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Conference & Stage Expo
For the Record
Sapsis Goes Kabuki in Lincoln Center

Sapsis Rigging, Inc. provided design, installation supervision, and equipment for the recent New York City Lincoln Center Festival engagement of the Heisei Nakamura-za Kabuki troupe in Avery Fisher Hall.

Sapsis provided a super-truss rig, 40 chain hoists, traditional and not-so traditional counterweight rigging, kabuki drop rigging, travellers, and a host of miscellaneous rigs for the weeklong production.

"It was, to say the least, an interesting project," noted Michael Sapsis, project manager for Sapsis. "The compressed load-in schedule coupled with language differences made for a few surprises but the Avery Fisher Hall crew, along with the Lincoln Center Festival design team and my supervisors, rose to the occasion."

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TPC Names Ruta Business Manager

As part of its ongoing effort to strengthen business operations, Theatre Projects Consultants United States has announced the appointment of Karen Ruta as business manager.

Ms. Ruta brings with her extensive experience in business and financial management. She has held the positions of business manager and CFO for several businesses in Connecticut including a sports marketing company, a professional photography studio, and a media buying company. Her addition to the company provides Theatre Projects with the business expertise to help manage the continued growth of the company.

Ms. Ruta will assume the administrative responsibilities of the general manager taking over from Gene Leitermann, who will remain director of business development. Mr. Leitermann also is a senior project manager and will be able to devote more of his time to project work.

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Schuler Shook Projects Recognized

IESNA recently bestowed International Illumination Design Awards for 2007, and Schuler Shook's designers were honored to see three projects recognized at the international and regional levels.

At the international level, Schuler Shook's lighting design for Cue at the Guthrie was awarded the International Illumination Design Award of Excellence for interior lighting design. Lighting designers Michael DiBlasi and Rachel Miller, from the firm's Minneapolis office, provided the lighting design. The restaurant, connected to the Guthrie Theatre, provides a dramatic entrance to the theatre complex.

At the regional level, Schuler Shook's lighting of the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Avenue Pumping Station exterior lighting received Regional Illumination Design Awards. The Chicago Board of Trade Project also received a special citation from the International Association of Lighting Designers earlier in 2007.

The Chicago Board of Trade is both a national and Chicago historic landmark building. Prominent on Chicago's Michigan Avenue, the Pumping Station is a historical landmark that survived the Great Fire of 1871.

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New Address, Project for Stage Technologies

Stage Technologies' American office, which just moved closer to the heart of Las Vegas, recently oversaw the rigging installation of the recently completed renovation of the Church of Latter-day Saints' Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The company has experienced rapid expansion in recent years and believes that the new 8,000-square-foot premises will provide its engineers with better facilities and allow it to respond and deliver a high quality service to its clients. The new address and contact information is: Stage Technologies Inc., 6651 Schuster Street, Las Vegas, Nevada 89118; USA; telephone 702-990-0864; and fax 702-990-0878.

The renovation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' 140 year old Tabernacle building in Temple Square, Salt Lake City, Utah now contains some of the most technically advanced lighting, sound, and automation systems ever installed in a historic building of its kind. Stage Technologies installed a 24-axis automated rigging and a 2-axis stage lift control system to enable the same high level of flexibility and safety as a modern performing arts venue.

The unique elliptical shape of the Tabernacle's roof structure made working space and access for equipment and cabling very limited. The Tabernacle was closed for two years during the renovation and officially reopened March 31.

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TMB was at PLASA 2007 with partners A&O Technologies and Global Design Solutions to introduce some new products. A&O introduced a brand new, revolutionary Falcon xenon fixture and displayed the complete range of Falcon fixtures by Alpha One of Germany. Global Design Solutions (GDS) introduced the E System, a complete emergency lighting system developed from the strengths of GDS's Blues System, and the E-System Dimmable Exit Signs, recently installed in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre Stratford and the Royal Court Theatre London. Also on display was the GDS Blues System, exclusively distributed by TMB worldwide.

Highlighted was the Green Hippo Hippotizer V3 media server with on-board time-line control, and media file import and management, as well as HippoNet. TMB distributes Hippotizer media servers in North America, Asia, and the Middle East. TMB introduced two new product families, developed with GDS: ProCue cue-light system and ProMotion solid state push-button chain-motor control system. Find out more about TMB at

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TOMCAT UK Hosts Hoist School at PLASA

TOMCAT UK hosted the first TOMCAT Hoist and Truss Workshop at the PLASA Show September 10 and 11. Participants had the opportunity to receive training from industry experts.

A representative of Columbus McKinnon led a class through a full day of motor instruction, and Patrick Lockwood led a half-day session on truss.

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Schuler Shook Dallas Celebrates Sixth

Schuler Shook's Dallas office just celebrated its sixth birthday with a "Sizzlin' Summer Bash" in their loft offices in downtown Dallas' historic West End.

A mix of major players in the lighting and theatre industries mingled with architects, artists, and representatives from several Southwest civic institutions.

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Walter Retires from Stagecraft Industries

Jeffrey L. Walter, vice president of sales and marketing for Stagecraft Industries, Inc. is retiring after 26 years of service to the company.

In that time, he was instrumental in building the sales and estimating department at Stagecraft into one of the most respected in the industry.

Mr. Walter's prior responsibilities at Stagecraft will be split between Kevin Shetterly, sales manager for rigging and drapery products, and Ted Ross, sales manager for lighting products.

Mr. Walter joined the company in 1981 after a brief career in the commercial insurance industry. His father, Bill Walter, was one of the original founders of Stagecraft Industries. The company grew from a small school supply business to become one of the major manufacturers and installers of theater and studio equipment in the entertainment industry.

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