The Bailey Theatre recently welcomed three consultants from Actsafe BC for four days of Theatre Safety training and lighting hanging
The consultants from Actsafe are all technical directors in Vancouver theatres with years of experience in the field. Trail & District Arts Council also invited the technical staff from The Capitol Theatre and The Civic Theatre in Nelson to join in the training to get together and share knowledge with our peers.
As part of the training session, all lighting and stage rigging (what you hang lights on) were removed, then reinstalled it on the rigging in the safest and most versatile way possible. This included removing some dated, wooden rigging and replacing it with temporary metal bars.
This adds side lighting to existing overhead lighting as well as helps fill dark spots on the stage. The Bailey rigging itself is unique in that it needs complete replacing in the next few years but at present still one of the best lighting set ups in small town B.C.
The new lighting set up provides lots of options for theatre and dance troupes who require adaptable lighting that can highlight individuals’ bodies and is required to create a certain mood. Lighting is an integral part of a performance that adds so much depth and atmosphere to a show that the audience is often not even aware of the artistry behind the scenes.
“Theatres can be very dangerous places, from fire hazards, electrical issues and dark corners, to heavy and expensive equipment,” said Nadine Tremblay, The Bailey Theatre’s executive director. “So, you want everything to be set up for ease and flexibility, and you want all your staff to be well trained and aware of the possible hazards.
“There are many things to check and double check. For example, the hanging of the lighting bars is engineer approved and each lighting fixture has a safety chain on it. Then, each light is powered, focused and programmed into the lighting console, which is another important and complex piece of equipment. We are so grateful to Actsafe BC and we are looking into ways that we can continue to bring the knowledge to us so that we can keep our rural theatres a state-of-the-art experience and of course safe.”