Last winter, GDS director of technical theater Christal Boyd began the process of upgrading the High School blackbox theater, affectionately known as The Box, to improve both safety for students and the flexibility of the space. GDS is pleased to announce the completed installation of perhaps the only high-strength tension grid system in any DC-area school.
The woven wire grid provides a safe working surface for students to transport and set lighting and sound fixtures. For many years, students worked high above the theater floor to mount lighting and sound fixtures onto massive “clouds” that were tedious to move, often requiring a dozen students to lift and relocate them.
Now, students can walk freely across the grid as they work and can set lighting elements anywhere they are needed rather than only on the modular clouds. Panels from the new grid can also be removed to accommodate suspension systems for high-flying theater effects. GDS students and faculty will still be taking additional safety precautions when students finally get the chance to work in the upper theater deck in person (e.g., hardhats for those working below), but the new tension grid will grant peace of mind in the GDS theater family. The new installation ensures student safety and boosts the wellness of GDS theater for years to come.