Signaling "clear" in a light related way.

Ethan

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Joined
Aug 18, 2015
Location
Oklahoma
I was made aware of different ways that the stage managers and deck managers give the "clear" for scene changes.
This one guy I talked to was explaining that on both sides of the deck his theatre had a small box with 2 lights, a red and a green one. This was a simple way to say clear. Green, go, and red, obviously don't.
I was wondering if you guys, in your respected theatres had a system like this? Or possibly a more intricate one, camera set up or if you just stick to what the way I did it, the com system. Nothing light related.

I'm curious because I was thinking of building a signaling box for my theatre, but I didn't know if it is the best way to do it or if there are better ways.
 

cdiamondz

Active Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2016
Location
Michigan
If you plan on doing a light box, then determine if you can make a safe circuit that is up to code. Safety is always first. (There was a desk off stage left that had a homemade switch panel that connected to outlets on the front of the desk to control things like chandeliers or anything that was on-off. Whichever student that wired it had happily put one of the face plate's screws into the live of the wiring. Let's just say that is painful and dangerous. The electrical portion of the desk was unplugged, removed, obliterated, and thrown away.) I can't tell you how to wire it, but if you want to control it at the stage level, Google "3-way switch" and "how do 3-way switches work." This is the most amount of detail I really can provide you other than low voltage DC for safety and ultra bright LEDs that have been lightly sanded for diffusion of light.

Mods, if you find this post unsafe in anyway, then please remove the unsafe bits of information, we don't want any electrocution incidents/theatre burning down in the media.
 

egilson1

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Premium Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2009
Location
Boston, MA
I built a small 12" light box and used some rgb led tape and a small power supply that came with a remote. So now I can do a whole variety of "codes" beyond red and green.


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cdiamondz

Active Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2016
Location
Michigan
Cool! Can we get some pictures? Depending on the layout of it, you could put a sign in the middle with some color codes so people can quickly look up and know exactly what it means.
 

RonHebbard

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Premium Member
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Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
Cue light systems are pretty common, and in some cases complex, in Las Vegas showrooms. Although usually it's more used to inform the performers than the crew.
Back in the 1970's, Stratford Ontario's Stratford Shakespearean Festival used cue lights extensively, primarily for actors. Two identical lamps wired in parallel for redundancy. On for standby. Off for go. When Stratford's main venue migrated from an enormous tent into their first actual building, it wasn't quite fully in the round but wrapped in a 220 degree arc. Because of this, actors waiting to enter had to remain well back to stay out of sight lines meaning they couldn't see to determine their own entrances without being seen waiting. Thus ALL entrances were equipped with cue lights. In the case of the original main stage venue, this amounted to approximately 18 cue light locations. Over the years, as additional venues were added, cue lights continued to be installed as the cross-cast actors had become used to them.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard.
 
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TheTheaterGeek

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Mar 31, 2014
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Fullerton, CA
I'm excited about ETC's solution for this. There is also an app called StageCue which uses apple and android devices. It is pretty sweet, and relatively cheep(unless you want dedicated devices.)


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