Rose Brand® Know-How Blog

Entertainment & event production tips, news & stories

Project Management and Custom Sewing for the American Repertory Theater

Stephen Setterlun, Technical Director at the American Repertory Theater at Harvard University, was staring down a fast approaching opening for Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812. His production specs called for over 60 Marvel Velour fabric panels in Rouge, each in a unique size, many with different hanging finishes. He needed the reassurance that his project would be completed on time with precision, technical skill, and closely matched dye lots of fabric. 

With the pressure of the short deadline looming, Setterlun turned to Rose Brand’s project management team. He was impressed with Rose Brand’s large stock of fabrics and sewing capacity. When discussing the project, he felt reassured when “a number of individuals from Rose Brand responded very quickly with a plan and a commitment to make it work on time.” More...

Behind the Scenes: Outfitting ShowStoppers at Wynn Las Vegas

Throwing your wife a huge party for her birthday is generally a good way to win brownie points for the year to come. Throwing her a huge party in the form of a Broadway-esque musical where Hugh Jackman performs, now that’s a way to amass brownie points for life. 

To celebrate the birthday of his wife, Andrea, Steve Wynn, chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts, threw an elaborate party. An enthusiast of Broadway show music, Wynn transformed the party into an attraction for the Wynn Las Vegas Encore Theatre. The result was ShowStoppers, a musical production of classic Broadway show tunes that Wynn personally wrote. 

Rose Brand had the pleasure and honor to create the drapery for the show. Our team of production specialists had direct input on what the final design would look like – we suggested colors, adjusted fabric type, and even put finishing touches on the production before rehearsals. 

Tom Coulouris and Brent Porter, two of the most sought-after project managers and veterans of the theater industry, sat with designers and producers including production designer Ric Lipson of Stufish and Rick Gray, general manager of entertainment operations at Wynn Design & Development as the concept for this production came about. In an interview with Sharon Stancavage for Lighting and Sound America, Lipson describes the duo as the “Gods of Drapes.”

 

During preliminary meetings with the production team, Rose Brand presented suggested mock ups for the major soft goods in the production. Together, the two groups of producers worked with the fabrics to get the best effects – additional layers of fabric were added, colors were custom-dyed, and various light sources were tested. Since Rose Brand has a huge selection of fabrics in stock, testing different fabrics and color options was fast and easy. Rose Brand brought to the project a deep understanding of the aesthetics the designers wanted to achieve paired with intimate knowledge of the technical aspects required in order to make that possible. 

This was a very high-energy, fast-paced project made up of many specialized design pieces. One of the scenic goals for this production was to create the illusion of depth and dimension with limited space. To give the background depth and pizzazz, varying layers of three different colors of Shimmer Organza fabric were used in different parts of the show. A focal point throughout the show is the upstage curtain made from the Shimmer Organza in 200% sewn-in fullness at the top and bottom. The sheer fabric was also used to create other elements of the show. 

In the interview for Lighting and Sound America, Lipson describes another Rose Brand fabric, the Gliss Velvet, as “taking light in the most beautiful way.” This textured velvet was used in many places in the production including the proscenium and the band riser front. The individual legs and borders are a custom colored antique gold, made specifically for the show. 

Additional Rose Brand components used in the show include Classic Star Drop with LEDs for a border, legs, and drop, an Austrian Curtain sewn from Frazzle fabric, and numerous steel beaded curtains. All three of these elements are suggestions the Rose Brand production team made on the project. The steel beaded curtains were very popular in numerous scenes. “In the scene from Cabaret, we use a lot of Rose Brand’s 5/8" Plated Faceted Metal Beads for the whole of the set—it’s sort of enveloped in these beads,” Lipson adds. The curtains are pictured above on stage left and right as well as the center stage in what has been described as a “beautifully decadent, bead-laden club.”  

After sewing for the project was completed, Brent Porter, Rose Brand’s Manager of Fabrication and Development, flew out to Las Vegas to perform enhancements on-site for two weeks before rehearsals started. Working alongside the installation crew at Wynn Casino, he assisted in making sure each piece was properly installed and hung perfectly. Porter also assisted with on-site tweaks which allowed the curtains to open and close perfectly. Along with Lipson and Grey, he made sure that every tassel was in place and each curtain had the exact fullness needed. 

Since its premiere, the production has received rave reviews and shows no signs of slowing down.  ShowStoppers is running through October 2015 at Wynn Las Vegas. 


Use the same products in your next production! Here are some of the fabrics used in ShowStoppers:

Frazzle
Gliss Velvet
Classic Star Drop
Shimmer Organza 
For information about ordering metal beaded curtain, call 1-800-223-1624

 

To read the full feature in Light & Sound America, click here.

Creating & Installing Masking Panels for the Walmart AMP Outdoor Venue

 

June 7, 2014 marked the official grand opening of the Walmart AMP in Rogers, Ark. (formerly known as the Arkansas Music Pavilion) with a Walmart event in the morning and country music star and NBC’s “The Voice” coach Blake Shelton in the evening. This outdoor concert venue had some unique challenges for rigging and soft goods. Rose Brand stepped up to the challenge by teaming with McLaren Engineering to design, fabricate, and install Textilene mesh side masking on the stage. Rose Brand also supplied truss, chain hoists, rigging and a split upstage blackout, in addition to installing two 24' high x 13'-6" wide, 5,000 pound LED display tile walls in the wings.

With masking measuring 30' high and 40' wide on each side plus engineered wind load, additional structural steel was required to support the Textilene panels and heavy duty tracks. Triple E Unibeam was employed to travel the 10 custom Textilene panels. Custom braking carriers ensured the panels stay in place once positioned.

 

With one week of notice to install the video walls, a temporary installation plan was engineered to rig the display frames for the grand opening while the custom rigging hardware was fabricated. The video walls were then dismantled and re-installed for semi-permanent, seasonlong durability. Through collaboration with the venue owners, Rose Brand was able to provide a safe, finished, and workable solution to the challenges the venue posed. These elements will be installed from May-September each season to enhance the acts taking the stage each week.

Link to Project Management & Rigging.

Link to Stage Hardware & Rigging.

Link to Textilene fabric.