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Creative Stage looking for creative solutions

Electrical shop worker Kevin Keath puts the finishing touches on electrical cable at Creative Stage Lighting. The company is looking to expand and considering its options.

Electrical shop worker Kevin Keath puts the finishing touches on electrical cable at Creative Stage Lighting. The company is looking to expand and considering its options. Photo by John Grybos.

— Traffic on a busy day could include three large trucks with six panel truck visits and the passenger cars and trucks of the currently 41-person staff, expected to expand.

Need for expansion

The impetus for growth is a new focus on Creative Stage Lighting’s manufacturing efforts. Their electrical shop crew builds power supply racks and computer racks for performance installations. They also make custom cable arrays to power their equipment, which includes a large supply of lighting and ambient effect equipment for sale or rent.

They keep four types of racks on the shelf to meet orders, and ability to turn orders around by the end of the day can make or break a sale.

“It's so by the seat of your pants,” said electrical shop head Bill Couzens.

Extra room, especially for finishing cable arrays, would greatly increase the speed they can complete an order, allowing them to accept those last-minute fulfillments.

More room would also give them options for improved equipment. Among Couzens' wish list was a metal-bending machine and a computer-controlled router.

Creative Stage needed to apply for a height variance with the Chester Planning Board to accommodate a taller ceiling for demonstrations of their lighting rigs. They've lost business because customers can’t see a demonstration, as Creative Stage can’t raise a stage-sized lighting truss in their current space. This is also a thorn in the side of lighting directors, who may want to come and do some programming with the equipment before it goes to the performance venue.

Studnicky told the Chester Planning Board that he didn’t want to commit to new business demands unless he knew there was a customer base for it. They’ve turned down consistent work that they could’ve had with a bigger facility, and Studnicky is confident that expansion is the right course for his business.

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