Barnyard's in-house production company employs a large number of musicians and performers who have a wide variety skills and talents
South Africa - Louis and Sybel Möller had both been involved in the performing arts most of their lives, Louis as co-founder and producer of, amongst others, Carte Blanche, and Sybel Coetzee as a freelance actress and TV presenter.

In 1989 they took stock of their hectic lives and decided that with two young boys they had to change the pace of their lives. They got out of the rat race and went into dairy farming in the Plettenberg Bay area. After a few years of farming they sought a way to combine their two loves - the footlights and the farm. They decided to convert the beautiful, rustic American-style wooden barn that Louis had built into a theatre. The old-world atmosphere, heavy wooden beams, a horseshoe gallery, big tables with welcoming lanterns and wood chips on the floor were perfect for an informal theatre experience. Thus the Barnyard Theatre was born and opened its first show in 1996.

In 2003 Louis joined forces with well-known South African musician Duck Chowles and together they formed The Barnyard Theatre Production Company. Duck had produced, amongst others, the mega-hit musical Roll Over Beethoven, and Louis instinctively knew Duck belonged in the Barnyard stable. Duck Chowles now directs and produces all Barnyard Theatre Productions.

Barnyard's in-house production company employs a large number of musicians and performers who have a wide variety skills and talents. At any given time there are at least eight different shows running at Barnyard Theatres across the country. The Barnyard Theatre believes in growing and supporting local talent. One of the shows, Under African Skies, has been performed at over 80 theatres in Belgium, Holland, France and Denmark. Barnyard shows have also been staged in the Middle and Far East, as well as at Sun City one of South Africa's premier entertainment hubs.

At inception Louis realized the Barnyard theatres required equipment that would need minimal maintenance and that could stand the test of time. Therefore he invested in Martin Professional Intelligent Lighting because of its reputation for producing high quality and durable products. Other generic and dimming products were also purchased from Electrosonic SA, which offers a full lighting solution for theatre productions.

Over the last 15 years The Barnyard Theatre Production Company has grown in leaps and bounds as a result of their great concept of providing good, clean family entertainment in a relaxed and casual environment.

A recent departure from the tried and tested recipe was The Barnyard Group's decision to open up Barnyard Rivonia. It is unlike any of the other Theatres, mainly due to its size. Barnyard Rivonia was purpose-built from scratch. Barnyard has a long-standing relationship with Electrosonic SA as its provider of high quality lighting products, and automatically included them in the discussion when deciding what equipment they required to continue the growth and success of the Barnyard Theatre Group.

The negotiations began and orders were placed. LED Technology was implemented to cut back on lamp replacements on 1kW Parcans. Dimmers were cut back and Versa-Light high powered LED Parcans were supplied along with Mac250s and K1 Hazers. To control it all the incomparable Martin M1 Controller was supplied. At the same time they decided to upgrade the rig at Barnyard Cresta similarly by replacing 1kwParcans with Versa-Light High Powered LED Parcans, adding extra Mac250s to their existing ones and of course upgrading the controller to the Martin M1 Controller to standardize Lighting Controllers across their venues.

In another move Barnyard Theatres decided to close down Barnyard Menlyn and move it to Parkview in Pretoria. This will be an even bigger theatre with three galleries and a stage the size of most theatre spaces in the country. The LED technology had to be implemented like all the other venues and new MAC 250s were purchased along with VersaLight LE


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