Behind the scenes at Playmakers Rep, the ShopBot works in the wings.

theatre EXT

Playmakers Repertory Company in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, is a leading American regional theatre, and serves as the professional theatre in residence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where undergraduates and graduate students learn every aspect of the theatrical craft, and local audiences are treated to productions by “one of America’s leading theatre companies” (American Theatre). The Independent Weekly has recognized Playmakers Rep as the “Best Live Theater Company in the Triangle.”

Set for "Private Lives." Shopbot was used to cut: Ceiling profile, All Platforms, Floor inlay, Ribs for fluted  columns and the Wall panels.

Set for “Private Lives.” The theatre’s Shopbot CNC tool was used to cut: Ceiling profile, All Platforms, Floor inlay, Ribs for fluted
columns and the Wall panels.

Adam Maxfield and Mike Rolleri in the Playmakers Rep scene shop

Adam Maxfield and Mike Rolleri in the Playmakers Rep scene shop

I sat down recently to tape a video interview with Playmakers’ Michael Rolleri (Production Manager) and Adam Maxfield (Technical Director), both of whom play dual roles: teaching undergrads and grad students, and overseeing the theatres’ professional productions. In the video, they spoke of their roles at Playmakers, what they enjoy about teaching, and how and why they’ve integrated a ShopBot CNC tool into Playmakers’ scene shop and costume shop:

Adam noted that every production brings its unique creative challenges, and the ShopBot enables the production team to respond to the vision of the various set designers who work with directors to bring the shows to life. Here are just a sample of Playmakers sets that have been built with the help of the theatre’s ShopBot 96 X 60 tool:

Set for "It's a Wonderful Life." Shopbot was used to cut: step treads, all flooring inlays, ribs for curved walls, the “WPRC” wall clock, scroll work above center doors, ceiling units, “ON AIR” sign, Sky Scraper light boxes in back and round platforms.

Set for “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Shopbot was used to cut: step treads, all flooring inlays, ribs for curved walls, the “WPRC” wall clock, scroll work above center doors, ceiling units, “ON AIR” sign, Sky Scraper light boxes in back and round platforms.

Set for "Vanya Sonia Masha and Spike." Shopbot was used to cut: All rock work, Scroll work molding and cabinet door panels.

Set for “Vanya Sonia Masha and Spike.” Shopbot was used to cut: All rock work, Scroll work molding and cabinet door panels.

Set for "In The Next Room." Shopbot was used to cut: Door and the Stencil for the back wall

Set for “In The Next Room.” Shopbot was used to cut: Door and the Stencil for the back wall

Every Playbill provides a proper bio for the Staff. Here’s a bit more info about my video interviewees:

Michael Rolleri (Production Manager, PlayMakers Repertory Company) has been Technical Director and Lighting Designer for industrial shows in the Southeast region. He has been a lead carpenter for such feature films as The Program and Bedroom Window, for the U.S. Olympic Festival and for Adirondack Scenic Studios. He has also been a rigger for Secoa and Stage Systems and has served on the Executive Board and as President of IATSE Local 417. Mr. Rolleri received an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and is a specialist in machining and rigging.

Adam M. Maxfield (Technical Director, PlayMakers Repertory Company) is a Lecturer in the Technical Production Graduate Program.  Prior to joining the faculty at UNC Adam worked as a Senior Project Manager for the Scenic Technologies division in the Las Vegas branch of Production Resource Group, a worldwide supplier of entertainment equipment and labor.  He has managed the fabrication and installation of scenery for many nationally televised award shows such as Billboard Music Awards, Vh1’s Rock Honors, MTV’s Video Awards, NHL Awards, and the Video Game Awards (VGAs). He has also been in charge of scenery for many corporate events and automobile introductions for Ford, GM, Toyota, Chrysler, Mercedes Benz, Audi, Forest Managers, Prudential Insurance and IBM to name a few. Adam has a BA in Theatre and Communications from Idaho State University and an MFA in Technical Production from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He specializes in motion control, rigging and metal fabrication.

Learn more about this theatre at the Playmakers Repertory website.  Read about ShopBot’s full size CNC tools on the ShopBot website. There’s also more information about how ShopBot is being used at theatres, as well as special tool packages for theatres, on ShopBot’s Theatre and Museums page.

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