Upgrading the Stage Mechanics of the Serbian National Theatre's Small Stage

The 'Pera Dobrinović' small stage at the Serbian National Theatre in Novi Sad, seating almost 400, not only boasts new lighting for its exceptional performances but also benefits from the enhanced capabilities of its modernized stage mechanics.

  • Client: The Serbian National Theatre
  • Date of project: 2024

The Small Stage, part of our country's oldest professional theatre, previously relied on stage mechanics from the 80s, featuring seven electromotive tractions, also known as electric trains. After 40 years of hard work with some "fatigue" of materials, as well as stricter laws regarding safe lifting of loads, it was time to innovate the complete stage mechanics.

After the renovation of the lighting system on this stage, our well-coordinated team became part of this big project as well.

The existing electromotive tractions were completely replaced, with the addition of new lighting trains with pantographs that have the ability to power and control the light system. The width of the trains is from 15 to 23 m with a single load capacity of 500 kg. The electric trains meet all the safety laws of our country and the European Union, which guarantees the safety of people on stage. The new control system is fully digitized and controlled by a touch screen and a joystick that controls the direction and speed of the trains. In accordance with the legal regulation, there is also an additional switch to start the lifting or lowering.

Electromotive tractions have two sensors for the end positions (upper and lower zone), with an additional software limitation. "Critical parts" throughout the system have dual sensors that perform parallel work with the existence of multiple safety buttons to completely stop the system.

The control software continuously measures the speed, weight, and height of the electromotive tractions, which makes it easy to monitor the parameters needed to set the tractions at the right height and their adequate load. In the case of overloading the system stops and does not lift the load. Also, if the traction during lifting or lowering unplanned catches a part of the scenery, it will automatically stop using the safety systems.

The Zug master also has the option of creating ready-made scenes with the positions of electromotive tractions, i.e. simply calling the next scene at a pre-programmed height.

The new lighting units have pantographs for raising and lowering the cables. Tractions have 12 power connections, as well as two DMX and two RJ45 connectors.

The electric motor that lifts and lowers the load meets the standards and has two independent brakes, an encoder for speed and position monitoring, and additional sensors for load monitoring. The cable reel uses six independent lines to avoid tangling or damaging the steel cable.

The complete system installed on the Small Stage meets the legal regulations EN 17206 regarding the lifting of loads above people in theatres, cultural centres and similar facilities.

After the installation, our experienced team trained the technicians of the Serbian National Theatre to work with the new stage mechanics.

The newly upgraded stage mechanics made its debut alongside the performance 'Feather Gatherers', inspired by Aleksandar Petrović's cult film of the same name from 1967.