T here has been a surge in demand
for experiential immersive
experiences in the entertainment
industry. This is the biggest change
that Gemma Guy Hodgson, vice
president of business development for permanent
installations, has seen in her 13 years with Tait.
The company provides solutions including
staging design and machinery, complex
animatronics, performer flying packages, kinetic
architecture, safety testing and more for theme
parks, cruise ships, large theatrical shows,
theaters, opera houses and other markets.
“There really is a huge drive to create
immersive experiences to share on social media
and we are seeing more clients come to us
to help them realize these experiences,” says
Hodgson. “Another trend is that we are seeing
more demand for show control – one system
interfacing with lighting, sound, video, rigging/
motion control and so on. Having the leading
show control platform, Tait Navigator, means
that we are, in many cases, driving this trend.”
A star is born
One recent project exemplifying the focus on
an immersive experience was the staging created
for Lady Gaga’s two-year residency at MGM’s
Park Theater in Las Vegas. For the Enigma show,
Tait built a curved stage apron that extends past
the proscenium of the house stage and connects
to a runway leading to a b-stage equipped with
a piano lift cued by Tait Navigator. Atop the
house stage, Tait’s double-decker provides a
multilevel space for performers to dance on.
In addition, Tait engineered a custom-built
scaffolding wall which serves as the stage’s
backdrop. The wall is made up of 17 columns
of aluminum piping fascia and hangs from three
sections of trussing in the overhead rigging.
Tait also supplied 35 active Nav Hoists and
provided automation solutions via Tait Navigator.
For a second Vegas experience, Jazz & Piano,
Gaga performs stripped-down versions of her
hits alongside music from the Great American
Songbook. For this, Tait created a scenic band
riser to sit atop the house stage.
AUDITORIA 2019 VOLUME ONE 93