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Phantom of the Theaters (04-16-01)
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The Phantom of the Opera is not a new show. However, Japanese producers Shiki have added an entirely new dimension to the production. The production will not only tour Japan, a feat in its own right, it will be touring with the entire stage house.

A massive structure measuring 70ft x 50ft with a 55ft trim and an allowable payload in excess of 25 tons was needed to meet the shows requirements. This was a perfect opportunity to utilize Total Structures recently launched OMNI connection system. The OMNI connectors are a removable, multi directional fork & spade connectors that were required not only to provide strength to the main grid, but also to give greater axial strength to the tall and slender towers.

The project was managed by a joint venture between Japan’s Kanai Scene Shop and New York’s Entolo, both companies having a wealth of experience with theater design and production.

There were a number of engineering challenges to be overcome by project engineers Geiger. The first was the weight of the show. The theaters that the show was planned to go to simply do not have the structural capacity in their existing grids to fly the show, hence the requirement to tour the stage house. This led to a problem distributing the load from the towers into the floor, which was overcome by Entolo building load spreaders into their show deck.

Perhaps the greatest engineering challenge was to make the structure conform to Japanese seismic requirements. The situation was intensified as the cable bracing was not able to run to the floor as it would interfere with access for the considerable amount of scenery that was required to be moved on and off stage during the performance. The problem was overcome by a clever use of compression trusses between the towers and lolly columns to brace the top of the grid to the theater grid.

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