x

Marion Cultural and Civic Center Gets Versatile with CHAUVET Professional Maverick

Stage Directions • Industry News • December 11, 2019
Some of the lighting looks that are possible at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center

Some of the lighting looks that are possible at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center

The Orpheum Theatre, in Marion, IL, opened its doors for the first time on January 2, 1922 and was the flagship location of a vaudeville chain and hosted stars like Harry Houdini and the Ziegfeld Follies. The Orpheum is long gone, having been purchased by the city and renamed the Marion Cultural and Civic Center in the 1970s, the entertainment tradition continues as the 1,100-seat facility showcases a diverse mix of stars from a variety of genres. Only today, performers on its stage are supported by a modern LED lighting system that would have been unimaginable in the Orpheum’s incandescent era. Anchoring that rig is collection of 46 CHAUVET Professional Maverick fixtures that were added to the theater’s rig earlier this year.

“We purchased the Mavericks after some extensive research and testing against competing fixtures, led by our Executive Director Josh Benson,” said Kyle Upchurch, the center’s lighting designer and production specialist. “Their quality and versatility impressed our entire team. This venue hosts everything from dance recitals, to concerts, to full theatrical productions. Each one is unique when it comes to lighting, so we need a rig that can adapt to different needs.”
Some of the lighting looks that are possible at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center

Marion Cultural and Civic Center’s versatile rig features 16 Maverick MK2 Profile fixtures and 30 Maverick MK2 Wash units. Hung from the catwalk and focused on the stage, three of the MK2 Profiles are used as followspots and front fill light, in addition to filling a wide variety of other roles.

“The three units on the catwalk are so versatile; they can support any creative idea we come up with,” said Upchurch. “We rely on them to add texture to the stage. They can change the entire look of a show. Our other 13 MK2 Profiles and the 30 washes are all hung on electrics above the stage. Again, with the wide scope of what each fixture can do, there really is no limit on how we use them.”

An example of the new rig’s capabilities was there for all to see during a recent appearance at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center by the 17-piece Fabulous Equinox Orchestra. Elegantly downlighting each individual band member, the design team created a flowing sense of style on stage that blended nicely with the stylish sounds of the band. The Maverick MK2 Wash units projected lush colors that smoothed the transitions between songs, while the fixtures’ built in macros were used to add sparkle during high energy numbers.
Some of the lighting looks that are possible at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center

“The Fabulous Equinox design was a lot of fun,” said Upchurch. “Some of the gobo patterns from the MK2 Profile really set a heart melting mood during the sultry saxophone solos. The band sent us some rough drafts, and our team took it from there. Josh Benson developed a plan about where lights should be positioned and how the stage should be prepared. Our TD Vince Elliot developed the layout, and then we took it from that point to come up with an immersive show.”

Upchurch also gave a nod to the center’s new lighting rig and the “endless creative opportunities” it affords the design team. Judging from the looks of the productions at the center, the new lights work magic that even Harry Houdini couldn’t conjure up when he appeared at this site back in the old Orpheum’s incandescent days.
Some of the lighting looks that are possible at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center

Further information from CHAUVET Professional: www.chauvetprofessional.com

Leave a Comment:

The Latest News and Gear in Your Inbox - Sign Up Today!