Supporting technical theatre educational institutions is close to the heart of everybody at PRG XL Video. We offer training and technical support to a number of universities, drama schools and colleges around the UK. When Geraint Pughe from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts contacted our joint head of theatre market, Peter Marshall, with a request for a long-term loan of some moving lights for students to experiment with and train on, we were only too happy to help.
PRG XL Video Account Director Peter Marshall commented, “We were delighted to support Mountview, as we have previously done with many colleges, with a combination of Arc and LED sourced automated lights, namely the very popular Vari*Lite VL3000 spot and the GLP Impression LED RZ120 RGB zoom wash light.”
Geraint explained “It’s important for us that all lighting students have access to up to date lighting technology in the classroom, so they will know what to expect when they work on shows. For six months the lights were used purely as a teaching tool in our Digital Design Studio, on Mountview’s Wood Green campus. The first year students used both fixtures with our ETC Ion console to learn lighting systems training and the principles of DMX. The Impressions were particularly useful for teaching the students about LED lighting technology and RGB colour mixing. The specialist second year students had access to them for more advanced training and were able to incorporate them into their lighting projects.”
Discussing how the lights have been put to use in practice as well as for theory training, Geraint continued, “The lights have just been used at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham where they were added to an in-house rig for a production of Busters, a new piece of writing by Roy Williams set in a 1970s London burger bar. Once the classroom teaching had finished, they became available to use on shows and debuted on Mountview’s production of Legally Blonde at the Bernie Grant.” Peter Marshall added “It’s important that we give these Lighting Design students the chance to use and learn from lighting with moving lights as they move from a college degree course into the industry as a Technician, Programmer, Associate and hopefully a Lighting Designer in the years to follow. As a famous politician once commented that students are 25% of the population but they are 100% of our future!”
PRG XL Video Event & Development Director John McEvoy said, “We were more than happy to continue our support for Mountview Academy, which dates back over twelve years now. We know it's difficult for colleges to have up-to-date equipment so projects like this benefit not only the students but also the wider live event industry, ensuring the Designers, Operators and Technicians of the future enter the workplace with relevant knowledge and experience.”
Geraint summarised, “The relationship with PRG XL Video has enabled Mountview students to get hands-on exposure to moving lights and LED technology on all levels of their education, from classroom to theatre. This support is helping us to ensure we send our graduates out into the workplace with the best possible, education, training and preparation for whatever life in the wonderful world of theatre lighting can throw at them.”
Photography by Matt Rakowski.