video, stage lighting, and new media system design and integration. His work includes the design and layout of audio/video systems as well as the design and distribution of systems infrastructure and equipment selection and specification.

Jim’s knowledge of computer modeling and architecture provides a foundation for his work, which includes everything from 10,000-seat arenas to community theatres and houses of worship. As a theatre consultant with Theatre Projects, his work includes such venues as AT&T Performing Arts Center, Wyly Theatre (Dallas), Cleveland Institute of Music, Mixon Hall (Cleveland), Tempe Center for the Arts (Tempe, AZ), Dolby Theatre (Los Angeles), and New World Center (Miami Beach). Working with Arup, his projects include such venues as The Sydney Opera House, The Metropolitan Opera, and The Grande Auditorio Gulbenkian (Lisbon, Portugal). 

Jim’s theatre career began in Southern California where he worked in a variety of roles including shop foreman for Chaffey College, stage tech at Knott’s Berry Farm, and master carpenter at South Coast Repertory Theatre and Shakespeare Santa Cruz. In 2000, he began work with Sound Image, designing and integrating audio video systems.  Jim first joined Theatre Projects in 2001 as a performance rigging and machinery designer, working on more than 40 projects worldwide before joining Arup in 2007 as a theatre system specialist. With Arup, he carried out on-site project management in Singapore before taking a leading role in the company’s Australasia theatre consulting practice. In 2015 Jim returned to Theatre Projects as a senior consultant.

Jim speaks regularly at industry conferences on topics ranging from standards for fire protection to the historic renovation of American theatres. These conferences include NATEAC 2012, the International Theatre Engineering and Architecture Conference (ITEAC), Live Design International (LDI), and the United States Institute for Theatre Technology Conference (USITT).

Jim is an ETCP Certified Theatre Rigger, a member of the American Society of Theatre Consultants (ASTC), a Long Reach Long Rider (LRLR) and a member of the Rigging Working Group and ESTA Technical Standards Program.