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Rigging Design

Rigging is a classic, signature feature of performance venues. Whether you’re a small playhouse, mid-sized theater or massive performance venue, a high-quality stage rigging design and integration can benefit not only your processes behind the curtain but also the experiences of audiences. At Illuminated Integration, many of our team members come with a hands-on history of the performing arts, leading to innovative, one-of-a-kind designs that are sure to exceed your expectations.

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What Is Rigging?

Rigging might happen behind the scenes, but it has a visible impact on every moment of production. Rigging is the structural system that makes the magic happen. From lighting and dramatic curtain openings to backdrop movement and memorable stunts, a strong rigging setup ensures every production effect can happen smoothly and seamlessly.

How Does Rigging Work?

A rigging setup — commonly known as a fly system — uses a long beam, called a batten, above the stage. This batten becomes the foundation for hanging essential equipment, including lights and backdrops, that will set the scene for your production.

Quality rigging requires a complex combination of equipment to operate properly. The equipment setup typically includes rigging anchors for rope pulling systems, pulleys to lift heavy equipment and safety cables for hanging lights. A rigging structure will vary between shows, as each production has its own scope and needs. As a result, stage rigging requires a versatile range of equipment that’s ready to fit any situation that arises.

The tremendous versatility, show-stopping significance and safety hazards of rigging make it a task best left to the professionals. From installation to maintenance, rigging setups require an expert eye for detail and knowledge of safety precautions. When it comes to one of the most vital ingredients for your show’s success, why take any chances?

The right rigging is essential for supporting any performance, whether you’re giving a sermon or managing a theatrical show. With properly installed rigging, you can masterfully control the lights, backdrops and curtains throughout your show — paving the way for an unforgettable, immersive audience experience.

Types of Rigging

Stage rigging comes in two primary styles — static and motorized. Our team specializes in both rigging types. Explore the primary differences of each popular rigging style below.

1. Static Rigging

Static rigging — otherwise known as a no flying system — is a suspension rig style that stays in one location. With a static rigging design and integration, borders and legs are commonly tied to pipe hung from the roof structure, where the entire rig stays permanently during operation. Because of its unchanging position and magnitude over time, static rigging offers several benefits and drawbacks:

  • Advantages: Static rigging offers a higher level of consistency, as it remains in one place throughout the entirety of the show.
  • Disadvantages: The unmoving nature of a static rigging setup doesn’t lend itself to versatility. Performances with multiple set changes, dramatic stunts or multiple ambiance shifts may find themselves limited by a static rig.

2. Motorized Rigging

A motorized rigging design is fully automated. This setup uses powered winches and motorized devices to move the equipment rather than relying on manual power to get the job done. By combining the batten and motor in one unit, attached cables can move the motor and pipe together.

This design allows for several advantages, along with a few cons to consider:

  • Benefits: Motorized stage rigging is the ultimate choice for moving scenery, lighting or curtains. Theaters can enjoy unmatched flexibility when transporting equipment from the stage level to the fly loft. As a result, the stage can transform with ease and efficiency.
  • Drawbacks: Motorized rigging typically requires more technical operating expertise than a static rigging setup, which can be a challenge for smaller companies with staff restraints.

Why Quality Rigging Matters

A variety of benefits come with a high-quality stage rigging design and integration, including:

  • Streamline Your Stage Work: For many performances, your stagehands are always in motion. With an update to your rigging, such as a motorized stage rigging, you can expedite and streamline your stage work, such as scene transitions, and create a smooth experience both behind and in front of the curtain. With our team’s first-hand knowledge of stage rigging design, we can customize your rigging to your requirements.
  • Complement Your Performances: Rigging tailored to your venue, as well as performance types, can help boost the quality of your shows. If you host stand-up comedians, for example, our team can create a simple static rigging design. Or, if you’re booking a variety of performers, from dance groups to acting troupes, our designers can put together a motorized stage rigging design that makes scene transitions seamless.
  • Expand Capabilities: With an advanced, high-quality stage rigging design, you can even expand your capabilities as a performance venue.

The Makings of Quality Rigging

We believe the makings of quality rigging start with collaboration and passion, which is why all our designs go through the following process:

Meet:

Our team of talented designers begin by meeting with you and your team. This provides us an opportunity to learn about your vision, expectations and requirements, as well as a chance to see your venue’s existing static or motorized stage rigging setup. 

Design:

Next, we’ll begin your original stage rigging design — we never recycle concepts — with CAD and 3D rendering programs. The result is a realistic design that gives you and your staff perspective about how the new rigging will look and operate.

Revise:

We then provide you with the draft of your motorized or static rigging design. In this phase, we’re curious to hear your thoughts, because we want to create a rigging system that checks off every box on your list. If we need to make changes, we’ll take care of them for you.

Install:

Because we’re a design-build firm, we’ll also handle your stage rigging’s design and integration, which makes the process hassle-free for you. Our team also makes sure the installation matches our draft and your vision, ensuring you’re satisfied with your new system.

Start Your Rigging Design With Illuminated Integration

At Illuminated Integration, we’re passionate about creating experiences for our client’s spaces, from the curtains of a theater to the rigging system of a performance venue. Whether you’re revitalizing your stage rigging design or equipping your new building with one, our team can design and install one tailored to your requirements and unique vision.

Contact us today to start your stage rigging design and integration!

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Our Happy Clients

What they say about us
"Illuminated Integration did an awesome job of upgrading our Live Stream.  We went from SD to 1080. They were great to work with!"
Josh Gill Doylestown Presbyterian Church - Sanctuary Video System
"I am the Technical Director at Saint John Vianney High School in Holmdel, NJ. Illuminated did a complete overhaul of our audio system; replacing the speakers, sound board, infrastructure, 20 wireless body mics and receivers, and adding some plug and play XLR ports to the front of the stage which work off touchscreens in various places in the room. Everything works seamlessly and their tech support is top notch. They are always willing to help even at weird times (which is especially helpful if something goes wrong during or near showtime!)."
Chris Scoles St. John Vianney High School - Theatre Audio System
"Tyler and Mike from Illuminated did a superlative job with our Frederico Theater. They started the project soon after signing the contract, they met every deadline, they had no change orders, they communicated clearly and often and their training sessions were superb. We could not have asked for a better partner for Holy Ghost Prep's Frederico Theater."
Tim Woods Holy Ghost Prep's Frederico Theater
"At Dorney Park we have a 200’ tall attraction that had an antiquated lighting system. It was inefficient, and static color changes would consume a large amount of time from our team. Illuminated Integration proposed a solution utilizing technology from SGM Lighting for our attraction. The tower is not only much brighter than before, but now it is the most visually stunning element in our skyline! The solution is easier to maintain, less expensive to operate and easier to manage color changes. I would definitely recommend considering Illuminated Integration and SGM Lighting for future projects."

Michael Fehnel Dorney Park - Dominator
"Cutting edge knowledge, highly professional, and extremely competent. Illuminated Integration provided exceptional planning, pricing, delivery and installation of equipment and networking within our theater. We cannot imagine using anyone else for future work. These guys are really good!"
Michael Starner Conestoga High School - Theatre Lighting Upgrades
"We’re really pleased with your recommendations and install.  You’ve been a real blessing to the Faith Family in Hazleton!"
Jim Paisley Faith - Hazleton, PA