Case Study

Cobham Free School Theatre Space

Cobham Free School, located in Surrey, sought to revamp its existing theatre space to create a dynamic and immersive environment for performing arts. To fulfill their vision, they collaborated with STLS, a leading provider of AV & theatre solutions. This case study outlines the process of specing, designing, and installing a state-of-the-art lighting system that included a large lighting grid, stage lighting, house lighting, and a user-friendly lighting desk. The final result transformed the theatre space into a versatile 360 performing arts venue, providing students and performers with an enhanced experience.



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The Brief & Client Background

Cobham Free School, an educational institution dedicated to nurturing artistic talents, recognized the importance of upgrading their theatre space to accommodate a wide range of performances. Their goal was to create an immersive environment that would inspire and engage students, and attract various productions to the school.

The project encompassed a comprehensive upgrade of the lighting infrastructure within the theatre space. STLS collaborated closely with the school’s management team to understand their requirements and tailor the solution accordingly. The key objectives were:


  1. Create a flexible lighting grid: STLS aimed to design and install a large lighting grid capable of accommodating a variety of lighting fixtures and effects. This would provide the school with the flexibility to adapt the lighting design to different performances.
  2. Enhance stage lighting: The existing stage lighting was outdated and insufficient. STLS proposed the installation of new state-of-the-art lighting fixtures, including pars and profiles from Chauvet Professional, renowned for their performance and reliability. The new fixtures would enable precise control and a range of lighting effects, enhancing the overall visual experience for performers and audiences.
  3. Improve house lighting: The existing house lighting was inadequate and did not meet modern standards. STLS recommended the integration of new house lighting fixtures, ensuring sufficient illumination for the audience while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere.
  4. Introduce an intuitive lighting desk: To facilitate seamless control of the lighting system, STLS suggested the use of a Zero 88 FLX lighting desk. This desk was chosen for its user-friendly interface and advanced functionality, enabling the school’s staff and students to easily operate the lighting system, even without extensive technical expertise.

The gear; ensuring the highest sound & lighting quality

Implementation Process:

  1. Consultation and Design: STLS engaged in detailed consultations with the Cobham Free School management team, including theatre staff, to understand their specific requirements and constraints. This collaborative approach allowed for a tailored design that aligned with the school’s vision.
  2. Lighting System Specification: Based on the client’s requirements and budget, STLS specified high-quality lighting fixtures from Chauvet Professional. The selection of pars and profiles ensured a versatile lighting setup capable of creating various moods and effects.
  3. Lighting Grid Installation: STLS installed a large lighting grid, strategically positioned to provide optimum coverage of the stage area. The grid was designed to accommodate the new lighting fixtures, ensuring ease of maintenance and future expansion if necessary.
  4. Stage Lighting Installation: The Chauvet Professional lighting fixtures were mounted on the lighting grid, providing even and precise illumination for performances. The selection of pars and profiles allowed for a diverse range of lighting effects, enabling the creation of visually stunning productions.
  5. House Lighting Upgrade: To enhance the audience experience, STLS replaced the outdated house lighting fixtures with new energy-efficient and visually appealing options. The new fixtures were carefully positioned to ensure optimal illumination while complementing the overall theatre ambiance.
  6. Lighting Desk Integration: STLS seamlessly integrated the Zero 88 FLX lighting desk into the theatre’s control system. The intuitive interface and advanced features of the desk enabled precise control of the lighting system, allowing staff and students to easily manage lighting cues and effects.

The collaboration between Cobham Free School and STLS resulted in a successful transformation of the theatre space into a cutting-edge performing arts venue. The installation of a state-of-the-art lighting system, including a large lighting grid, Chauvet Professional lighting fixtures, and the Zero 88 FLX lighting desk, elevated the theatre’s capabilities to new heights. The upgraded space now provides an immersive experience for performers and audiences alike, fostering creativity and enabling the school to attract a diverse range of productions. The Cobham Free School Theatre Space Upgrade exemplifies the positive impact that innovative lighting solutions can have on enhancing the performing arts environment within an educational setting.

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