ETC lights up HB Thom Theatre

Date Posted: 11/26/2018

EHB Thom Theatre

ETC dealer Electrosonic SA, successfully completed a world-class installation for Stellenbosch University’s HB Thom Theatre with ETC lighting solutions.

Over the past few years, the university has embarked upon an ambitious refurbishment project to bring theatre technology and infrastructure in line with the latest international performance and safety standards. The institution turned to long-time partner and theatre installation experts, Electrosonic SA to deliver a brand new lighting solution for the theatre complex.

Taking advantage of ETC’s extensive range of lighting and control technologies that have been specifically developed for the theatre environment, Electrosonic has delivered a world-class theatre solution at the HB Thom Theatre complex in the Western Cape. On completion, the HB Thom Theatre boasts what is arguably one of the most advanced lighting installations for a facility of its kind in the country.

EHB Thom Theatre

In line with the university’s commitment to producing graduates that are prepared to become leaders in their future careers, SU set out to develop a dynamic learning environment that equips students to work across disciplines and platforms. On completion, the lighting installation at the HB Thom Theatre complex includes the latest in intelligent lighting control by ETC and state-of-the-art fixtures from both ETC and Martin Professional on the main stage, while leaving some of the older conventional lighting fixtures in place in smaller performance venues in the complex. “The students leave the university with a massive skills base, which makes for professionals that are highly skilled and exceedingly versatile,” Snyman concludes.

All of the infrastructure throughout the HB Thom Theatre complex has been network enabled and managed using ETC’s Paradigm architectural lighting control, installed and programmed by Electrosonic’s networking and control specialist, Jesse Dullabh. To ensure that both tungsten and LED fixtures are accommodated at the theatre complex, Electrosonic deployed ETC’s ColorSource ThruPower. Each ColorSource ThruPower circuit feeds directly into the panel wiring, breaking out to dimmer and relay inputs, which means that all circuits can switch between relay and dimming without changing any hardware.

EHB Thom Theatre

For front of house control, SU invested in two ETC Ion consoles, which provide fully integrated control of media servers, conventional lighting fixtures, LED fixtures and moving lights for the main theatre and in the studio. The console is designed to be highly intuitive and accommodates the needs of beginners and professionals alike – making it the perfect tool for a training environment where students have the opportunity to gradually develop their skills, using the same tools and technology as some of the best theatre programmers in the world.

In addition to the extensive control and networking solutions, Nassi and his installation team supplied a brand new lighting rig for the main stage, which is one of the first of its kind in a South African theatre and is based solely on LED lighting fixtures.

Fixtures include ETC’s ColorSource PAR fixture, with various diffusor options from wide, medium and narrow, as well as the ColorSource Spot Light Engine with Source Four 15-30 degree zoom lenses and ColorSource spot deep blue light engine with a variation on CYC lens attachments and Fresnel attachments with barndoors.

“The lighting rig that has been installed at the OB Thom is the same as what one would find in a repertory theatre anywhere in the world. Students trained at universities with this level of theatre technology walk away with a truly transferable set of skills on an international level. They are empowered to ‘go and do’, at any venue in the world,” Theron concludes.