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William Penn Charter School - Philadelphia PA
William Penn Charter School opened the David L. Kurtz Center for the Performing Arts in 2010. The proscenium stage of the Earl and Pam Ball Theater is equipped with professional single purchase counterweight rigging and a full orchestra shell.
The US Institute for Theater Technology Architecture Commission awarded this project their Merit award in 2012.
With 50 LEED points, the Kurtz Center received Gold Certification from the US Green Building Council.
Catwalks are designed to be efficient and safe. These are not the catwalks you remember from 1950, with insufficient worklight, tripping hazards and things to hit your head on. These are effective workplaces and teaching areas, the same as any lab or classroom. Supply air openings for the auditorium are centered over the catwalks, so the air falls onto the catwalks, which creates desirable turbulence and "entrains" the room air before it reaches the patrons below. The white fluorescent lamps in the catwalk worklights are shielded on the audience side so they are not visible to the audience during performances when the fixtures are turned off.
Stage lighting control information is carried over data networks. Control tasks are accomplished through computers. The stage lighting system speaks many data protocols including MIDI, DMX, Stage Lighting Ethernet, Unison, and some others. Educators are aware of the value of the arts in teaching technology, and vice versa. This stage lighting system can be operated from an iPhone. Multiple levels of control are provided for every user and for every function from cleaning, to lectures, to complex performances. The computers are programmed to never exceed 80% on houselight channels. This is simple to do, and extends houselight lamp life by a factor of 1000. In planning a facility there are several potential locations for the video projector, all with advantages and disadvantages. In this facility the video projector is located in the control room because the control room is secure, the control room encloses the projector noise so the noise is not heard in the auditorium, and the projector can be operated and maintained easily.
Large instrumental rehearsal room. This room is located immediately offstage to serve as a warmup room for musicians heading onstage.
Choral rehearsal room and recital hall.
Small scene shop.
Single purchase counterweight rigging. Blue Lights.
Dimmer room. The racks are mounted resiliently to prevent their vibration from being heard in the auditorium. A DX unit to cool the dimmer room is hung from the ceiling. The small tan rack on the right wall is the central processor that routes all stage lighting data.
Architect: Voith and Mactavish