Any Questions? Call us 401.289.2942

Uplifting Marjorie Prime

Home » 2014 » November

Uplifting Marjorie Prime

Last month’s production of Marjorie Prime at Center Theatre Group featured some pretty heavy lifting under the set. We were happy to provide the automation for that heavy lifting, and coordinate with our good friends at Stage Machines for the hydraulic muscle. Center Theatre Group is no stranger to automation, and have used their Fisher (FTSI) gear regularly. However, the automation in Marjorie Prime would require hydraulics, and that could not be controlled easily with the FTSI gear they own.

Mimi Lien’s set design (a stark, “soul-erasing beige”, assisted living facility 50 years in the future) requested the automation of one large stage platform (traveling 42″), a sinking refrigerator, and a small sliding set of steps. No problem. In the video you’ll see our initial scissor lift mock up, testing at load-in, and the full set in motion. Read on below the video for further description of the process.


The gear line up:
Four scissor lifts
One 10 hp hydraulic pump (that’s right just one)
One custom 10hp drive
One flow divider
One small hydraulic scissor lift
One small pump
One Stagehand Mini
Two Stagehand AC Motor Controllers
One PC laptop with Spikemark installed
Celesco and Unimeasure Encoders
Cables as necessary

After a site survey in sunny Los Angeles at the Mark Taper Forum, the next step was to tackle the largest component, the vertical automation of the stage platform. Working with Stage Machines, we decided to do a mock up of the design for a piston flow divider consisting of one master cylinder and four slave cylinders that could be controlled by a single Stagehand Mini.

With one piston doing the work, and the other pistons mechanically joined together, the exact amount of oil would go into each lift’s cylinder to produce completely level lifting and lowering even though the weight of the platform would be unevenly distributed. Satisfied with the results, production began on those components.

Production of Custom Flow Divider by Stage Machines

Production of Piston Flow Divider at Stage Machines in Warren RI

For the sinking refrigerator, a small hydraulic scissor lift powered by a Stagehand AC was placed beneath the unit. And the sliding steps were rigged to an existing FTSI winch controlled with a Stagehand AC and some help from a custom set of adapter cables.

All the gear was shipped to and installed by Center Theatre without problems. Nice job, everyone!

Special thanks to Assistant Production Manager Kate Coltun, Stage Carpenter Emmet Kaiser, and Assistant Technical Director Chad Smith. We’re looking forward to working with you again!

share your automation, #makeitmovecci

Let’s face it, automation is cool. It’s okay to brag. We won’t judge. We know you do amazing things with our gear (it’s why we we make it, after all).

So why not share what’s moving on your stage, tag it #makeitmovecci on Instagram and let us send some free swag your way.

For inspiration, enjoy these automation achievements you and your colleagues have sent us. Click on any picture for more info and make sure to follow us on Instagram!

Many thanks, keep making it move!

Instagram Postcard Front

 

Backstage-in-NJ-1

Backstage at Rhianna / Eminem “Monster Tour”, 2014

Cookie Monster Backstage at Beauty & the Beast, 2014

Cookie Monster Backstage at Beauty & the Beast, 2014

 

Mule Sheaves at New York Theatre Workshop, 2014

Mule Sheaves at New York Theatre Workshop’s Love and Information, 2014

Circular Platform with Access Panels Open at University of Delaware's Faust Production

Circular Platform with Access Panels Open at University of Delaware’s Faust Production, 2014

 

Construction of Stage Lift for Old Globe's Production of Winter's Tale, 2014

Construction of Stage Lift for The Old Globe Theatre’s Production of Winter’s Tale, 2014

Ohio State Production of "Working"

Ohio State’s Production of Working, 2008

Spamalot-Control-Table

Automation Control Table for 5th Avenue Theatre’s Production of Spamalot, 2014

Village Theatre - Tommy

The Village Theatre’s Tommy, 2007

Ford Show

StageHouse Las Vegas Set for the Ford Show

chinglish-video-cap

Berkley Repertory Theatre’s Production of Chinglish, 2013

 

Sprocket, Our Official Blogger Dog

Okay, this one’s just for fun. It’s Sprocket, keeping an eye on cables and keyboards for us.

 

New Show Control Consolette Has Arrived!

We have officially launched the long anticipated Showstopper 3 Consolette!

Showstopper 3 Consolette

 

At the outset we didn’t know it would take quite so many months, or that it would take quite so many Venti Quad Lattes, but we think it was worth the wait. And worth feeding our caffeine addiction.

The first Consolettes have already arrived for those customers who have been eagerly awaiting the backorder. We’d like to extend a huge thanks for their patience. Among them was a very pleased Chris Zinkon, Resident Technical Director for OSU’s Department of Theatre. We were thrilled to hear of Chris’ positive experience,

The new consolette performed beautifully last night. The pulsing ‘Go’ button and backlit keys were a great addition in the low light backstage conditions. [And] I can’t say enough nice things about the jog joystick. This is a super slick design.”

Grazie, Chris!

WP_20141015_21_30_27_Pro

Showstopper 3 Consolettes, Hot Off the Press

The Consolette is a significant addition to our scenic automation arsenal, and offers many powerful , dare we say enviable, features over the previous emergency stop & show control system:

  • Front of House Portability
  • Motor Jog Joystick & Positioning Wheel
  • Four Line Display including Current Cues, Motor Position and System Faults
  • Optional Hold-to-Run
  • Backlit Keys and Adjustable Illumination
  • Improved Key Location and Size
  • Green and Red Indicator Lights
  • Easier Redundant Computer Transfer
  • Ethernet Connection to Spikemark Software

With just two cables to connect we think you’ll find the new E-stop system even more modular than the old Showstopper. Plus the Consolette is ideal to use with Spikemark on a touch screen computer during the running of a show.

And what about the old Showstopper? Well, it will be phased out. Because the new Showstopper system splits into two components (base and consolette) what was previously one (consolette), the old and new systems are necessarily incompatible. However, older Showstoppers will still work with all Stagehands, as well as Spikemark but will not interoperate with Showstopper 3 Hubs or Remotes. Likewise, the new Showstopper 3 Consolette will not work with older Hubs or Remotes.

Showstopper 3 system diagram

Showstopper 3 system diagram


 
The Showstopper 3 Consolette is part of the four product emergency system & show control lineup comprised also of the Base (a required unit), Hub, and Remote E-stops. It connects to 8 axes of motion via the Base, plus 8 additional axes via each Hub as well as unlimited Remote E-stops. Its inclusion in the Showstopper family completes the foundation of our Pro Line, designed to meet the automation challenges of the most demanding productions. It is available for purchase ($2500) or rental ($50 / week plus one week prep fee). The next shipment could be yours…

Tom, Kody, and Gareth Shipping the First Showstopper 3 Consolettes

The entire Showtopper lineup will be presented at Creative Conners’ LDI Booth #2587. Stop by if you’re attending the show, and of course get in touch anytime via phone or email to ask questions or let us know what you think about the product. We’re always happy to hear from you!

 

Google+ Google+