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A six-week run of Rocktopia at the Broadway Theatre in New York recently featured a lightshow with a collection of CHAUVET Professional Rogue and CHAUVET Professional PVP S5 LED tiles, all supplied by BML-Blackbird.

The lightshow was designed by Michael Stiller. Stiller positioned five Rogue RH1 Hybrid fixture on the theatre’s furthest upstage electric to provide “the hottest and most defined of the beam effects.” He also had 18 Rogue R2 Wash units flown in a grid configuration to use as a base for aerial effects and washes on the 44’ wide by 40’ deep stage. Another 22 Rogue R2 Wash fixtures were arranged on the two most upstage trusses for backlighting. To add extra sparkle during rock numbers, Stiller relied on four Rogue R1 FX-B fixtures positioned two apiece on the stage right and stage left decks. 

Rocktopia is really a concert experience, and not a traditional theatrical production,” said Stiller. “The versatility we got from the Rogues was invaluable, since we used them for creating everything from theatrical stage washing to concert-style eye candy. My partner and Rocktopia programmer Greg Bloxham, ALD Erik Herskowitz, and my co-video designer and media content creator Austin Switser of Switser + Knight were instrumental in helping me create something that bridged the worlds of rock and classical music, as well as concert and Broadway shows. Working on Broadway is expensive, and we all worked off clicks and time code, which allowed us to accurately previz the show in our studio and helped get things up and running within the real-world constraints of time and budget.”

The fluid structure of Rocktopia also created unique challenges for the lighting and video design team.

“This is not a story-driven show in any traditional sense,” said Stiller. “There are no characters or plot; rather each movement is meant to represent a stage in our collective development and the cycle of life. We traced the human and terrestrial experience from the creation of our world to human birth, through adolescence, rebellion, love, achievement, death, and birth again. The media content for each movement supports this thematic storyline, sometimes in an abstract way, and sometimes more literally.”  

“While the media follows the narrative, the lighting is purely emotional,” continued Stiller. “Like any good rock show, we used lighting to support the mood of the music in the moment, provide punctuation, reinforce rhythm, and create a visual accompaniment to the aural experience. When the music, visuals, and lighting all play together, in sync, the experience takes on an entirely new dimension for the audience. Seeing this happen is probably the most rewarding thing for me.”

Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy 



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