Germany’s Stadttheater Ingolstadt illuminates outdoor venues with Elation Proteus

The Ingolstadt Theater in Bavaria, Germany, is a classic playhouse that – like so many other theaters – had to adapt during the pandemic in order to stage plays during the summer. The prerequisites were good though; after all, the outdoor stage in the Baur Tower was already a firmly established open-air stage. Due to the pandemic however, capacity was reduced from 750 to 170 so a second outdoor stage was sought. It was finally found in the neoclassical Reduit Tilly building giving space for a further 110 guests (instead of the usual 1,000).

Weatherproof floodlights for outdoor use
The open-air stage in the Baur Tower recently presented “The Little Shop of Horrors,” while the musical piece “It’s not easy” was offered in the Reduit Tilly. Since the theater’s Great House is also under use and the technology available there is still needed, the lighting department looked around for rental alternatives. The requirements were clear: the luminaires should be weatherproof but also brighter than the very powerful indoor lights previously used, which had reached their limits under daylight conditions in the experimental open-air set. 

Last year, the Elation Proteus Maximus™ was found as a suitable solution, and was to be supplemented with the also weatherproof and extremely versatile Proteus Rayzor 760™. All the Elation gear was supplied by the Motion Group of Fürth through Elation’s German distribution partner LMP. 

The open-air Baur Tower theater was equipped with 16 Proteus Maximus and 21 Proteus Rayzor 760s. Six Proteus Maximus and five Proteus Rayzor 760s provide front light in an overhead electric. Another six Maximus (three units each left / right) are used for the alley lighting. Show light is realized using four Maximus, while 16 Proteus Rayzor 760s in the stage area are used for effects and back light. Some strobes, blinders and Pars complete the lighting equipment. 

In the Reduit Tilly, however, only the weatherproof moving lights from the Proteus series are used – 18 Proteus Maximus and 26 Proteus Rayzor 760s. Eight Maximus – some of them elevated – are used on the stage alongside 16 Proteus Rayzor 760s. Ten Maximus and Rayzor 760s also work from the front electric.

“The IP65 units from Elation make our work much easier and do a good job. The Maximus is not only very bright but also has a very good CTO. This is extremely beneficial in terms of natural color rendering and also allows problem-free mixing with conventional incandescent light, which was very important to us in the Baur Tower in particular,” explains Julian Zell, Head of Lighting at the Stadttheater Ingolstadt.

Maximus as a followspot
“Since you are always dependent on the weather in open-air stages and we recently had to evacuate a performance because of a strong thunderstorm, the weatherproof fixtures allow us to concentrate on the essentials, on people’s safety, in such critical situations,” Zell states. “We can do this now without anyone having to worry about the lights.”

It is also interesting that the theater opted for a hotspot LED spotlight with the Proteus Maximus. Zell comments: “The fact that this is actually more of a lamp for rock ‘n’ roll use brought with it some challenges, but it also creates completely new possibilities. If you use the hotspot specifically as a design element, you can save yourself the classic 2kW followspots, which, by the way, are much too dark compared to the Maximus. So we also use the Maximus as a followspot, which we were able to program using automation thanks to fixed routes.”

The Proteus Rayzor 760 was primarily chosen because of its large zoom range of 5° -77°. “We wanted to have a luminaire that was as versatile as possible,” says Zell. “The Rayzor 760 allows us to make both alley and back light. Another factor in our considerations, however, was the relatively low weight of 18.6 kg, because the mounts, especially in the Baur Tower, do not have such a high load-bearing capacity.”

After the very good experience with the Proteus series, the Stadttheater Ingolstadt lighting department is now considering a next step in the direction of more Elation lighting, as Zell reports: “Indeed, we are thinking about investing in the Artiste Monet.”

The Ingolstadt City Theater takes full advantage of the summer and plays outside every evening. “From the first day on, people come to sold out performances. The audience now wants theater again and should get it,” says Julian Zell in conclusion. 

Photo:  © Jochen Klenk, Julian Zell, Stadttheater Ingolstadt