Mary Moody Northern Theatre

EducationPerforming Arts

Location: Austin, TX

Completed Date: July 2013

Project Type: Renovation

Architect: Architectural Engineers Collaborative

InterAmerica Stage, Inc. was asked to replace the Mary Moody Northern Theatre’s (MMNT) existing pipe grid with a SkyDeck™ tension wire grid system, allowing safer access to lighting and sound equipment overhead. Traditionally, the woven-wire panels that make up the walking surface of a SkyDeck™ system are rectangular. However, unlike a traditional performance space, the MMNT’s roof is not square. It’s not rectangular, either. It’s a decagon! Right angles don’t exactly fit gracefully into a ten-sided polygon. “Each panel had to be custom built to fit this unique shape,” said Mark Black, inventor of the SkyDeck™ technology and president of InterAmerica Stage, “resulting in all trapezoidal panels.”

To support the new SkyDeck™ while preserving the MMNT’s beautiful Glulam design, a custom structural frame was required. The SkyDeck™ panels sit upon this structural frame. All the panels are tied together at the center of the performance space with a 6’ diameter tension ring. Open spaces were strategically designed into the overall walking surface, allowing the theatre department unprecedented flexibility for lighting and rigging effects.


“The grid is wonderful and your crew was awesome!”
–  Joe Carpenter, Technical Director, St. Edward’s University Theatre Department

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