iWeiss Works at Writers Theatre

WritersWorking with Theatre Consultant Auerbach Pollock Friedlander,  Studio/Gang Architects, and W.E. O’Neil Construction Company,  we installed new rigging systems and drapery for Writers Theatre at their new facility in Glencoe Illinois.

In the Nichols Theatre, which is an intimate thrust space, we installed 18 counterweight line sets, dead hung line sets, stage drapery and a custom fall restraint system throughout the catwalks above the stage and house. The new walls of the Nichols Theatre where constructed from the bricks salvaged from the Women’s Library Club of Glencoethat previously stood on the site.  To allow for the mounting of lighting equipment, custom engineered wall brackets were installed that consist of a socket and an insert for the pipe battens throughout the space on an as needed basis. When not in use, the brackets are virtually invisible.

The Gillian Theatre is a black box space that includes a pipe grid and a wall mounted unistrut system that will be used in conjunction with movable wall panels that can be used to reconfigure the layout of the space.

Additionally, we provided lighting positions, curtain tracks and drapery in the Rehearsal Room and new sheer drapery in the Donor-VIP room.


Fall Arts Tour

Deciding that you need a vacation?  Need to organize a getaway but simply can’t make a decision?  While iWeiss doesn’t offer vacation packages exactly – we have been in the travel industry for years!  We have been diligently working all summer long to bring you a large number of new shows and touring productions beginning this Fall.  Trust us to be your guide for your very own Fall Arts Tour 2015.

OCTOBER 2 – 9:  Beginning in the tri-state area your vacation starts now!  Dames At Sea, the Off-Broadway hit from 1969 is having is Broadway debut this year at the Helen Hayes.  Catch the Saturday matinee, hop on a quick train from Penn Station, and be over to Papermill Playhouse in time for an evening performance of The Bandstand: A Heroic Story of Love.  Have your leisurely Sunday morning and still be able to catch Trip of Love, an Off-Broadway show (with a Broadway budget) happening over at Stage 42 (formerly the Little Shubert Theatre).  The score promises to be a crowd-pleaser with recognizable tunes, flying scenery, and a colorful design palette – your own psychedelic trip into the 1960s.

OCTOBER 23 – 25:  If you were a big fan of Jessie Mueller in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical  take a quick trip down to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC and see her sister, Abby Mueller, take on the same role in the touring production.  Plan on a Friday night or Saturday performance and still make it back in time to catch the second of two performances of Bullets Over Broadway at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ.  You’ll even be home in time for your Sunday night TV show catch-up.

NOVEMBER 6 – 8:  Switch up the transportation a bit and take an inexpensive Megabus from New York to Boston.  This will give you an opportunity to visit before the season turns too cold, see the autumn leaves, and head to the Hanover Theatre in Worcester, MA to see Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas on tour.  Worcester is approximately an hour’s drive from Boston or just under 2hrs for a bus.

NOVEMBER 14 – 22:  It may be a full weekend but you are only a few days away from that Thanksgiving holiday!  Try to obtain a Friday evening performance of School of Rock (based on the Jack Black film of the same name) at the Winter Garden Theatre in Manhattan, Alvin and the Chipmunks is playing at the Kings Theatre in Brooklyn for two performances on Saturday, and Misery at the Broadhurst Theatre. The play is based on the best-selling Stephen King novel and Academy Award winning film.  It also stars Bruce Willis in his Broadway debut.  If you think you’d also like to get out of New York City a bit early for the holiday – head to the Benedum Center in Pittsburgh, PA for the award-winning and critically acclaimed A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder before they head to the west coast for the holiday season.

Should you be heading to the west coast, catch the 20th Anniversary Riverdance tour or, if you simply need some warmer weather, treat yourself to a cruise on the Disney Wonder (traveling down the California Coast or from Florida to the Caribbean), and/or visit the American Adventure pavilion at EPCOT in Lake Buena Vista Florida.

Remember to take photos of your trip and send them our way via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter; we love to see what our friends and family are up to.  Enjoy the Fall and we will be back with a Spring review before you know it!

Let’s Hear it for School SPIRIT!

Did you know, not all digital printing has to be done on WHITE?

What better way to say welcome to your new incoming students than a fresh face lift to your auditorium. Our client, Rye Country Day School, wanted to do exactly that for the start of the 2015/2016 school year.

To show the school spirit that Rye Country embodies to each of its students and faculty they wanted their school emblem on display right up front in their auditorium. Instead of having one logo in the center as we have seen at many other facilities our client chose to use the logo as a repeat along the bottom finish of each panel.

The navy logo digitally printed directly on the 22oz Ice Blue Encore. The end result granted a classic feel to this show of school spirit.

Let us help you refresh your auditorium and request a price or even a quick budget here.

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National News – Kings Theatre

This past Saturday NBC Nightly News did a story on the Kings Theatre Re-Opening. It was a brief story, but boy did it show the grandeur of the space. Find 2 minutes and 44 seconds to watch this clip, you will want to run out and buy tickets to see this space in person.

To read the full story on our work in this fantastic space please take a look at our Portfolio Page.

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