Sister Act Arrives On Broadway - With FocusTrack
FocusTrack documents 1600 moving light focuses in under eight hours on smash hit new musical
10th August 2011

Sister Act, New York

FocusTrack, the production lighting documentation system, has been chosen to create a record of the lighting on another hit Broadway show: the new musical Sister Act. The show is now playing at New York's Broadway Theatre after a hugely successful run in London.

FocusTrack was specified by production electrician Michael Pitzer to document Tony Award-winning lighting designer Natasha Katz's work on the show. Pitzer has previously used the software on The Addams Family and the Broadway revival of Les MisÚrables. On Sister Act, the software took the information from the show's grandMA console, programmed by Hillary Knox, and identified more than 1600 lamp-focus positions across the show's 125 moving lights - an average of over 12 positions per light.

With the lighting complete, Pitzer organised a focus plot session where he connected FocusTrack to the show's grandMA console and to his Canon Eos digital camera. FocusTrack brought up each light in each position in turn and took a photograph of each, then collected all of the information together to give a complete, accurate record of how the show's lighting was constructed - invaluable for maintaining the show during its New York run or - hopefully - re-creating the lighting in future productions or on tour.

"FocusTrack was a great asset for documenting the show," Pitzer notes. "125 moving lights across 100 presets gave 1600 photos to be taken, which we accomplished in just eight hours including all of the scene changes."

Pitzer was assisted in the project by a team including associate lighting designer Yael Lubetzky, assistant lighting designer Jonathan Spencer, head electrician Jeremy Wahlers and assistant electrician Justin McClintock.

Sister Act joins the many other shows worldwide that rely on FocusTrack to document their show lighting, including Billy Elliot and The Addams Family in New York, Betty Blue Eyes, Love Never Dies and South Pacific in London, Hair, Next to Normal, Les MisÚrables and Spring Awakening on tour around the USA, Matthew Bourne's Cinderella and We Will Rock You touring the UK, as well as in producing houses such as the UK's National Theatre and English National Opera and at Opera Australia.

Further information and demo versions of FocusTrack and its companion program SpotTrack, for creating followspot cuesheets, can be found elsewhere on this website.