Mandurah Performing Arts Centre (MPAC) boasts a world-class venue in Western Australia. It is home to the majestic Boardwalk Theatre, which has a seating capacity of 800, housing 550 people in the stalls and 250 in the dress circle.
Other facilities of MPAC include the Fishtrap Theatre, a Dance Studio and the Serpentine Room.
The venue can be just about the busy performing arts centre in the country with a large turnover of productions.
According to Jands, to satisfy the demands of their clients, the venue recently purchased its own moving lights and consequently they need to upgrade their ETC Express lighting console.
"We love our ETC Express but it was too difficult to operate the moving lights with it and it was time for an upgrade," explained Shane Podolski, MPAC's Technical Officer.
"I definitely wanted to stay with the ETC brand because I find that their consoles are easy to use for clients, especially students, who don't know a lot about lighting. We can simply show people the basics and they pick it up very quickly."
Shane discovered that the new ETC Congo, a preset-style console that is designed for total flexibility and is geared to live event and theatre applications, was the ideal replacement. ETC Congo is a comprehensive console that easily handles both moving lights as well as conventionals.
"I love the set up of the ETC Congo; it's very user-friendly," commented a delighted Shane. "The operation of the Congo is a little bit different to the Express but it doesn't take long to get your head around it. I like how everything is at your finger-tips in fact once you've actually learnt the desk control, you find that you're looking at the monitors or stage and your fingers are just doing the work almost by themselves.”
"It's also good that you can move independent channels such as worklights, conductor lights, followspot and smoke machine control to a special section that isn't affected by the rest of the system."
Shane enjoys the way that Congo interacts with moving lights making control far easier than with a conventional theatrical console, although he finds that the Congo still has a bit of the Express in it and he likes that you can still load off an Express.
"I like the fact that you can put keyboards into it and label all your cues, which is all new to me," he added. "I also like the round ball with the lights that change colour but I'm disappointed that it can't make coffee."
The venue also purchased thirty-six ETC Source Four lighting fixtures which Shane describes as totally brilliant with an amazing light output.
"We already had some 1200 watt profiles but the ETC Source Four's deliver triple the power," he said. "Two of the ETC Source Four's can do the work of eight of the old profiles. They are incredibly powerful and very user-friendly to operate. I really liked the fact that when we unpacked them all, they all worked. They are also cool to touch and have great beam angles."