Altman followspots feature in fairytale design
Tuesday, 3 March 2020
bronxville-high-school-1The opening night of The Secret in the Wings was a complete success
USA - The Bronxville Union Free School District encourages their students to participate in a number of extracurricular activities including the performing arts programmes produced by the High School, Middle School and Elementary School departments.
Wanting to supply their student technicians with the latest in production technology used to accentuate the performing arts, The Bronxville School Foundation awarded a grant submitted by student technician AJ Radik for the addition of Siren Series LED followspots from Altman Lighting.
“I’m a junior at Bronxville UFSD and I started doing tech for the theatre productions back in the sixth grade,” began Radik. “I am mainly focused on the sound and lighting designs of the productions and last year as we were doing a production of Little Shop of Horrors, one of our old spotlights starting smoking and became inoperable for safety reasons. Afterwards, I spoke with the director of the production Pamela Simpson and she suggested that we write a grant to the Bronxville Foundation for new spotlights, so I did.”
Supported by the Bronxville community to award grants for high-impact projects that the District budget cannot fund, The Bronxville School Foundation has provided opportunities for new initiatives in technology, curriculum, teaching techniques and innovative classroom design. Knowing their willingness to also support the arts, Radik was hopeful that the grant might come through for the benefit of all the student technicians working behind the scenes.
“Our school has a sort of hybrid tech club that is a cross between a class and club where student technicians are able to gain valuable real-world experience working on the various productions,” continued Radik. “We are also fortunate to have the Bronxville Foundation which works to improve both the school and the community in general. Once the Foundation approved our grant, we began a long research process based on fixture capabilities and budget. One of the things we continually heard was that the Altman fixtures were very reliable and after they did a demo, we loved it.”
With the new followspots now on campus, it was time for the technical team to put them use on a production. Opening in just a few days, the High School production of The Secret in the Wings by Mary Zimmerman would be their inaugural production design.
“We are very fortunate that the school and community have supported the theatre programs through really good production technology, such as our lighting system, and now we have really nice spotlights too,” says faculty director Rob Cross. “For this year’s Fall production, the playwright has adapted fairytales that are mostly unknown and some quite dark. The lighting had to be evocative but also versatile as we needed to create seven different ‘worlds’ of light that the audience could recognize and give each story its own identity.”
The opening night of The Secret in the Wings was a complete success filling the Bronxville UFSD Theatre with the dark and eerie tales of night. Cross was very pleased with the addition of the Siren Series LED followspots. “We mainly used them to highlight elements that were important to the show, such as a small doll that we wanted to highlight in a tight zoom and a creepy grandfather clock. I love their ease of use and their size as well.”
(Jim Evans)

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