Gear Review

The RC4Magic Series 3 family of products
The RC4Magic Series 3 family of products
Taking a close look at RC4 Wireless's new RC4Magic Series 3 line of wireless dimming and control products

When I first looked at the various items in the package from RC4 Wireless, I was unsure how groundbreaking this system would be beyond providing miniscule applications of wireless data and dimming. However, within minutes of watching the start-up tutorial videos, I realized that this product would be much more than that. The modern RC4 system is a highly-configurable, multi-functional, powerful set of tools that electricians, scenic/lighting/props designers and multimedia artists should definitely take note of. 

Read more: World Series Wireless

Lighting & Projection

New tech and trends in lighting, power and staging
New tech and trends in lighting, power and staging
New tech and trends in lighting, power and staging

New is exciting, new is challenging, new is always a little mysterious. To help us get a handle on what new horizons are ahead in lighting, power and staging we talked to a few industry leaders. They gave us some fresh perspectives on current trends and where we’re headed in the future.  

Read more: Just Over the Horizon

Lighting & Projection

National Theatre programmer Daniel Haggerty working with Eos Ti for Edward II on the National Theatre’s Olivier stage; lighting design by James Farncombe.
National Theatre programmer Daniel Haggerty working with Eos Ti for Edward II on the National Theatre’s Olivier stage; lighting design by James Farncombe.
Programming lighting is more than just punching buttons

In a world where production time is increasingly short and technology more complex, it’s critical to enter tech with your toolbox customized and ready to start creating as soon as possible. Today, it’s rare to encounter a venue that doesn’t have intelligent lighting—moving lights, LED technology or media servers. While working with these can certainly add time to the design process, there is a lot that you can do as a programmer to help speed that along. Every control system on the market has offline software that you can use for prep if you can’t access actual hardware for this purpose. 

Read more: Be Prepared!

Lighting & Projection

Tupac Martir wrote, directed and designed for the performance piece Nierka
Tupac Martir wrote, directed and designed for the performance piece Nierka
Is there a tactful way to use moving lights in a theatre show?

I’ve grown up in this industry. I’ve seen lighting designers make absolute magic from a rig of several hundred moving heads, and I’ve seen a designer take 14 crusty old beam projectors and create something eleventeen times as meaningful and beautiful simply by using the lack of gear gracefully. And what I’ve learned from this is that having tons of kit doesn’t mean you’re going to make magic.

Read more: Max—or Nix?—the Movers

Feature

The Crucible at Warren Consolidated School of Performing Arts
The Crucible at Warren Consolidated School of Performing Arts
Celebrating the most extraordinary high school drama programs nationwide with the winners of the 2014 Stage Directions High School Theatre Honors Program

Dynamic production values. Innovative material tackled by fearless young artists. Forward-thinking, artistically committed instructors. These qualities are shared in spades by the winners of Stage Directions 2014 High School Honors Theatre Program winners. Chosen from a pool of many excellent applicants, our honorees distinguish themselves in particular this year by continually challenging their students to take their dramatic work farther than they ever have before—with incredibly impressive results.

Read more: Best of the Best

Feature

Max Tzannes and Sydnee Ortiz in the University of Arizona’s 2014 production of Nine
Max Tzannes and Sydnee Ortiz in the University of Arizona’s 2014 production of Nine
Charting the explosive growth of musical theatre BFAs

Cary Libkin was talking to Nebraska parents about their son’s interest in Penn State’s Musical Theater BFA when he was informed that at the student's small Nebraska high school, more boys tried out for musicals than for the football team.

We’ll wait a minute for you to read that again.

Read more: Broadway Bound?

Answer Box

Construction workers in the
Construction workers in the
Sometimes you have to get creative to use a simple solution

All in the Timing, by David Ives, is a play about language, wordplay, and existence—but, arguably, it’s also just as much a play about theatre, with its many theatre and drama references. It was appropriate, then, that Dorset Theatre Festival’s production of All in the Timing—with its central, raised circular disc on which sat bright red rock ‘n’ roll truss, and its out-in-the open costume change areas all around—aimed to embrace its theatricality. A primary feature of that theatrical expression was a 55-foot-wide traveler track, on which scenic elements for each of the six one-act plays that make up the performance entered and exited the playing space.

Read more: All in the Traveling

Sound Design

 some options and guidance for choosing your assistive listening system
some options and guidance for choosing your assistive listening system
Sometimes even a stack of speakers isn’t loud enough. Here’s some options and guidance for choosing your assistive listening system

The presence of assistive listening systems (ALS) has grown in recent years, and they benefit people who are hard of hearing or visually impaired. And sometimes they can be appropriate for people who just want a boost in the sound for straight plays that are not miked.

Read more: Personal Sound Reinforcement

Company 411

Staging Concepts provided an engineered staging surface for Circo Hermanos Vazquez capable of withstanding the hoofs of horses and the weight of elephants.
Staging Concepts provided an engineered staging surface for Circo Hermanos Vazquez capable of withstanding the hoofs of horses and the weight of elephants.
From circuses to stadiums to theatres, Staging Concepts brings innovations and solutions

Staging Concepts started in 1991 when Mike Hayden decided the staging business had room for a company that provided a higher level of innovation and specialization. In the 23 years since then they’ve grown to work on such large projects as new stadiums for New York Yankees and San Francisco 49ers—as well as theatres like the new Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in San Antonio and the Northrup Auditorium in Minneapolis. Stage Directions talked to Bob Randall, vice president at Staging Concepts, about their focus on innovation, and how it leads to some unique products. 

Read more: Innovating New Staging

TD Talk

Bill Sapsis
Bill Sapsis
Recognizing the differences between fall arrest harnesses and flying harnesses to make sure both are used correctly

Dear Uncle Bill

I met you briefly at Stage Lighting Super Saturday in NYC in February and you explained fall arrest harnesses using Sam, the daughter of Lite-Trol Service Co. president Steve Short, as a model. I was wondering: What are the differences between fall arrest harnesses and ones used to fly people? Years ago I was on the flying crew for Peter Pan and the only two differences I could think of was 1) those harnesses have to fit under costumes, and 2) they are not designed for shock loads. Anything else I should know?

Read more: Don't Be Shocked

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