One-of-a-kind performing arts center made possible with e-chain®

Brown University has always pushed the boundaries of artistic exploration and expression. With seven arts departments that routinely engage in interdisciplinary collaboration, finding more ways to foster that collaborative spirit is vital for the faculty at Brown.

The newly opened Lindemann Performing Arts Center at Brown University is the latest step taken to not only bring together the students at Brown, but members of the surrounding community. According to Avery Willis Hoffman, Brown Arts Institute’s artistic director, The Lindemann “will unlock new realms of possibility for performance and artistic innovation, further expanding Brown’s role as a leading center for creative inquiry.”

The Lindemann’s state-of-the-art design sets it apart from standard performance halls. The 101,000-square-foot facility has three rehearsal spaces that double as performance venues, four practice rooms, various communal gathering spaces, along with a main hall with moveable seats, curtains, lights, floors, walls, and ceiling. This allows for several different configurations of the main hall to be achieved, including a 625-seat symphony hall, a flat-floor configuration for film or visual art installations, and a 250-seat proscenium theater, among others.

Given the vast array of moving parts involved with changing the main hall’s configuration, a robust and effective system of managing cables was absolutely essential for the project to be successful. This led the engineering team, Theatre Projects, to seek out igus for their polymer cable carrier solutions and engineering knowledge. 

The Theatre Projects team was first made aware of igus through the latter’s presence at trade shows, as well as observing general industry trends. Prior to the Lindemann project, Theatre Projects and igus had collaborated on a number of entertainment technology applications.

Outside view of the Lindemann Performing Arts Center
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Creator: Eric Petschek
Copyright: ©2023, Eric Petschek

Michael Nishball, Senior Equipment Designer and Principal at Theatre Projects, had this to say about choosing igus: “For the breadth of product types and the engineering support I knew we would get from igus North America I did not look at alternatives. Getting support for fill schedule and the wire types validated with igus were extremely important in our decisions. Particularly advantageous was having [igus] in East Providence for a project in Providence!”

Theatre Projects and igus were able to overcome design challenges such as speccing a specialized third party hose into the e-chain® cable carrier and implementing an inner and outer e-chain on their side for a 44-foot stroke. According to Nishball, “Everyone at igus [was] great to work with and they accepted the special nature of this performing arts project.”

Going further, Nishball had specific praise for the igus sales manager who oversaw the project. “Mark Wall was a terrific collaborator and very knowledgeable with matching our requirements for the fill cables. He produced many revisions to fill tables that were very important to the process.”

e-chain cable carriers in use within the Lindemann's room adjustments
e-chain cable carriers in use within the Lindemann's room adjustments

Thanks to the efforts of both igus and Theatre Projects, the Lindemann project was a resounding success. The theater opened to a weekend of festivities in October of 2023 and has quickly become the cultural hub it was originally envisioned as. 

Interested in learning more about igus’ solutions for the stage and theater industry? Visit our webpage! If you have questions about a specific product or application, don’t hesitate to contact an igus expert online, or call us directly at 800-521-2747.

Jared Worth