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Old Monday, January 3rd, 2011, 04:33 PM
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we are renovating our new building and the next step is to design the stage - the building will seat aprox 150-200 and the main question is how deep should the stage be ( width is not such an issue because of the dimensions of the building there will be waste space to the left and right of the stage anyway ) i know the pastors are keen to use as little space as possible. At the moment we have a very small worship team but this may change and we are planning to stay in this building for a good few years and as there are a lot of young people i can foresee larger worship teams, concerts, theatre, visiting bands etc so i am pushing to get it to a size where it would be able to accommodate to a certain extent the things that we might need.

originally i decided that we needed a 6m by 4m ( that's about 20 by 15 i think ) stage but the 4m depth raised a few eyebrows, and the suggestion was put forward of instead having the same area but with less depth and more width - however i'm not keen on this idea because of a few different reasons, not least of which a drum kit would take up quite a bit of depth and also because at the moment in our current building we are stretched across a wall in a kind of 2m by 8 or 10 m arrangement and it's really uncomfortable - in saying that i think i could go back to 3.5m or maybe even 3 at a push

i also think that it would be good to allow a small depth at the front of the stage ( on the stage ) before the line where the musicians/singers would stand - this would be for the speaker/pastor etc, so i figure about 1m for this would be ok, maybe with a small platform of a half metre jutting out in front but not going full width

so i thought i'd come on here and ask what is the size at which stages start to become widely usable - or to put it another way what is the smallest stage that should be considered in a 150 seat church where medium sized bands and very modest theater might be accommodated, or does anyone have any comments

ps we are very much restricted on the budget to materials and tradespeople only - i will have to do the design myself (background as a musician, sound engineer and some amateur architectural and general design experience) with help from other experienced people in the church so there's no option of hiring an outside stage design professional etc

pps i know there are many other considerations with stage design but dimensions are the critical factor at the moment, and i may come back here to get advice re covering, construction,height etc

thanks

edit - 4m is actually only 13 feet
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Old Monday, January 3rd, 2011, 05:41 PM
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I would say no shallower than 16 feet deep, or about 5m. Most normal bands fit pretty well on a 16x20 stage, but things get pretty tight at 12 feet deep. If you can get more, all the better. I wish there were a way to explain to pastors that shallow and wide just doesn't work.
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Old Tuesday, January 4th, 2011, 07:53 AM
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A worship space is usually considered a public assembly space and thus cannot be approached like you would for a private residence. You might need to check local ordinances as far as access, exiting, stairs, etc. While probably not common for such a project, they may even require a permit or plan review. These issues can affect the stage size and shape, for example steps and ADA accessibility if desired, can require space and impact the shape as can maintaining exiting paths if they may be affected.

Do you use, or ever envision using, floor monitors for audio, confidence monitors for video and so forth? If so then that could affect the space required. Do you have a way to get from one side of the stage to the other other than crossing the stage? If it is not practical for someone to cross behind or in front of the stage during a service or event then that could be a factor. You might also want to think about how the stage shape and location might affect, or be affected by, the audio and lighting systems.
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Old Tuesday, January 4th, 2011, 01:43 PM
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thanks brad, not sure why you mention private residence, but there's no question regarding anything in that area .... as i mentioned i am really trying to focus on the stage area at the moment - i know one must consider building regs etc but i was really more stuck on the stage depth than anything and i didnt want to complicate the discussion that's why i mentioned avoiding other design aspects, but yes you're right there will be stairs and other considerations ( but i think these will be easy to work out as i am reasonably familar with the local building regulations; and btw these are similar for residential and public, mainly just some different measurements like wider treads on public stairs etc) ... and i think they're not going to impact the size and shape that much - really this discussion boils down to minimum stage depth ... as regards the floor monitors yes we will have a line of floor monitors across the front - i know iem is gaining popularity but i'd still like to leave room for trad monitors.. and maybe use a couple of drum monitors at the back at some stage - not planning on using video monitors even though it could be a possibility but we're not planning for it .... re getting from one side of the stage to the other it would be simply a luxury we wont be able to afford unfortunately - for worship and most rock gigs i think this is not going to be a problem - any theatrical productions will just have to be accommodated as best as possible but there is absolutely zero chance of affording an extra metre ( the minimum passage with according to local regs ) to allow passage behind the stage
regarding audio and lighting and stage location it's all pretty much decided at this stage really

thanks again
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Old Tuesday, January 4th, 2011, 01:52 PM
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any other comments on depth of stage - is anybody using a relatively shallow stage and finding it ok ?
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Old Tuesday, January 4th, 2011, 02:07 PM
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We have a small church that seats around 150 in the main seating area. Our stage is approximately 18 feet wide and 19 feet deep. (Yes, it is deeper than it is wide) It isn't rectangular shaped though as it is probably closer to 16 feet wide at the back. It works for us but it is not like we have a lot of space. 13 feet depth seems like it would be a pretty tight fit even though your stage will be a bit wider.
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Old Tuesday, January 4th, 2011, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by byronyasgur View Post
i know the pastors are keen to use as little space as possible.
If using cameras now or in the near future I would try and keep the person furthest upstage enough distance from the upstage wall so that his/her shadow does not fall on the upstage wall but rather falls on the floor/stage.

Small stages, or over-packed stages tend to cause some people to be placed right up against the upstage wall. These shadows are difficult to address with lighting.
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Old Tuesday, January 4th, 2011, 06:11 PM
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we used to have a small stage. 12x15 We dealt with it. Still had plays, dramas etc but bigger is so much nicer to work
with now.

Our sanctuary seats 288...

55 feet wide 70 feet deep from back wall of stage to back wall of sanctuary.

our stage is 40 feet wide and 16 feet deep. We have steps all across the front
of the stage which are about 5 more feet..

After our play this past month we were wishing it was about 20 feet deep.....

When you have a play with 30-40 children and adults it gets a wee bit crowded.
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Old Tuesday, January 4th, 2011, 06:23 PM
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As deep as realistically possible. You will never catch yourself saying "I really wish we had less space".

Mike
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Old Tuesday, January 4th, 2011, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esoteric View Post
As deep as realistically possible. You will never catch yourself saying "I really wish we had less space".

Mike
Some of many things I've never said:
"This stage is too deep"
"This flyloft is too high"
"There are too many linesets"
"There are too many dimmers"
"There are too many good Lekos of all the right sizes"
"There is too much cable"
"There are too many soft goods"
"There are too many mic jacks"
"There are too many tie lines"
"This board has too many channels"



I like how Tom described it, "over-packed". That may be an adjective you can use to sell the idea since it seems many pastors think small=modest and big=worldly. Working against preconceived biases is always difficult.
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Old Tuesday, January 4th, 2011, 07:32 PM
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Yup and Tom is correct. That drives me nuts. I start at 25' deep and get deeper from there.

Yeah Wayne, always take what you will "need" then add 10% and then add 20% more. That goes for anything, space, lines, money, lighting instruments, etc.

Mike
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Old Wednesday, January 5th, 2011, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waynehoskins View Post
Some of many things I've never said...
I am printing your post and tacking it to my bulletin board. Brilliant!
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