Another Project Complete

What has…..?

13.7 tons of lifting capacity

8,725 linear feet of pipe custom powder coated in three colors

2,450 running feet of curtain track

4,100 yards of fabric

over 2000 concrete anchors

and is 800 miles away from iWeiss?

Answer:   DePaul University Theatre School

iWeiss had the pleasure of providing automation, rigging, and curtains for the newly constructed Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago IL.   We were excited to be working again with Cannon Design and Schuler Shook on this project.

The scope of the work included 18 multi-purpose studios outfitted with pipe grids with perimeter curtains tracks, a black box theatre, a single level lobby pipe grid, and a thrust theatre with 25 axis’ of automation manufactured and controlled by Stage Technologies.   Acoustical clouds designed and built by iWeiss, variable acoustical curtains, manual rigging, and a complete stage curtain package were also part of the project.

The work  required the entire iWeiss staff and was headed up by Senior Project Manager Richard Parks and Associate Project Manager Shannon Sullivan.

The job had a total duration of 23 months from start to finish with multiple trade coordination from the first concrete pour until opening.

We are proud to have been involved with this project and to be a part of the education that DePaul will be able to provide to their students with this new building.

Previous Work with Cannon Design – Roosevelt High School

Previous Work with Schuler Shook – McCaw Hall, David H. Koch Theatre, Sarasota Opera, Boston Opera House, and more..

We’re going back to school with you

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.        

While that may be true – it’s certainly easy enough for someone like Albert Einstein to say.

Back to school season is quickly approaching and you need some new inspiration – are we correct?  While it’s an exciting time for planning and new ideas, it can also be a stressful time for battling with budgets, politics, and red tape.  Keep in mind these simple reminders and iWeiss will help you get it down to a science!

B:  BUDGET.  It doesn’t have to be a scary word; we deal with budgets of all sizes and requests – and don’t be afraid to ask us for one.  Let us help you with your theatrical budget no matter how far in advance it may be; it is what we do.

A:  ARTS.  The arts are our number one priority and iWeiss is lucky to be working in the industry everyday.  We so often read and hear about arts programs being cut from education, but we almost never hear about the schools that are booming nor the students that are thriving within them.  We see great things happening in education and performance venues all over the country.  80% of our business comes from schools and education – don’t get discouraged!  iWeiss is there for you.

C:  CREATE.  The best ideas don’t always have to cost an arm and a leg – not even stage legs!  iWeiss has access to a variety of equipment and fabrics that can enhance your creativity.  We will help you to think outside the box and get what you need.

K:  KNOWLEDGE.  We all know that knowledge is power.  If you don’t know something – simply ask.  If we don’t know, then we will find the answer for you.  Everyone wins!


T:  TACKLE THAT TO-DO LIST.  Feel like you don’t know where to begin with a project or need to brainstorm?  Don’t push it further down the list; discuss it out loud.  We so often speak with customers who simply need to run through an idea or possibility over the phone with us.  Much of the time we can help focus your idea by bringing up a few small points.  Your ideas are never too complicated for us to consider.

O:  OBJECTIVE.  What is your program or production’s objective?  Is there a poetic or symbolic emotion or feeling that you are attempting to convey?  Even in the largest of productions we see unfinished ideas and mere starting points of what is to come; it is a collaborative art form.  Think you can’t just convey a “feeling” or “emotion” to us?  Think again.


S:  SAFETY.  Safety for your school’s students and staff is first and foremost.  It you see something in your space that does not look safe – you can almost guarantee that it is not.  iWeiss is certified in leading you to safety and can offer rigging inspections for record.  Finances should never override safety.

C:  CHALLENGE.  Challenges can be tough, but they can also be exciting to overcome.  If you have a challenge to solve – toss it our way!  If you find a solution – we would love to learn.  Many of our customers have forwarded their solutions from all over the country via Facebook, Instagram, and emailed photos. Allow us post them in order to help others…with your permission and credit, of course!

H:  HELP.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  We often get inquiries from student parents and friends whom are always willing to help out with their child’s arts program.  We love speaking to designers, instructors, and parents alike; you don’t have to do it all by yourself.

O:  OPEN.  Be open to new ideas.  Don’t be afraid to throw around any kind of idea with your colleagues, students, or iWeiss staff.  “Every new idea is an impossibility until it is born.”

O:  OPPORTUNITY.  iWeiss looks at every project, at any stage, as a great opportunity to both provide and to learn with a new customer.  We will always thank you for giving us the opportunity to price, discuss, and assist you in your space.

L:  LEAD.  Whatever you should decide is best for your theatre or arts program – just be the leader.  So much time is spent simply waiting for someone else to make the decision.  If you feel a gut decision is best, chances are it probably is.  You can even contact us to confirm it!

Written by our very own Chris Layton

Project Spotlight – Cedar Rapids

We recently finished a project at the Cedar Rapids Convention Complex.

The scope of the project included (14) Vomitory Curtains and Track Systems, a 140’ long end stage curtain, and (2) iWeiss ViaTravelers to operate a masking curtain diagonally while hung on a 45 degree downward angle.

We were given a very short time frame from bid to completion and had a very happy client in the end!

Cedar Rapids Collage

A High Profile New Build Project

It is very satisfying when a unique project gets covered by the media.  It’s like getting another pat on the back for a job well done.  Thanks to our business partners Auerbach Pollack Friedlander and Stage Technolgies for making the Pershing Square Signature Center project a huge success, and media partner Lighting & Sound America for publicizing it in their magazine.  Click below to read the story.

A Creative Scrim Solution

A client came to iWeiss Theatrical Solutions with a concept for their production, but wasn’t quite sure how to execute it.  Their original concept was to make fabric panels, with a gingham design, that stretched over frames at least 5’ wide.  After some research it was concluded that gingham fabric widths would not extend that far, so I then asked how they intended on using the panels.  The client stated they were looking for the panels to be slightly translucent in order to aid in silhouetting and creating shadows during a “comedic chase” scene during the performance. 


Loving to think outside of the box, I suggested that they paint NFR Natural Sharkstooth Scrim with a gingham design.  As scrim comes in larger widths, creating multiple panels per width of material would also save on the required yardage. These panels could then be stretched over the frames and essentially travel on a track for the chase. 


The client loved this idea and has informed us that it has worked marvelously from both a technical and a comedic aspect.  The painted gingham design can be seen from lighting the front of the panel, while lighting the scrims from the rear allows an actor to be revealed at just the right time.  Check out the production if it’s traveling to a theatre near you. 


Got a concept you would like to brainstorm?