Christ Church Episcopal School (CCES) in Greenville, SC, was formed in 1959. Since then, it has grown steadily through the years to become one of Upstate South Carolina’s most prestigious K-12 academic institutions. The performing arts are and always have been an integral part of education at CCES. According to Dr. Leonard Kupersmith, headmaster of Christ Church Episcopal School:

“In the great scheme of a K-12 school, the performing arts play a critical role in personal development. Performance is the demonstration of learning: in academics, athletics, the arts, and in ethical choices. The performing arts teach lessons that build resilience and patience, poise and teamwork.”

Our involvement with Christ Church Episcopal School began in 1997. Over the years, projects have included various upgrades to their old performance space as well as involvement in specific shows. For example, we supplied rentals for their 2015 production of Grease. Our work on the new performing arts center encompassed everything from consulting to design to installation. Along the way, we were privileged to work with McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture, Burdette Engineering, and Theatre Consultants Collaborative.

The vision for the school’s new Hartness Performing Arts Center began with the need to provide a more suitable primary school music room. From there, it grew to encompass performing arts for the entire school. PUI provided many of the needs of the new facility, including theatrical and house lighting systems, audio/visual systems, stage rigging and curtains, polyonyx+® performance flooring, safepit+® (our pit safety system), and classroom A/V systems:

Lighting systems in the auditorium

  • ETC controls with switching and distribution via SSRC DMX-controllable SwitchSuper relay panels
  • Hybrid system of new LED performance fixtures with an effort to reuse some of CCES’s existing fixtures (which we supplied with yoke-mounted dimmers)
  • Full LED house light system with fixtures from The Light Source
  • RGB LEDs from The Light Source over the stage apron
  • ETC GDS LEDs in the pit as well as around the theatre perimeter

A/V systems in the auditorium

  • Digital Projection HIGHlite Laser 11k projector
    • Uses lasers instead of lamps
    • Requires virtually no maintenance
    • Saves thousands of dollars in lamp replacement
  • Screen is programmed with multiple stops, creating easy set-up for various uses
  • Camera in the auditorium sends HD video to the lobby as well as other displays throughout the building
  • Audio system is built around a system of patchbays
  • ICONYX steerable loudspeakers provide even sound coverage for every seat in the auditorium
  • Yamaha CL5 console with touchscreen controls gives professional quality sound that is easy enough for anyone to use

A full counterweight rigging system

  • 24 line sets, including four dedicated electrics (many components were fabricated right in our own shop)
  • ETC Vortek motorized fire curtain system

polyonyx+® performance flooring

  • Easy-to-maintain black floor
  • Durable
  • Never needs to be painted

safepit+® orchestra pit safety system

  • Provides a removable, walkable wire mesh barrier to cover the orchestra pit
  • Specially engineered to be fully supported without an excessive amount of legs and cross braces
  • Orchestra can perform in the pit with mesh in place due to its acoustic transparency
  • When covered with polyoynx+®, provides a seamless extension to stage
  • Can be used at audience seating height to provide additional seating space

Classroom A/V systems

  • Rooms equipped with microphones and recording capability, allowing teachers to easily record and play back rehearsals
  • Each room can receive audio feeds from auditorium, so that each room could serve as overflow if needed


Productions Unlimited, Inc. is proud to have played such a major role in the completion of this new and wonderful performance space!