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SUNY Geneseo Theatre

Rent at SUNY Geneseo. Photo ©Benjamin Gajewski

Rent at SUNY Geneseo. Photo ©Benjamin Gajewski

The State University of New York at Geneseo has purchased a Jands Vista T2 full size console for its School of the Arts faculty, which provides degree courses in stage lighting design, technical theatre and stagecraft.

Located in the historic village of Geneseo, the University is a premier public liberal arts college with a rich tradition of academic excellence. The campus facilities include a state-of-the-art theatre used for practical lessons and assessments, as well as an array of faculty-directed and student-directed productions, community-produced shows, dance concerts and musical theatre revues.

With a focus on teaching students to use the very latest industry technologies, Johnnie Ferrell, associate professor of theatre and technical director at the School of the Arts, decided it was time to upgrade their lighting console to something more modern, powerful and capable of handing the increasing number of intelligent fixtures.

Being active in the U.S. Institute of Theatre Technology, he decided to visit the USITT show to get hands-on experience of the latest lighting consoles available. After evaluating several popular industry consoles, Johnnie was impressed by the Jands Vista so arranged a demonstration for himself and his students at the University, provided by Jands exclusive North American distributor, A.C. Lighting Inc.

The Vista‘s modern, graphic interface, pen-tablet control and ease of use made a big impression on Johnnie and the students, so he purchased a full size T2 console for the University‘s theatre via local company, BMI Supply in Queensbury, New York.

Johnnie commented: “I have never had a lighting desk that is so easy to use. You can set cues faster and easier than anything I have ever used. The patch is always a snap as well.”

The console is primarily being used in the University‘s 386-seater Alice Austin Theatre to control a lighting rig which includes various Altman, ETC, Elation and Vari-Lite intelligent and conventional fixtures. The Vista has also been used in the campus‘s 950-seater Wadsworth Auditorium and 150-seater Robert Sinclair Black Box.

Student productions programmed on the Vista include The Clean House, Fool for Love, Rent, Pirates of Penzance, The Two Gentlemen of Verona and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, as well as dance concerts every semester.

In addition to using the console on-site, the students also frequently edit their shows away from the campus using the free PC and native Mac-based Vista offline editor software.

Summarizing his experience of the Vista, Johnnie commented: “As my mentor stated about the Vista: did I want a lighting console that students could learn to program, or did I want a console that the students could light with? The students love the Vista and it has quickly become their console of choice.”

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