Stagecraft Industries serves Northwest productions

| Print |  Email
Articles - March 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010

stagelightColorful samples of velour curtains, lighting tracks and pulley systems in Stagecraft Industries’ offices are hints to the company’s work: producing the backstage infrastructure that makes the magic of musicals and plays across the Northwest.

There are no relics from this stage manufacturing company’s history that began with building sets and scenery for vaudeville shows. Stagecraft now manufactures the permanent parts of auditoriums and stages including curtains, orchestra pits, rigging and pulley systems for lighting and other backstage equipment typically not seen by audiences.

Getting its start as the Stagecraft Shop in 1921, the switch from vaudeville sets to auditorium stages was made when the demand for vaudeville tanked along with employment numbers during the Great Depression. In 1960, Stagecraft Industries was created out of a merger between Stage Craft Shop and Northern School Supply, a school supply firm.

Sales manager Kevin Shetterly says Stagecraft is able to celebrate its 50th anniversary this year because of a diversity of clients — mainly schools, but also TV studios and performance centers — and a three-year backlog of projects. Stagecraft manufactures stage equipment for 300 different clients each year and does $10 million to $14 million in sales.

Follow Shetterly through a wide and heavy wooden door — after putting on a pair of “goofy glasses” for safety — and the smells of dust and metal that has been cut, welded, and sanded wafts through a large manufacturing plant. In one corner destined for the auditorium of Pierce College in Tacoma, Wash., are 12 tension grids on which lighting technicians stand to direct stage lights during musical and theatrical performances.

All are hand woven on site. Shetterly says what sets Stagecraft apart as a business is that it manufactures its products with its own seamstresses, metal workers and engineers. Stagecraft also sends installation managers to oversee and install the equipment.

Stages and auditoriums, Shetterly says, “are an important aspect of any educational facility.” The most satisfying part of Shetterly’s job is knowing that Stagecraft’s product is going to be used for graduations, musical and theater performances. Maybe even vaudeville.


AMANDA WALDROUPE
 

More Articles

Downtime with Jill Nelson

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Live, Work, Play wit the CEO of Ruby Receptionists.


Read more...

Preserving the Legacy

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

A New York floral and gift business takes on the iconic Harry & David brand.


Read more...

Greenpeace (temporarily) prevents Shell oil ship from leaving Portland

The Latest
Thursday, July 30, 2015
hangersBY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Greenpeace activists suspended themselves from the St. John's Bridge in an attempt to prevent a ship from heading to the Arctic.


Read more...

Farm in a Box

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Most of the food Americans consume is trucked in from hundreds of miles away. Eric Wilson, co-founder and CEO of Gro-volution, wants to change that. So this past spring, the Air Force veteran and former greenhouse manager started work on an alternative farming system he claims is more efficient than conventional agriculture, and also shortens the distance between the consumer and the farm.


Read more...

Staffing Challenge

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Greg Lambert, president of Mid Oregon Personnel Services.


Read more...

Reader Input: School Choice

September 2015
Thursday, August 20, 2015

Which of the following would be most effective in reducing the cost of operating a public university in Oregon?


Read more...

Loose Talk

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

When gossip crosses the line.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS