Bandit Lites recently finished a lighting installation at the newly opened Randy Parton Theatre in North Carolina. The theatre features Randy Parton, brother of country music legend Dolly Parton, in a live music variety show blending humor and dancing with rock ‘n’ roll, country, classic hits, pop melodies and gospel.

In addition, the Randy Parton Theatre will showcase a variety of entertainers including members of Randy’s talented family, legends of the Grand Ole
Opry, and other music superstars.

The Randy Parton Theatre is a 1,500-seat show palace with state-of-the-art sound, lighting, and video. Bandit sales and design associate, Chris Barbee was hired to be the lighting and rigging system designer and project manager for the permanent installation. Additionally, as a result of previous experience working with Randy Parton, Barbee was also hired to be the show designer.

Barbee chose to use 6 High End Systems DL2s, 16 Martin MAC 700s, 18 Martin MAC 600s, 6 High End Studio Command 700s, 80 Source 4 Lekos, 100 Source Four PARs, and 100 PAR 64 fixtures. Fifty Chauvet Colorado1s were added as truss and set toners as well as 8 Chauvet Colorado3s. The lighting package was finished off with 150 Color Kinetics iColor coves (used for a Plexiglas scenic floor piece downstage center).

Lighting was programmed on a full size grandMA but is operated by a grandMA Lite. The grandMA’s ability to output ETCNet2 data was utilized in the system. The Net2 drove the Sensor dimmer racks while the Net2 2-port nodes and 4-port Gateways were used to distribute DMX to the rest of the rig.

Barbee said the High End DL2s brought an additional dimension to the lighting show. “Anything you can dream up- patterns, home movies- if you can create the content, you can project it using those fixtures,” he explains. “I was initially afraid they wouldn’t be bright enough. However when we used them in collaboration with the center projector, we actually had to take the DL2s down a bit.”

A big part of the lighting was created in conjunction with the scenic design elements. Barbee said scenic designer Tom Cluff created the custom video content for the DL2s.

Another unique element to Randy Parton Theatre design was the Vortek Rigging System. Barbee said that the system was pushed to the limit with the complexity of movement in the show. There were 27-motorized hoists in all. In this particular design, the truss was used as a scenic element as well as being utilized for lighting positions. “Tom Cluff could not have provided a better canvas for me to work on for the lighting design,” he adds. “The dual role of the set as canvas and structure to support lighting allowed us to create a multitude of looks. This really was a collaborative effort from all parties involved. It was a welcome experience to blend the creative talents of Tom Cluff, Chip Perry, and myself during this production.” Perry served as assistant lighting designer on the production.

Executive producer Velton Ray Bunch comments, “Chris Barbee and the Bandit Lites team were the magic bullets in this production. Under the worst time and logistical constraints imaginable, Chris made this show something I was really proud to be associated with. Plus, he never lost his cool!”

Production manager, Tom Kelly adds, “I have known Chris for a long time and he is amazingly good at what he does. I can’t think of another company that is more professional and good to work with. I will always use Bandit Lites on any project I work on.”