Let's talk about stage floors for a moment because they don't always get the attention they deserve. The floor of the stage serves two important purposes: it's the working surface for performers and it's the attachment surface to brace or lock down scenery. These functions have very different requirements, but both have to be worked into the floor design. Here's why.
ESTA and PLASA have announce the release of an International Code of Practice for Entertainment Rigging (ICOPER). The document, which is an outline of actions to be taken at each stage of rigging, from pre-design through removal from the venue, is available as a free download at www.esta.org/icoper or www.plasa.org/icoper. ICOPER was created to promote awareness and safety worldwide by providing a model sequence of considerations and actions. The focus is on arena rigging, however it is applicable to all event production rigging disciplines. Regulations and standards differ around the world, so ICOPER is not prescriptive. However, it provides a series of guidelines that, if followed, are expected to produce predictable results and enhance safe practice.
Throughout the south there are schools, universities and professional theatres with electrical equipment that has been submerged in flood waters from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. They're biggest question is, "What can I dry out and use, and what do I have to replace?" NEMA (the National Electrical Manufacturers Association) has a guide for this (NEMA GD 1-2016 Evaluating Water-Damaged Electrical Equipment) that you can download here.
Earlier this year we started working with New York's Target Margin Theater on converting a two story warehouse into a new studio theatre, rehearsal spaces, and office space. Two acoustically isolated rehearsal rooms were built at the beginning of the summer. When bids for the resilient stage floor were twice as high as expected the team decided that TMT could build it themselves.
Kevin Willmorth has a long and interesting article on his blog in which he argues for the recognition of professional lighting designers, and what a professional lighting designer is and is not. The post echoes Chapter 1 of Designing With Light, and many of the things I've written in the book’s blog, including promoting the lighting design profession, the value of professional lighting design, the need for projects to use a professional lighting designer (here, here and here), and those other than professional lighting designers making design decisions, among other topics. I don't have much to add to Kevin's post, except to say that it's well worth reading.
There's a funny, but true, phrase understood by theatre professionals and amateurs alike. "In is Down, Down is Front, Out is Up, Up is Back." And that's just the beginning! An architect or engineer designing a theatre will hear common words used in nonsensical ways. For years we've kicked off projects by distributing an illustrated theatre glossary to everyone on our team. We've found it to be very helpful, since architects and engineers usually don't know the lingo of the theatre. Now we've decided to make this short guide available to everyone. Our Illustrated Theatre Glossary eliminates confusion with clear definitions, descriptions, drawings, and photos. Definitions include:
We’ve had several people call this year to ask, “Why should I hire Studio T+L when the local sales rep/distributor has offered to do the work?” In one instance the caller was an interior designer we’ve worked with before who wanted help in explaining the role of a lighting designer to a client. In another, it was the client of an architect who was urging that we be brought on board as a theatre consultant. In all cases the owner was looking to save money, and saw adding another consultant to the design team as a potential waste of money. Nothing could be further from the truth.