The UJ Arts team with Jannie de Jager and the MA3 compact console
South Africa - The University of Johannesburg recently invested in a grandMA3 compact console for the UJ Arts and Culture Centre, situated on the institution’s Kingsway Campus in Auckland Park.
Jannie de Jager of DWR Distribution, MA Lighting’s sole distributor in South Africa, recently facilitated training at the institution to ensure that the theatre’s crew can make the best of the new console, as well as the newly launched MA3 platform.
Jade Bower has served as the production manager at the UJ Arts and Culture Centre for several years and is very pleased with the theatres’ latest acquisition. “The UJ Arts and Culture Centre provides students at the university access to theatre and the performing arts, which is an important part of providing a holistic education,” Jade explains. “While we do not have a drama department at the university, our students benefit enormously from taking part in productions and in the running of the theatre while they pursue their degrees in various disciplines.”
As a state-subsidised institution of higher learning, UJ’s budgets are, however, very tight and as such any new equipment that they decide to invest in has to make financial sense for the institution over the long run.
Reflecting on her decision to purchase the MA3 compact console, Jade states that she felt it important that the institution invests in the appropriate infrastructure to ensure that the lighting rigs at the main theatre, as well as the University’s two auxiliary performance spaces, allow for future growth and gradual modernisation. “While our lighting rig is still primarily comprised of generic fixtures, I felt that it was wise to invest in a console that would facilitate our gradual move towards an LED-based rig, which is in line with international standards and current technology trends.”
Jade’s resident technical crew are excited about the move to grandMA3. “I have had training with Jannie in the past, and always walk away with new knowledge and skills,” says Musa Sibisi, who has served as a resident senior technician at the UJ Arts and Culture Centre for a number of years. “Jannie is the one who introduced me to the dot2, and I am very excited at having the opportunity to become familiar with the MA3 platform.”
Electrical engineering masters candidate, Jubilant Mabaane adds: “I have been volunteering at the theatre as a stagehand for the past two years and I am really looking forward to learning the programming basics of the MA3 compact console so that I am able to further develop my skills and understanding of the technical theatre field.”
(Jim Evans)

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