Charlotte, NC

SkyDeck™, the tension wire grid system, has made its way back to USITT with a new look. In the past, IAStage had set up two to four panels which spectators and potential clients could take a walk on. Some students have even demonstrated the strength of SkyDeck™ as they jumped up and down.

Video - Students exploring SkyDeck™

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This year, IAStage introduced “Multiple Tier” SkyDeck™ tension wire grid with various levels, giving show attendees a unique opportunity to experience the capability to step up and down onto the various grid levels. While “Multi-Tier” SkyDeck™ has already been installed in various black box sites, this is the first introductory exhibit at a U.S.I.T.T. conference. Professors, architects, and consultants were quick to recognize the added creativity and innovation that such an arrangement could provide to their own facilities and productions, and voiced their strong support. Student attendees were overwhelmingly intrigued by this innovative new concept, and visibly excited by the thought of such added flexibility at their own black box theatre!

Traditional tension wire grids are typically designed and installed so that each individual wire rope strand extends the full-length of the grid surface, from wall-to-wall. Unfortunately, this arrangement does not provide the means for an open “loading zone” area, and makes it necessary for grid personnel to lean precariously over a side rail to pull lighting elements up through narrow passages by rope, or else to physically carry equipment up stairways or ladders. This inherent limitation creates an unsafe situation that actually inhibits the easy transfer of equipment to and from the floor below.

SkyDeck™ individual grid modules are designed and manufactured to be easily removed for temporary stage floor access! This user-friendly feature creates a safe “loading zone” (with use of an overhead trolley chain hoist, for example), for load-up or strike of lighting equipment to/from the tension wire grid where ever on the grid that it may be needed! Railing pipes are temporarily fastened to the adjacent vertical suspension hangers that surround the temporary opening, to provide a safe operating area. After loading is completed, the grid module is readily returned to position and re-secured, for continued safe operations.

SkyDeck™ Tension Wire Grid System at Missouri Theatre for the Arts
Another IAStage innovation is the hinged grid module, enabling grid personnel to safely open and close a designated “loading area” grid panel that has been located in one specific loading area.


Many show attendees expressed their fervent desire to replace their obsolete, old “antique” tension wire grid with the much safer, stable, and flexible “Multi-Tier” SkyDeck™ Tension Wire Grid with removable modules!

If you missed us in Charlotte this year, we look forward to seeing you at USITT 2012 in Long Beach, CA!!

SkyDeck setup at USITT