MCA Stage Technical Specifications


The Edlis Neeson Theater is a multi-use facility for performance art, theatre, dance, music, film, video, and educational events. The theater has 296 stadium-style seats. The stage is a proscenium layout.


Seating from stage, Photo: Michael David Rose, © MCA Chicago.
Ceiling. Photo © MCA Chicago.
Stage left. Photo © MCA Chicago.
Grid and stage left. Photo © MCA Chicago.
Stage right. Photo © MCA Chicago.
Grid and stage right. Photo © MCA Chicago.
Upper stage wall from stage left. Photo © MCA Chicago.
Grid and catwalks. Photo © MCA Chicago.


Stage dimensions

Width of opening: 52’ (15.8 m)
Total depth: 34’ (10.3 m)
Wing space (each side): 13’ (3.9 m)

Stage height is 36” above the floor level of the first row of seating. The house is raked at 12 degrees.

The clear height from the stage floor to catwalks is:
Height to grid: 26.5’ (8 m)
Height to underneath of catwalk: 22’ (6.7 m)

There is no fly space or flying pipes, but scenery or pipes can be rigged to fly on a per show basis with consultation of our theater manager. The back and side walls are concrete cinder block, painted black. There are double-wide stage doors on the back wall offstage left and right.

The stage floor is a black sprung wood, which can be covered with black, gray, or white marley.


Load-in dimensions

Freight Elevator

10’ wide x 17’ long x 16’ high (3 m wide x 5 m long x 4.8 m high)

Smallest opening

6’6” wide x 10’ tall with doors on sill (1.9 m wide x 3 m tall with doors on sill)



There are three full-stage curtains and two sets of legs; the curtains are front/downstage, intermediate, and back/upstage. All curtains are a heavy black velour material, and are on travelers.

The curtains and legs, when fully open, compress to about 5’ wide on each side.

There is a cyclorama hung against the back wall. You may also use either a black or white scrim. There are two additional #1400 I-beam type tracks for the scrims or light scenery.


Quantity Size
1 2’ x 50’
1 4’ x 50’
3 6’ x 50’
1 4’ x 36’

Extra legs

Quantity Size
2 8’ x 20’6”
1 8’ x 20’


Seating and sightlines

The facility provides seating for 296 persons and is wheelchair-accessible. The seating upholstery is black with light padding. The house is laid out in 14 rows with two side aisles and no center aisle. The rake of the house is fairly steep, placing one row per level. The stage floor is 36” above the floor of the first row of seating—for persons of average height seated in the first row, the stage floor is at chest height. The audience floor is concrete with a clear sealcoat. The audience walls are wood paneling, with adjustable acoustic panels.


View of stage from last row, Photo © MCA Chicago.
View of movie screen from back of house.
View of seating and box booms from house right.
View of box booms and downstage edge from house-left, Photo © MCA Chicago.
View of stage from mid-house right, Photo © MCA Chicago.



There are four catwalks and a pipe grid for hanging positions. The grid and two catwalks are above the stage; the other two catwalks are above the house. There are also 8 booms at 12’ each. The light board is the ETC Expression 3. 800 channels /400 cues. The theater has 206 dimmers at 2.4 kw, and 6 dimmers at 6 kw. The theater is also equipped with a service panel that is rated at 400 amps 3 phase. Equipped with Cam locks standard theatre style.



Quantity Type
154 Source Four Bodies 575
17 50° S4 Barrels
57 36° S4 Barrels
50 26° S4 Barrels
30 19° S4 Barrels
10 10° S4 Barrels
4 5° S4 Barrels
20 S4 Par-575 w
30 Par 64 (can lamp all with wide or MFL), 1 kw (also have 20 NSP 1 kw, and 10 VNSP 1 kw)
38 8” Fresnels, 1 kw
2 5 kw Fresnels (Altman 5000L)
8 Strand Iris 3 cell/3 circ cyc units, 1 kw/ea circ (note frame size: 12” x 15.75”)
36 Par 16 wide (birdies)
8 Pin spots


Quantity Type
1 Steinway model M 6 foot piano
  Marley flooring
19 Music stands
10 Music stand lights



The acoustics of the room are relatively live and fairly even.

Mix Position: Sound is controlled either from an enclosed booth at the back of the house, or from a platform four rows from the stage.

Patch bays for microphones and audio/video are downstage center and offstage left.

Playback equipment is available for cassettes, DAT, and CD’s.

The following equipment is available on an ongoing basis:


L / R CLUSTER - 2 chnl bi-amplified for moderate level playback.

The stage left and right cluster consist of (1) 15” woofer and (2) stacked and splayed 60 × 40 and 90 × 40 degree Optimized Aperture Mid-sized Bi-Radial horns per side.


Quantity Type
1 Crest 32 × 8 Century TC
1 Shure gated mixer with Symetrix dynamics processor
1 Yamaha M3000
1 Yamaha 01V

Wireless Microphones

Quantity Type
8 Shure UHF wireless
2 Shure VHF wireless
8 Shure UHF bodypack
2 Shure VHF bodypack
4 Shure VHF SM 87 Beta 87 handheld
2 Shure UHF SM Beta 87 handheld


Quantity Type
11 SM 81
10 SM Beta 87
6 SM 98 with horn and drum mounts
2 Shure VP-88
8 Shure Beta 56a
1 Shure Beta 52
2 Shure Beta 57
4 Wireless belt pack
8 Direct box

Headset System

Quantity Type
1 Main Station
1 Rackmount Sub Station
7 Belt Packs
8 Headsets


Quantity Type
2 Portable speakers on sticks
6 Portable small speakers
3 CD players (subject to exhibition needs)
2 Portable mixers



The motorized projection screen provides a projection surface of 30’ wide and 23’ high. The screen is located at an intermediate stage depth, so that good sightlines are available from front row seats.

Screen masking is provided for various aspect ratios.

The projection equipment consists of:

Quantity Type
2 Simplex projectors (35 mm)
1 Eastman projector (16 mm)
1 Panasonic DLP Projector Model# PT-D7600U
2 Xenon-arc slide projectors
  Video for VHS , ¾”, Beta SP, DVD