A report to Tuesday's council meeting is recommending the addition of a fly tower to the proposed Goulburn Performing Arts Centre.
A fly tower is used by theatre companies to quickly change scenes as it allows for stage crew to fly (hoist) curtains, lights, scenery, special effects and sometimes even performers off stage and into the tower, or fly loft, above it. It also allows for lighting to be suspended from beams, directly above the stage.
The Lilac Time Hall had one. Typically, a full fly tower is 1.5 times higher than the proscenium arch (top of the theatre space).
A full fly tower is what is proposed here.
An increase in the budgeted amount for the PAC from $18,500,000 to $18,950,000 will be necessary to include the fly tower, the report said.
The report said to reduce cost, the removal of the fly tower from the design had been initially investigated.
Instead a fly gallery would have been installed which enabled curtains, lights, scenery and special effects to be hung during the performance, however these could not be moved quickly, the report said.
"The use of technology with lighting, high definition screens and projectors to some extent can replace the need for a fly system. However, it is generally recognised that a fly system improves the flexibility and use of the theatre," the report said.
It noted theatre and production consultant Richard Stuart had investigated the pros and cons of including the fly tower and he concluded the inclusion of the fly tower would "future proof" the facility and bring it in line with the best regional arts centres.
"This conclusion is also supported by the industry consultation carried out to ascertain the industry view of including or excluding the fly tower," the report said.
"The difference in cost to include a fly tower in the amended design is $500,000 or an additional 2.5 per cent of the project cost."
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The recommendation, which is being voted on at Tuesday's Goulburn Mulwaree Council meeting, has been welcomed by local theatre experts.
Member of the Goulburn Performing Arts Centre Working Party Chris Gordon said it was what groups like the Rocky Hill Musical Theatre Company had wanted all along.
"A fly tower will allow touring companies to bring their backdrops with them," Mr Gordon said.
"The people who get trained on using it here will be able to take those skills to another theatre that uses them.
"Not everyone uses digital projection. It means that we (The RHMTC) can be more versatile in the shows we put on."
He also said a three-quarter fly tower defeated the purpose of having one at all, so he was glad a full fly tower had been included in the amended design.
Lieder Theatre artistic director Chrisjohn Hancock also welcomed the recommendation for a full fly tower in the amended design.
"It is useful not only with scene changes, but also with lighting, so that lighting can shine down as well as coming from the front," he said.
"The bars also hold the back curtains, called legs and they can be flown in and out as well, so it is quite useful for a lot of things.
"The Rocky Hill Musical Theatre Company would get a a lot of use out of it. Technically, it would be very valuable to have."
The report said industry consultation had been conducted to understand the impact of omitting a fly tower from the amended design.
"The Sydney Theatre Company, Bell Shakespeare, Riverside Theatre, Bangarra Dance Company and Arts on Tour were contacted to gain their perspective on the fly tower," the report said.
"Most of these groups recommended inclusion of the fly tower, with some going further and indicating they would not tour venues without fly towers."
Development consent for the PAC was granted on December 6, 2017 by the Joint Regional Planning Panel. Given the amended design deviates from the design approved with the development consent, a modification to the development approval will be required.
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