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See You in St. Louis

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See You in St. Louis

It’s almost time for USITT 2017 in St. Louis

 

We’ve got new gear to show off and friends to meet. Come on out and say hi. Check out the Floorpocket, Stagehand Apprentice, redesigned Revolver and Pushstick and more. We’re looking forward to seeing you there.

We’ll even get you in for free. Just use the link below to register for a free expo floor pass.

Make sure you use Promo Code: CC1315

 

UMBC: Case Study

When the University of Maryland, Baltimore County built a beautiful new theatre arts building, they included Creative Conners’ scenic automation to ensure that their students used the latest technology – and that their productions were technically top-notch. Technical Director Patrick McGovern regularly uses his Pushstick, Stagehand controllers, and Spikemark software to give students of all levels exposure to and training in automation.

McGovern says, “We can teach our automation operators, who may be acting majors, the safety aspect – to watch the cue and be ready to hit the E-stop. With our design and production students, we can go down another couple of levels and talk about what the gear is actually doing while we’re hooking it up. We love it.”

UMBC’s theater students take full advantage of Creative Conners’ state-of-the-art gear as they explore automation and learn how it can enhance a performance – and inspire future technical creativity and success.

“We now have a bachelor’s degree dedicated to production and design,” says McGovern. “In our advanced stagecraft class, the students complete a three-week automation lecture and a hands-on project, where they hook up the system and send a wagon across the stage. A graduating student is even looking at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts’ Stage Automation program.”

With Creative Conners’ commitment to supporting our customers regardless of the project, students and directors are empowered – even when they’ve hit a bump in the road.
“Last year,” McGovern says, “we hooked up a hydraulic scissor lift. I had a bit of trouble getting a string pot to talk with the encoder through our system. I gave Creative Conners a call – and you set me straight. I was just missing a simple part. The great outcome was that we bought the scissor lift and all we had to do was a little motor modification and teach the drive how to talk to it. Once we did that, it was easy peasy.”

2016 Hit Like a Stampede of Oompa Lompas

2016 hit like a stampede of Oompa Loompas. You never could have predicted it and most of us are glad that it’s over, and now you have to laugh at the remarkableness of what you’ve just lived through. Think about it – we’ve seen the Cubs win the World Series, the Olympics successfully held in Brazil, and release of another fantastic Star Wars movie (and the loss of a Star Wars legend).Creative Conners has had an extraordinary year of engineering and building new products and cool scenic projects. If you’ve missed it, here are just a few of the highpoints…

Custom Projects

In February we completed our first installation project of the year. Fairhaven Church in Ohio got our first  Smart Chain Hoists. We got a chance to get a couple of half-ton Chain Master hoists wired up for Spikemark control, we installed them, and now they get to fly a fancy new LED video wall. It was a good start to an eventful year.

In May we worked with the gang at the Park Avenue Armory for a couple of neat effects to automate a curtain track and open and close a door. Sometime the gags that look so simple need special attention to ensure their reality matches the artist’s vision. Our resident New Yorker, Mike Wade was on hand to make sure everything went smooth. Everyone was happy to see the Trickline got some love for being a simple way to automate a curtain without any fuss or muss.

Meet & Greets

Throughout the year we shared some love with hungry technicians during load-ins and strikes when we arranged for Random Acts of Pizza. Indiana Rep, Pittsburg Public, Edwardsville High, and Long Wharf Theatre all got a bit of cheesy meaty goodness to help fuel their automation/scenic/painting/lighting workdays.

In March we were excited to see so many of our friends at USITT in Salt Lake City and introduce the redesigned Pushstick. There was nothing like catching up with old friends and showing off a significantly improved product to get us hyped up for the rest of the year.

Over the summer we joined our friends on Reddit for an AMA on r/techtheatre. It was a couple of hours of virtual meet & greet. We answered some questions and got some cool feedback on how people want to move their scenery.

 

In October, LDI meant that we got a chance to play among the lights, lasers, and fog in Vegas. It was more than a tradeshow, it was a coming out party for our new print catalog, the redesigned Revolver, the brand new Stagehand Apprentice, and the Floorpocket. The Floorpocket was developed throughout the hot days of summer and was unlike anything at the show. What made the experience even sweeter was immediately after LDI, the Floorpocket went off to its first rental gig and was an unrivaled success. You’ll hear more on this soon.

New Software

We didn’t let up as the year came to an end. In December we release the next major release of Spikemark. We developed the cure to your worst nightmare – what happens if you lose power to your automation gear. How will you get your scenery back in position without the headache of re-homing each piece? Persistent Positioning records your data to your Stagehand once a move is complete. So when the facilities guy shuts off the power by accident, you don’t need to sweat it when power is restored. Spikemark knows where everything is.

What’s Next

Regardless of how 2016 treated you, we hope 2017 is better, bigger, and uses a little bit more automation on stage.

What do we have on the agenda for 2017? Here’s a sneak peek…

  • We are prepping a few surprises for USITT in March.
  • We’re making it even easier to dip your toe in the automation game.
  • If you are you an undergrad or grad student dreaming of moving scenery, we’ve got something special coming your way.

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