Tudor Grange Academy (Worcester)

This was a newly built academy in 2012 and we were asked to design and install a flexible performance lighting system that could be used in both the lecture theatre and a drama room. Both rooms have their own control rooms and are divided by a folding wall that allows the two spaces to become one large area for school shows and presentations.  In this open space set up, the drama room becomes the stage area whilst the audience watch the show from the tiered seating of the lecture theatre with the lights being controlled from the control room at the top of the lecture theatre.

Although the drama teacher wanted to have a lighting desk to control the lights from they also wanted to be able to control them from a remote computer tablet such as the iPad.  The ceilings in the drama room are over 4m high and as they did not have the space to store an access platform they also new they would not be able to regularly adjust the lanterns on the various lighting bars for different shows etc.  Taking this on board the lighting solution we had to come up with needed to also be able to have a facility that allowed various different lighting scenes to be accessed for day to day teaching of drama without the need for using the lighting desk.

To cover all of these requirements we installed lighting bars in both the drama room and the lecture theatre that had standard 15A dimmable sockets, 16A switching sockets for intelligent lights along with DMX.  The DMX was fed from a splitter located in the drama room control room.  For the Dimming we used a Zero 88, 24 Channel Chilli Dimmer and programmed the on board processor with various lighting scenes that could be used in both the lecture theatre and drama room and these programs are accessed via Zero 88 remote Chilli panels which we mounted on the walls in both rooms.  To enable further control of the lights from an iPad we had to specify a lighting desk that could be connected to a router and for this we chose the Zero 88 Solution that we connected to a wireless router. With the appropriate Zero 88 App installed on the iPad the client is able to remotely access all the controls of the lighting desk and in turn operate the lights for the show.

Finally to improve the acoustics of the drama room we installed heavy duty wool serge curtains around the perimeter.  The rail they were suspended from was the Doughty Six Track system and we included a curved section of track so that the rear curtains could be repositioned during show time to create a back stage area within the drama room.

After completion the school were over the moon with their new system and said how it had opened so many new creative teaching and performance possibilities.