December 21, 2009
Encore Design Group was selected as the theatre consultant for all phases for Dallas’ Booker T. Washington High School for the Visual and Performing Arts Additions & Renovations project back in 2004.
The campus, located in the heart of Dallas’ Arts District with the new Winspear Opera Hall as their next door neighbor, now consists of a new Academic & Performance Building, a renovation of the original historic school building buit in 1922, and a new performance hall – the Montgomery Arts Theatre.
This 200,000 sq. ft., $55 million project was completed in May 2008. We have added all three project phased facilities to our “Portfolio” section of our website recently with more information on each venue.
December 17, 2009
Mountain View Community College held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on October 28, 2009 to celebrate the completion of a few construction projects including the renovation of the Peformance Hall. K. Alan Lewis of Encore Design Group was the theatre consultant on the project.
Special guests speaking at the ceremony included the Chancellor Lassiter, Board of Trustees member Metzger, Dallas Councilmember Jasso, and Texas State Representative Alonzo. Other prominent local colleges, universities, churches, government, and business leagues were in attendance as well.
Following the ceremony, the newly renovated Performance Hall presented a video tracing the historic roots of the MVC Performance Hall followed by various performances to a full audience. Included in the performances were the MBC Chamber Music Ensemble, MVC Vocal Ensemble, MVC Dance Company, the Tectonic Theatre Company, and more.
Learn more about the Performance Hall Renovation (here).
May 29, 2009
As with many backstage objects, rigging pipe battens are normally painted black to reduce their visibility to the audience. While this is good standard practice, it makes seeing these pipe battens more difficult for those backstage. This can be a safety issue for both performer and technician.
The USITT has recommended the practice of painting the last 24″ ends of pipe battens a safety-yellow color color to allow higher visibility for those backstage. This helps backstage folks from walking into lowered battens in lower-light situations, and allows the flyman or rigging controller to have a visual reference as to the locations of the battens during a show.
We recommend this practice, but also feel that the addition of yellow vinyl pipe-end caps can not only help the batten’s visibility, but softens the potentially dangerous pipe end itself. Most theatre technicians have bumped their head on a pipe end at some point during their career. The end cap can soften that blow to the head and since battens can be somewhat sharp on the ends, it can reduce the chance for the need of a band-aid to close up a laceration!
Various manufacturer’s offer vinyl end caps. J.R. Clancy, one of the world’s oldest rigging manufacturers provides these end caps along with space to label both the Lineset Number and the Maximum Lineset Capacity. Having both of these bits of information on each pipe batten provides quick reference for riggers.
May 28, 2009
“The IALD is extremely pleased that the combined grassroots efforts organized by the architectural and theatrical lighting design communities have paid off,” IALD President Jeff Miller stated. “We will continue to work with the Texas legislature and executive branches to insure the continued economic and creative health of our industry.”
There are various technical steps to be completed in the next few days as the Texas legislative session reaches its statutory end-of-life on 31 May, but the bottom line is that lighting designers will be able to continue to practice in Texas.
On May 27, 2009, the Texas State Legislature passed legislation drafted without any input from lighting designers, restricting the practice of lighting design to members of other professions and trades, such as architects, engineers and electricians. There are no provisions in the legislation for establishing a licensing standard for lighting designers.
The International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) has urged the Texas Senate Business & Commerce Committee remove language restrictive to the profession in Texas House Bill 2649 as a “technical adjustment” when the bill is prepared for Gov. Rick Perry’s signature, or the eventual veto of the bill by the Governor should no changes in language be made.
Members of the IALD abide by a strict code of ethics and bring both technical knowledge and artistic sensibilities to bringing out the best in buildings and outdoor spaces. IALD professional lighting designers dedicate their careers exclusively to the art and science of lighting. There is no substitute for their level of expertise and professionalism.
The economic impact of the proposed legislation would be extensive: many lighting designers practice in Texas, and hundreds of projects in the state depend on professional lighting designers for their full architectural expression.
May 28, 2009
As stated by a recent article on LiveDesign’s website (here), the economic impact of the current proposed legislation restricting those that can provide lighting design services will be extensive.
Allegedly, the legislation stemmed from failed football stadium lighting standards in Houston, Texas. And in the process of making sure that outdoor specialty lighting structures do not fail again in the future, the legislation is wide-sweeping affecting nearly all other types of lighting design consultants.
There is now a movement to lobby Texas’s Governor, Rick Perry, for a veto to this bill. Please help by contacting the Texas Governor’s Office (here).