Mavericks anchor Marion Cultural Centre rig
Wednesday, 11 December 2019
marion-culturalThe Marion Cultural and Civic Centre showcases a diverse mix of performers
USA - In January 1922 the Orpheum Theatre in Marion, IL, opened its doors for the first time. The flagship location of a vaudeville chain, the theatre offered locals a wide array of entertainment options, even hosting stars like Harry Houdini and the Ziegfeld Follies who performed before standing room only crowds.
Although the Orpheum is long gone, having been purchased by the city and renamed from a variety of genres. Only today, performers on its stage are supported by a modern LED lighting system that would have been unimaginable in the Orpheum’s incandescent era.
Anchoring that rig is collection of 46 Chauvet Professional Maverick fixtures that were added to the theatre’s rig earlier this year.
“We purchased the Mavericks after some extensive research and testing against competing fixtures, led by our executive director Josh Benson,” said Kyle Upchurch, the centre’s lighting designer and production specialist. “Their quality and versatility impressed our entire team. The Marion Cultural and Civic Centre in the 1970s, the entertainment tradition continues unabated today, as the 1,100-seat facility showcases a diverse mix of stars, the venue hosts everything from dance recitals, to concerts, to full theatrical productions. Each one is different when it comes to lighting, so we need a rig that can adapt to different needs.”
Marion Cultural and Civic Centre’s versatile rig features 16 Maverick MK2 Profile fixtures and 30 Maverick MK2 Wash units. Hung from the catwalk and focused on the stage, three of the MK2 Profiles are used as follow spots and front fill light, in addition to filling a wide variety of other roles.
“The three units on the catwalk are so versatile; they can support any creative idea we come up with,” said Upchurch. “We rely on them to add texture to the stage. They can change the entire look of a show. Our other 13 MK2 Profiles and the 30 washes are all hung on electrics above the stage. Again, with the wide scope of what each fixture can do, there really is no limit on how we use them.”
An example of the new rig’s capabilities was there for all to see during a recent appearance by the 17-piece Fabulous Equinox Orchestra. Elegantly downlighting each individual band member, the design team created a flowing sense of style on stage that blended nicely with the stylish sounds of the band. The Maverick MK2 Wash units projected lush colours that smoothed the transitions between songs, while the fixtures’ built in macros were used to add sparkle during high energy numbers.
(Jim Evans)

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