Stage Lighting


I was introduced to Stage Lighting at the start or 3rd year at Kirkcaldy High School (Thank you Ross Mitchell, my Chemistry teacher for years 3, 4, 5 & 6).  This interest / involvement has endured and I still help the two local Musical Theatre Companies in Cupar: Cupar Amateur Musical Society (CAMS) and Cupar Youth Musical Theatre (CYMT), with their performances at Cupar Corn Exchange.  I also help out by lighting other events / performances using the Corn Exchange stage, when asked... it's a Community thing.

Cupar Corn Exchange.

To all intents and purposes the Corn Exchange is Cupar's town hall.  It is owned and operated by Fife Council and plays hosts to most of the larger functions in the town... as well as weekly coffee mornings in the lower hall on a Saturday morning. 
The upper hall can seat around 350 and has a basic theatrical stage about 9.8m wide by 5.7m deep
Corn Exchange stage, from the hall
Corn Exchange Stage

There are a number of scenery cloth tracks suspended from the stage roof as well as three light bars.  Bar one is used for hanging lights as is bar two whilst bar three was permanently used to suspend 3 linked old tri-colour batten to give some cyclorama coverage on the back cloths... the old battens have now been superseded by CAMS/CYMT's own LED colour battens.

There is one light bar suspended from the hall ceiling and this carries the Front of House lighting capacity, augmented by two bars mounted at the side of the hall.

At the back of the auditorium is the lighting gallery, which houses the lighting controls and the Follow Spot(s) as well as the in-house sound equipment.  Until recently there were 2 x dimmers mounted on the wall, fed from a 13 amp socket.  The powerful but elderly 2,000 watts Follow Spot usually occupied one dimmer but it's power draw and physical size virtually precluded the use of a second such lighting fixture in this location.

The 2 x dimmers were declared unsafe and have been removed.  Whilst there is still access to the 1970 Rank Strand Patt 293 Follow Spot, CAMS / CYMT now have 2 x Chauvet 3 LED Followspot 120ST units... far easier to handle; fraction of the electrical power required; virtually no heat generated.
Old Dimmers 7 Follow Spot
Chillie Dimmer

Originally similar dimmers to the above, were sited stage-right in the wings, controlling the stage lights, however these were replaced by a Rank Strand thyristor system, giving remote control from  the lighting gallery.  A few years ago the old thyristor dimmers were replaced by a Zero 88 Chilli Dimmer and moving to Digital allowed the use of the Strand 200 console to give far better control over the 24 x 10amp legacy circuits.

Moving to Digital allowed the use of the Strand 200 console to give far better control over the 24 x 10amp legacy circuits.  Thus unit allowed the setting of Submasters, which gave programmable scenes and sequenced effects. 
Strand 200
Corn Exchange Stage lighitng bars Digital also allowed the expansion into LED lighting, though the 48 channel capacity of the Strand 200 board constrained initial  CAMS / CYMT progress and the first foray into DMX lighting control was made hiring in Robe Movers and borrowing a Zero 88 Fat Frog console for the 2017 production of Hello Dolly.  Since then both CAMS & CYMT have invested in some DMX controlled LED lighting fixtures and control is via QLC+ running on computer.

This part has still to be completed 16-June-2019

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