Bradfield’s new educational outreach

My name is Anne Willingham and I am the new Educational Outreach Director at Bradfield Stage Lighting.  We have just launched an education program designed specifically to help high school drama teachers.   We know that often teachers are asked to not only teach a full load of drama and performance classes, but are also expected to teach the technical elements as well.  On top of a full class load you are asked to design the show, build and paint the set, hang the lights and see that all of the technical chores are done.  It is a lot of ground to cover, especially if technical theatre is not your forte`.

We would like to help!  We now offer a variety of classes on lighting, scenery and design.  We would be happy to present either a classroom based lecture for your students or a hands-on workshop for students and volunteers.  If you have a need that is not being covered by the technical theatre community please let me know and we will try to help. 
I would love the opportunity to come meet you and hear about your program.  There are exciting things going on in Middle Tennessee!   I have a “bag of swag” for you and would relish the chance to come tromp around your theatre space.  I am, after all, a theatre nerd at heart and love poking around backstage.  Drop me an email and let me know what I can do for you (

Part B of our outreach is this blog.  Every week or so I will be posting a new entry.  These entries will range from how-to help for the DIY theatre tech to tales from backstage to new equipment that I am excited about.  You just never know what will show up.  If you have a topic you would like discussed feel free to email me and let me know.  I will do my best to cover it. 

Education is key to building strong theatre technicians.   We are excited to have the chance to help train the next generation!  Let us know how we can help you!

We love making people happy!

Here at Bradfield Stage Lighting, we consider a happy client the highest praise. We strive to go above and beyond, so when we hear that we’ve helped create a successful event for our customers we are ecstatic. Here are some of the many compliments we’ve received lately!


Looking Back… (and forward)

How things can change in a year…

One year ago, from May 1st to May 3rd, following 13″ of furious rain, the Cumberland and Harpeth Rivers swelled over their banks, and Nashville was the site of a catastrophic flood. Situated as we are on the bank of the Cumberland River, we at Bradfield Stage Lighting also experienced the devastation that was felt all across the city. With roughly 3 1/2′ of water in our warehouse and offices, we knew we had a long cleanup ahead of us.

What was so amazing was the support of our friends, churches, and even our competitors. So many people came and helped us during the arduous clean-up process, and we can never express how grateful we were, not only for the help (which we so needed) but for the show of support and solidarity.

Now, one year later, the Great Flood of 2010 is anything but forgotten. Like the rest of the city, we are still feeling the repercussions, as well as sorting through remainders of the mess. But, by the grace of God, we are still here, and for that, we are so very grateful.

As illustration, here are two photos, taken almost exactly a year apart. The first shows our office space after we cut away the ruined walls and started trying to find our way back. The plant in the picture was submerged, and like the rest of us, was very unhappy about it.

The second picture shows that same plant, one year later, occupying the same spot in our renovated offices.

It has managed to thrive, and with the help and support of our friends, colleagues, and customers, so have we. And for that, we say:


BSL Boom Base Toss 2011

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, and here at BSL we have a unique way of ringing in the New Year…

January 6th, 2011 marks the fourth annual All-Company Boom Base Toss and Cookout, a tradition that started one idle January when one employee boasted he could toss another twenty feet easily. To avoid bodily injury and rising insurance rates, a 50 lb. boom base was substituted, and after some trial and error it was determined one could not in fact throw another person twenty feet.

However, a tradition was born, and this year’s festivities–always held the first Thursday after New Year’s–featured our longest throw yet, with Greg coming in at a whopping 19′ 8″. Trust us, it’s quite a feat–a 50 lb boom base is hard to throw!

Here are this year’s rankings:

#1: Greg, 19’8″

#2: Justin, 18′

#3: Ryan, 16’8″

#4: Steph, 12’7″

#5: Josh, 11’8″

#6: Anthony, 9’6″

#7: Jim, 9′

And, submitted for your amusement, here are some photos from the day’s festivities!

Josh's 1st attempt.

Greg with the wind-up!

Justin goes for the gold.

Anthony is in it to win it!

Stephanie throws like a girl but still came in 4th!

Ryan takes a break from scorekeeping to try his hand.

We also have a gel frame ring toss, and everyone took a turn at that as well. Jim had a particular style to his toss:

Trying to make it up in quantity.

All in all, a triumphant day of lighting olympics!

The BSL Gang

And one disclaimer–should you try this at home, we recommend using a boom base you won’t miss too much once it hits the frozen ground a lot:

The sacrificial boom base.

Needless to say, this boom base won’t be going out on an event anytime soon.

With deepest sympathies…

BSL Crew Chief Chris Padilla and his 3 daughters (Ages 10, 7, and 3) suffered a terrible loss last Friday, 12/10/10. Chris’s wife Maria lost her life in an automobile accident. Arrangements are pending but they are hoping to finalize funeral arrangements today and are anticipating a Monday or Tuesday funeral of next week.

Chris expresses appreciation for the support shown to him and his girls.

A fund has been set up at Bank of America in the name of “Maria A. Padilla” to help with funeral expenses. The account at Bank of America is one way, but please be sure when you go in to donate to tell them you want to donate to the “Maria A. Padilla Memorial Fund”. There has been some confusion, because she has an open account there and at least one donation has gone into here checking account which has been frozen for 30 days. The account number is 444011732664. Also, Maria was part of a speed skating club and they have set-up a PayPal account for donations. The link is

If you are interested in providing food for the family, it would be greatly appreciated. For right now the family has enough food for the remainder of the week. He is expecting a need for food next week when the funeral happens. He says things like uncooked lasagnas, breads, casserole, etc. Something they can freeze or refrigerate then warm up. If you would like to bring something by the office next week, we will arrange a delivery to Murfreesboro next Wednesday. We do have a fridge in the office for any items that require refrigeration or need to be kept frozen.

This terrible tragedy fall at a horrible time of year. If you are interested in helping out by providing Christmas gifts, Chris has said that for the younger two girls, June (7) and Carley (3), dolls,Barbies, and such would be appropriate and appreciated. Clothes are always appreciated for all the girls. Their sizes are:

Mariela (10 years old) Slim 10- 12 (very slim girl, pants must be adjustable)
June (7 years old) 7 – 8 Medium
Carley (3 years old) 3T

Thank you, so much. Our heart goes out to Chris in this terrible time, and we appreciate all the support our BSL friends have shown. If you have any questions please feel free to call us. Please keep Chris and his family in your prayers.

Another amazing Live on the Green series!

We were so psyched to once again be a part of the Live on the Green series, the weekly festival sponsored by the Mayor’s office and Lightning 100 held on the Couthouse Green. The challenge for the festival is to be environmentally conscious about every production aspect, and the LED fixtures we use for the stage are a huge improvement over the power consumption of a traditional parcan lighting rig.

Check out this incredible time-lapse video by Jon Chema of the setup for the Band of Horses date (set to the amazing “Funeral” by Band of Horses, no less):

Live on the Green 2010 from Jon Chema on Vimeo.