Best Portable Stage Layouts for Different Types of Events

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Best Portable Stage Layouts for Different Types of Events

June 21, 2023

portable stage in a school

Previously we’ve talked about the different types of stage layouts that are out there, but haven’t really dug in to when it’s best to use each one. The truth is that different types of events require a different stage set-up. The great thing about having a portable system is the fact that you can accommodate these. This post will dig into some of the most common events and the stage layouts that should be used for it.

Public Speaker

stage riser

For any event where only a few people will be on the stage and the primary entertainment is going to be a speech or people talking, a few different options can be used. Typically, you’ll see an End Stage or Thrust Stage here that’s positioned up against a wall. This is true when a portable stage is built in a space like a gymnasium or cafeteria where these types of events can be common.

Theatre Production


If you’re in a theatre or performing arts center like in the image above for events ranging from musicals to theatre performances, it will probably be a Proscenium Stage since that’s what it usually in that type of space.

A Proscenium Stage has a frame or arch that leads onto the stage, so most stages in school gyms are categorized as this. Like with public speaking events, if the stage is portable and it’s built up against the wall it’s an End Stage or Thrust Stage.

black box theater seating risers

Black box theatres can use a variety of layouts and that’s one of the reasons facilities will have them. The portable seating and staging, can be reconfigured it for the layouts that best fits that specific production. In addition to End or Thrust layouts, a Theatre in the Round layout where the audience is completely surrounding the stage is sometimes used in black box theatres.


graduation stage

Commencement ceremonies need to accommodate quite a few people on the stage. Whether it’s a portable or built-in system, these events can take place on multiple different types of stages. In a gymnasium, for example, an End Stage up against the wall is going to be used so that there’s enough space for audience members throughout the rest of the room. Proscenium Stages are also used in performing arts centers.

If the ceremony is happening outdoors, it will be considered an open-air concert or open-air theatre. This just means that it’s happening outside.


There are a lot of different kinds of concerts that use different kinds of stages. Orchestras will typically perform in theatres or performing arts centers while rock or pop concerts can be on different types of stages, including Proscenium Stages. A lot of smaller venues will have either an End Stage or Thrust Stage and arenas will typically have a Thrust Stage. For outdoor concerts like music festivals, these would be considered open-air concerts.

outdoor stage

Whatever type of event you’re hosting, you want to make sure you’re getting the best staging for it. A completely portable system can help meet the needs of any type of event. Even if you’re on a built-in Proscenium Stage in a theatre, you can always get portable accessories like stage extensions to expand the space when needed.

The first step is to make sure you’re getting exactly what you need. Contact us and our experts will help you do that.

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