Nick Barnes representing DWR in Durban (photo: Keith Hunter)
South Africa - St Mary's Diocesan School for Girls Kloof, KwaZula Natal, trickles with tradition and charm. This girls' school was established in 1906 and is well known for its musicals and drama pieces. DWR Distribution was pleased to install a lighting infrastructure in the school hall during the June / July holidays.

"Originally St Mary's wanted lighting solutions for three venues, namely, the school hall, a studio which is used as the drama practice room and an outdoor auditorium," explained Nick Barnes from DWR who headed the installation. Michael Broderick, a lighting specialist, consulted to ensure the correct equipment was specified. Due to pricing and budget constraints, it was decided to commence the project with the school hall only.

DWR took out the outdated lighting infrastructure and replaced this with two stage lighting bars, one FOH Lighting Bar, four Philips Strand 6-pack dimmer packs and a Philips Strand 200 Plus 24/48 control desk. In addition to this was a new DMX infrastructure, cabling and Acclaim Fresnels. The existing old lighting fixtures were rehung on the lighting bars.

Debbbie Morgan and Joanne Palmer from St Mary's were pleased with the final result. The school hall can now operate separately to the other venues. The school also becomes more independent and less reliant on hiring in gear each time there is a show.

"It has transformed the Hall into a venue with user-friendly technical system for girls and teachers," said Debbie Morgan, dramatic arts subject head. "It is exciting to be able to train girls and develop an interest in theatre that goes beyond just the scope of acting." The next upgrade will be in the Drama Studio.

"The school is very strong in the performing arts genre," commented Barnes. "When I was in high school the school musicals to watch were always from St Mary's. What's really awesome about this school is that the students operate the technical side themselves. The teachers know what they are talking about and are training the girls on the technical side."

(Jim Evans)

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