Stage Rigging and Machinery Design and Specification
The gridiron and counterweight rigging at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver, Colorado. Counterweight rigging for the Canadian Opera Company, at the Four Seasons Centre in Toronto.Motorized rigging is part of the renovation of Ford’s Theatre in Washington DC, replacing the original rope riggingA 6000 pound capacity acoustical reflector winch with pneumatic load brake at Wolf Trap Farm ParkMotorized lineset winches at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic InstituteFDA provides load and support steel information for the Structural Engineer’s use, like this one for Marina Bay Sands in SingaporeAt the Kansas City Music Hall, a new gridiron was built over the old gridiron, which was then demolished. A stage lift at the Holland Center in Omaha transports orchestra risers and equipment from the basement storage levelFDA has extensive experience specifying and designing orchestra and stage lifts using a variety of lift technologies.Lifts and chair wagons create different seating and stage configurations. A wire rope grid, like this one at Simon’s Rock College, provides safe access and lighting flexibility in studio theaters.The view through the wire rope grid at Florida Atlantic University Motorized scenery wagons and stage compensating lifts at the Ziff Ballet Opera House at the Arsht Center in MiamiCompensating lift machinery at the Ziff Ballet Opera House in Miami  (Acoustical enclosures removed for photo)The Schermerhorn Center in Nashville can have 1000 "permanent" seats, or a flat floor. The Schermerhorn Center's 1000 seat orchestra seating level is transformed into a flat floor event space in 45 minutes.  Section showing seat wagon storage at the Schermerhorn Center. A flown acoustical canopy at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, is deployed for concertsThe concert ceiling at the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth has a complex rigging system…The 100 foot wide, 100,000 pound ceiling stores against the back wall of the stage, leaving fly space completely clear.At the push of a button, the ceiling pivots to horizontal by means of motorized counterweight riggingA motorized variable acoustics banners at Bass Hall.  Banners retract down into a storage pocket. Banners and tracked curtains cover the walls at Bass Hall for amplified events. Rolling towers create the side walls of the orchrestra enclosure at Bass Hall.Bass Hall's flown acoustical canopy in storage above the ceiling of the room. Flown acoustical reflectors and concert lighting pipes on motorized rigging at the Holland Center in Omaha <br /> Motorized acoustical reflectors at the Hollywood Bowl can be cleared for rock concert trusses. The 50 foot diameter turntable under construction at the reconstructed Hollywood BowlFDA understands the needs of touring Broadway shows.  Here the Phantom of the Opera loads into the Hobby Center in HoustonFrom skating to dancing.  On the Royal Caribbean Voyager-class ships, an ice rink can be covered with a retractable floor  <br /> Shop assembly and testing of a stage lift for the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines ship Radiance of the SeasShop testing of the underwater lift for the Royal Caribbean "Aqua Theatre"The "Aqua Theatre" on Royal Caribbean's newest ship, the "Oasis of the Seas" 


Our rigging and stage machinery staff provide the following services, adaptable to your project's needs:

-  System Design
-  Architectural Integration
-  Equipment Budgets
-  Biddable Drawings and Specifications
-  Construction Administration


FDA designs complete theatrical rigging and stage machinery systems to meet the demands of today's performing art and entertainment projects. We actively collaborate with our clients to supply systems that meet their current requirements and have the flexibility to adapt to future possibilities as technologies and artistic visions evolve.

FDA has applied our experience and innovative thinking to a number of unique technical challenges:  a concert hall with 1,000 "permanent" seats that disappear in 30 minutes to create a flat floor event space; a studio theatre with a retractable floor that reveals an ice rink; underwater lifts in an amphitheatre on a cruise ship. 

Our staff members bring extensive backgrounds in rigging and stage machinery for theatrical and entertainment applications.

We work closely with equipment manufacturers to develop inventive new approaches to meet project specific requirements, and apply our knowledge of the marketplace to make creative use of existing technologies. As an independent and objective consultant, FDA strives to ensure that rigging and machinery systems meet the technical requirements, budget guidelines and manufacturer preferences of the client.

Process & Deliverables

During the planning phase of our projects, FDA supplies the architect and engineers with detailed drawings and descriptions that illustrate the integration of manual or motorized stage rigging systems, orchestra shells, forestage acoustical canopies, variable acoustic drapery systems, orchestra pit lifts, moveable seating systems, and other specialized devices. FDA provides engineers the information they need regarding structural, power, and control system requirements that are unique to the entertainment industry.

Beginning with project feasibility studies and extending through design, FDA supplies continually updated equipment budget estimates as we work with the client, architect and engineers to develop final equipment specifications.

During construction, FDA regularly reviews and coordinates the work of others involved in the project to ensure seamless integration of the rigging and stage machinery systems with the architectural, structural and mechanical systems. We make field visits to assist local contractors in properly installing the equipment we design and specify.

You can count on FDA to provide stage rigging and machinery that is safe, state of the art, user friendly, and completely appropriate for every project.