By: Karen Tait-Fries, Sales Associate
Theatre companies have found spaces around the globe that require a creative eye to see the theatre within. From a storefront grocery store turned Steep Theatre Co. in Chicago, Illinois, to a hotel room for Lionface Productions in Bowling Green, Ohio, and a floating stage on Lake Constantia for the Bregenz Festival in Austria, with a lot of work and finesse, the wildest spaces provide the most memorable theatre experiences for each audience.
Staging Concepts has a reputation of customizing equipment and designing new products to best meet the needs of each customer. From the Moda Seating Wagon, to the Aria Acoustical Shell System, to the new and improved Uplift System, Staging Concepts is no stranger to research and development for the purpose of problem solving for customers and their unique situation. Just as every theatrical production has its own unique challenges, each building can come with a litany of quarks needing to be integrated into a functional design.
Staging Concepts has been fortunate enough to be along for the ride on many theatres’ major transformation. During the summer of 2003, Lookingglass Theatre moved into the historic, and still functioning, Water Tower Water Works building in the heart of the Magnificent Mile in Chicago, Illinois. Staging Concepts provided its most flexible equipment, SC90 platforms and legs with custom-made guardrail. Care was taken in choosing finishes to blend with the existing industrial environment including integrating wood throughout and a custom powder coat color applied to all railings and supports to resemble natural rust. Lookingglass Theatre now has two levels of fully reconfigurable seating providing maximum flexibility to accommodate the needs of their seemingly limitless adventures in performance art.
American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wisconsin is in the middle of renovating their existing Hill Theatre. Since 1980, American Players Theatre has performed classics in their open-air amphitheater nestled off the beaten path accessible via a ¼ mile stroll through the beautiful surrounding woods. Staging Concepts engineered and installed a trap spanning 18’x33’ across the majority of the stage. One of the unique aspects of this design is that each individual unit can be removed without affecting adjacent sections using Staging Concepts Relia Beam. This way, if one piece needs to be removed to accommodate scenery, the crew saves valuable time avoiding re-configuring the entire understructure. American Players Theatre does not cancel a performance unless the actors cannot be heard over the rain or the audience is in danger so their entire theatre must be able to stand up to the elements; the trap was built using marine-grade plywood.
With the expertise of the Staging Concepts Engineering and Sales teams, that quirky building you dream of becoming your performance space can be completely transformed into a comfortable space for your next audience.