David Rockwell of Rockwell and Associates designed the entrance tent that "exponentially increased our front of house space," says Scott O'Donnell, vice president and general manager of the Big Apple Circus. To maximize the new space the circus "looked to Scharff Weisberg to make it a fun and functional area. We've had a long association with Scharff Weisberg - they know us and what we do as an organization. We don't just come to town with a show, we bring our venue with us and create everything from the ground up. Scharff Weisberg understands our needs and gives us great advice and support."
One of the purposes of the entrance tent was to give circus-goers a more detailed first impression of the Big Apple Circus. "We're not just a performance but an institution as well," O'Donnell explains. "We're a non-profit that works in clown care and has Circus for All and Circus After School programs - we do a lot of community outreach. The video screens we positioned at either side of the tent rotunda were very cool and were well received by our patrons and clients. They enabled us to do messaging before and after the show."
Scharff Weisberg provided two Christie 10K projectors for a pair of projection screens provided by Moss. A QLabs Pro system played back content via a Macintosh computer.
Scharff Weisberg also furnished a complement of lighting fixtures for the tent. For ambient light, 124 Philips iW LED blasts were selected; eight VARI*LITE VLX fixtures added movement and color in the rotunda. An array of ETC ellipsoidals and dimmers were on hand for custom Big Apple Circus graphics with templates for texture and for concession lighting. An LEX Power distribution system was supplied for utility and tent heating.
Audio gear from Scharff Weisberg fell into three categories: the general entrance tent sound system, projection audio for the video screens and a live audio feed from the Big Top.
The entrance tent also served as an event space with a VIP lounge and two additional lounges that could be rented for private parties and meetings.
"Everything went very well," O'Donnell reports. "We had a very exciting season. A program that aired on PBS last fall gave the Big Apple Circus more exposure, and a lot of people came to the show who have not been to the circus for years."
At the Big Apple Circus Jon Batz was lighting coordinator. BAC handled the installation and design collaboration for the tent.
At Scharff Weisberg John Healy and Barry Grossman were the project managers. Vice President of Sales Chris McMeen headed lighting and video technical design with Drew DeCorleto, John Ackerman, Scott Schacter, Dennis Alfonso, Hector Vega and Patrick Denny comprising the support team.
Scharff Weisberg and Video Applications are collaborating partners to clients requiring unique and imaginative solutions for their event, spectacle and large-meeting lighting, sound and video needs whether local, national or worldwide. For more information visit www.scharffweisberg.com or www.videoapps.com.