Stage Directions – The Riggers Behind the Rigging

iWeiss was recently featured in the February 2013 issue of Stage Directions

 iWeiss senior project manager Richard Parks says the company is working on a new five-story theatre school building for DePaul University in Chicago. “Within the building there are a number of educational spaces,” Parks explains. “There’s a prop room, scenery construction room, make up, and class rooms.” There are also around 15 acting studio studies, each with a full pipe grid system and one to three wrap-around curtain tracks.

The main theatre is a thrust-style stage where he is installing 25 motorized rigging systems manufactured by Stage Technologies, with 12 over the primary stage area. Each has variable speed winches, going up to 4 feet a second while lifting up to 1,200 pounds. “What makes up the rest are four motorized point hoists, and these have the ability to trolley upstage/downstage on an I-beam from the rear of the theatre over the audience all the way to the back,” Parks says. “They have the ability to run the depth of the entire theatre, and can do 3D prop flying.”

Stage Technologies’ system is “a very nice motorized system with excellent safety features,” says Parks. “And it’s easier to install than others, so that increases the odds that it can be done efficiently. Also they have a great control system and it’s easy to see why a large percentage of Cirque du Soleil companies use it throughout the world.” You can see the progress of the building on a fun site that includes a live construction cam: constructioncams.depaul.edu/theatretl.php