Lewis University fosters education with Chauvet
Wednesday, 30 October 2019
lutheatre1Lewis University’s Philip Lynch Theatre in action
USA - An inscription at the entrance of Lewis University’s Philip Lynch Theatre offers a glimpse into the building’s past. It reads ‘Lewis Holy Name School of Aeronautics’, a testament to a time when the 250-seat thrust stage and studio theatre with a 90-seat black box space served as an aircraft hangar, part of this suburban Chicago school’s long-standing commitment to educating aviators.
The inscription is not the only manifestation of Lewis University’s rich aviation history that can be seen in its thriving Theatre Department. Like its counterpart that is responsible for educating future pilots and aeronautical engineers, the Theatre Department is committed to exposing students to the latest technology in their field. Toward this end, the department added Chauvet Professional Ovation and Maverick LED fixtures from JRLX, Inc. to its Philip Lynch Theatre lighting system.
“Our department has an open-ended goal of updating technical production elements on a continuous basis,” says Andrew Nelsen, who serves as the theatre’s technical director and production designer, in addition to being an assistant professor. “The goal is to stay relevant with the changing technology of the industry, to expose our students to the latest gear, and to satisfy expectations of designers as well as our audiences. Jason Reberski of JRLX was instrumental in help us select new lighting fixtures that enhanced this flexibility.”
Nelsen described how the five Maverick MK1 Spot fixtures and four Ovation E-910FC colour mixing ellipsoidal units Lewis University acquired will be used at the Philip Lynch Theatre. “They are not intended to be permanently installed, but to serve as flexible tools that can be shared between the two theatre spaces,” he says. “I also view these fixtures as teaching tools that can be struck from the lighting grid and brought to the classroom for students to get up close to. The relative agility of the MK1s and its light weight, plus its good hand grips and locking pan & tilt, make the handling of these fixtures in and out of the ceiling comfortable for students.”
Describing the Ovation E-910FC as his “workhorse fixture for side light”, Nelsen typically has them in low side positions or low front positions. Outfitted with 26° lens tubes, the ellipsoidal units are flown from 6-12ft above the stage deck when hanging from the vomitorium and aisle positions. When hung from the lighting rig, they are 21ft above the stage deck.
(Jim Evans)

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