Posted: Monday October 5, 2020

There’s a lot going on in DC these days, but I want to focus on something that I guarantee you will not see in the news. Georgetown Day School got a new SkyDeck™ in the high school’s black box theatre. “The Box”, as the space is affectionately called by faculty, staff, and students, was originally a gym, and it’s small – the new SkyDeck™ is comprised of 25 panels and measures just over 1600ft2.  An improvement like this makes a big impact, though. I spoke with Christal Boyd, the high school’s Technical Director and Drama Teacher shortly after the SkyDeck™ was installed.


The decision to upgrade had been in the works for about a year. Speaking to the challenges that she wanted to overcome with an upgrade, Christal said, “Our previous system was quirky and labor intensive to raise and lower. I wanted something that would be more straightforward in rigging inspections, but still flexible enough for us to continue to do ambitious rigging projects. Ultimately, I wanted to make the space safer and more user friendly.”

They decided to go with a tension wire grid as opposed to a pipe grid because with the latter, it would still be necessary to use lifts to hang and focus the lighting. Christal put it this way, “I wanted a system that would increase functionality for the entire space. I chose SkyDeck™ because of price and scheduling. You were able to get the job done during our time constraints.” To wit, all of SkyDeck’s modular components are pre-fabricated at our Central Florida facility and shipped to site ready for installation. Georgetown Day School chose to have IA Stage senior installer, Greg “Killer” Keatley and colleague, Joe Martin, come up to do the install. Christal commented, “Killer and Joe were great. Awesome communication and all around delightful. Very clean work and cleaned up after themselves every day. They worked really well with the constraints around COVID for my campus.” She added, “We had such a good time that I made them cupcakes for their last day!”

Unfortunately, because of because of COVID-19 restrictions, students have not been able to test out the new technology.  “My theatre students are very excited to use it when they get the chance,” Christal said, and they’re all looking forward to taking advantage of being able to “open up the floor for the set crew without having to worry about where the Genie is or who can work where on a given day. Essentially, I’ll have a lighting work area and a scenic work area and everyone can get their work done safely without everyone trying to be in the same spot.” Here’s a few nice shots of Christal on the grid.

Overall, Christal’s expectations for Georgetown Day School’s new grid are simple. She said, “I’m hoping it makes lighting productions easier and increases overall efficiency and safety.” You can bank on it, Christal!

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