Modernization of the stage management and call systems in the Lüneburg theater, installation of a new intercom system

Modernization of the stage management and call systems in the Lüneburg theater, installation of a new intercom system

The object
As far as staff number and budget size are concerned, the Lüneburg theater is one of the smallest playhouses for opera, drama, and dance in Germany. With about 30 new productions it presents some 400 performances or events respectively per season at its three venues – the Great House with 542 seats, the T.NT Studio with 99 seats and the T.3 Young Stage seating 140. Since 2010 Hajo Fouquet has been its artistic director. Both Hajo Fouquet and executive director Volker Degen-Feldmann are CEOs of the Theater Lüneburg GmbH. The focus of artistic direction is on offering a great diversity of theater productions  primarily to the citizens of the town and the inhabitants of the surrounding area. While playhouses of this modest size usually limit their program to a single line, the Lüneburg theater is committed to offering all of it - straight theater, opera, operetta, musical, revue, dance, concert and any special events which are associated with them or are organized independently. The theater has got ensembles of its own for musical theater, drama, and ballet with both classical and modern repertoires, first performances included. The resident Lüneburg symphony orchestra performs a series of master concerts (some of which with guest performances in the surrounding area), chamber concerts (in the music school next door) plus a number of extra concerts.

The job
With the expert planning of Ralf Giese, managing director of the Isernhagen AMT Ingenieursgesellschaft (engineering company) as the basis, ASC extended the cable infrastructure in the Lüneburg theater, installed a new  stage management console,  modernized the call system and installed a new intercom system. The contract had previously been put out to public tender. Owing to an intelligent system solution and a competitive offer ASC was able to win the contract. Lighting operations manager Walter Hampel was the Lüneburg theater project manager and saw to it that operation of the stage managing console was as convenient and intuitive as the stage manager wanted it to be and that its equipment would allow for upgrading and expanding in step with the increasing requirements of modern performing art. The job further included replacing obsolete technical equipment by state-of-the-art components.

The solution
During the first two-month expansion stage the cable infrastructure was modernized and extended. A new call system was installed with an AV Digital Variodyn D1 DOM24 central unit, Apart speakers and Bittner 4DXV250 amplifiers. Installation of a new intercom system followed with ZEUS III  Matrix, five DKP-12/DKP-8 desktop communication stations, two 19“ RTS KP-12 communication stations with an EKP-20LK keypad extension and an RTS GPIO-16 extender. In the course of the subsequent month ASC and HFE company jointly planned and set up a stage management console involving a PLC-based ADUNAS media control system. With its very specific infrastructure the stage management console calls for a control system which still allows the operator to use all of its functionality in a convenient way. This is exactly what ADUNAS as an innovative, vendor-independent alternative to conventional media control and digital information systems is able to do – a benefit customers understandably appreciate. ASC designed the user interface specifically according to the customer's wishes and integrated PLC-controlled keypads. PLC is a central autonomously working programmable logic controller by Beckhoff Automation, a company manufacturing industrial controllers used on a world-wide scale and also producing reliable standard components of the kind commonly used in theaters for room and machine control.

The new console is equipped with modular, space-saving, preconfigurable system components. Possible future requirements are accounted for with both software and hardware allowing for upgrading and extension in a variety of ways. The short time frame (January to March) was not the only challenge of the project ASC had to meet – it was a highly sophisticated task to integrate the new into the existing equipment configuration smoothly without disturbance to the theater performances which were still going on. This meant in the first place to match the operation philosophy as it used to be with the features of the new, up-to-date equipment to ensure a seamless transition while performances continued and to train the stage managers professionally and effectively.   

In a second implementation phase ASC dealt with the modernization and extension of the video equipment. A camera for long shots of the auditorium, a PTZ camera, and a mobile camera were integrated into the system. They are controlled via supplementary keypads in the stage management console. A light signal system was installed as well. Apart from firmly positioned light signals a series of mobile signaling devices is available to be operated with keys. In a last step the theater hall was additionally equipped with an announcement system, and the listening system was improved by enhancing the signal processing and providing new microphones.

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  • theater-lueneburg_slide-01_01.jpg

    Theater Lüneburg

    The Lüneburg theater offers the classical choice of drama, opera, and dance and presents some 400 performances or events respectively at its three venues with 30 new productions per season.

  • theater-lueneburg_slide-02_01.jpg

    Theater Lüneburg

    The Lüneburg theater offers plays, operas, operettes, musicals, theater for children and the young, puppet theater, dance and ballet, and special events on three stages.

  • theater-lueneburg_slide-03_01.jpg

    Theater Lüneburg

    ASC and the HFE company jointly devised a stage management console with the PLC-based media control system ADUNAS. The stage manager can prepare the scene control during the rehearsal and retrieve it as a preset while the scene is going on.

  • theater-lueneburg_slide-04_02.jpg

    Theater Lüneburg

    The stage manager needs an optimal working tool which includes communication on a visual level via modern camera equipment enabling him to give directions to the various stage areas.

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