Monday, October 3, 2011

UPDATE: WHS Auditorium Fly System Renovation: IT'S DONE!

Today, the final piece of the new fly system was installed - the control box for the rail lights.


Last Friday, Randy Groves, the installation supervisor from Tiffin Scenic Studios provided the final training for the technical staff here at Wash. We've been waiting a long time for this.

(Blogger's note: It's not quite done. There are still some wires, and a knob or something, and then the electrician ... sigh ...)

Aside from the equipment that was directly replaced with industry standard pieces and parts, we received the following improvements:

  • five battens that are raised and lowered by electrical winches
  • a fire curtain that can be reset automatically on its own winch
  • an illuminated rail ID system that can be read clearly during the run of a show
  • dimmable rail lighting so 
  • rope locks with safety catches that would prevent a runaway arbor or batten (a situation that would send scenery or stage weights crashing down uncontrollably)
  • keyed access to all automated systems
  • keyed locks to fly rail rope locks to prevent unauthorized curtain pulling
  • an automated bull winch that allows us to raise battens loaded with lighting or scenery safely to a position where it can be counterweighted

And it's that last piece of equipment that we would like to focus upon. Observe the "bull winch:" an electrical winch that locks into the fly rail and is capable of raising and lowering a batten that is up to 1,100 lbs. out of balance. It's not something we will use every day, but when we need it, it will save us a lot of worrying and unnecessary exertion. It will become a very important piece of equipment - very useful.

Seems like it should have a name, right?

Oh, sure, it already has a name: the "Tiffin Scene Studios HW-1000 Mobile Winch." But c'mon - that's like me calling you "Humanoid 4,538,499,326." It's new home is our theater, and we can't let something like this go without a suitable nickname now, can we?

If you said "no," then you would be correct.

So, here's the deal. Submit your idea in the form below. You can enter more than one name, but they have to be entered individually. At the end of the nomination period - Friday, October 7th - we will post the suggestions (if the list is extensive, the directors will pare the list down for simplicity) and open it to voting. The name that gets the most votes wins. In the event of a tie, the people responsible for the suggested names will square off in a cage-match in the gym on October 15th using poison darts. (Kidding - we'll just conduct a very brief run-off election.)

The winner will receive a choice of fine prizes yet to be determined. Let's not rule out some tools, free tickets, or food somewhere in the WHS area. But it will be worth your effort.

So, take a look at the picture below, and put on your thinking touques. Names should be simple and snappy; ironic and iconic; theatrical and didactical; and most importantly, small enough to actually fit on the device. Good luck!


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