Mungo Park Theater

ProjectMungo Park TheaterLocationLillerød, DenmarkArchitectCCO Architects, DanmarkLighting DesignerStouenborg ApA, DenmarkInstallerStouenborg ApS, DenmarkAcousticianGade Mortensen Akustik, DenmarkSubmitted byStouenborg ApS

Stouenborg has integrated a Meyer Sound Spacemap Go speaker system at Mungo Park Theater. The system can be used as a tool in their theater performances in the venue, thus creating sound that envelops the audience and breaks the fourth wall. The speaker system consists of 20 speakers distributed across Meyer Sound’s award-winning ultra-X series. The main system comprises UX-40 and UX-20 speakers with 750-LFC subwoofers.

To identify the most suitable lamps for Mungo Park’s needs, Stouenborg conducted a meticulous selection process involving several steps. In the initial phase, lighting products from various manufacturers were sourced and tested in Stouenborg’s facilities together with the Mungo Park Theater to create a wide range of light fixtures that could be included in the next step. Initial selections were made here, and the remaining products were subsequently tested at the Mungo Park Theater with the participation of a small user group acting as judges consisting of both creative teams and technical teams along with the Stouenborg team. Once Stouenborg, the user group, and Mungo Park had chosen the final lighting units, it became Stouenborg’s responsibility to procure and integrate them into the theater. The main aim of the selection was to choose non-multi-shadow light fixtures with LED sources.

The complete expression of the visual concept varies with each changing performance. This means that through lighting and set design, their visual appearance shifts. In addition to this, it was important to create the framework for this possibility by implementing theater rigging, designing a lighting package suitable for Mungo Park’s theater operations, and establishing sightlines where all audiences have optimal views and still feel they are part of an intimate theater experience.

Throughout the initial phase, Stouenborg held construction meetings with Mungo Park Theater and others to determine which theater technical elements should be implemented in the building. We quickly recognized the need for the possibility to keep pace with what was happening on the stage even though one was at the workshop or the actors’ dressing rooms. Therefore, Stouenborg’s custom-designed monitoring and communication system has been integrated in various places at the Theater. The system includes a control system that utilizes the Altona Omni-stream backbone, Crestron touchscreen, and speakers which can be overruled by the stage manager. By including a Panasonic camera for video input, the system allows selective distribution to dressing rooms, administration, workshops, and ticket counters. Additionally, the system enables individual or group room communication from the stage for the stage manager.

For decades, Mungo Park has positioned itself as a theater driving the evolution of Danish performing arts and setting new standards for experimental formats, where audiences can always expect to experience something new. The theater also functions as both a touring and repertory theater, which places special demands on its facilities. For several years, Mungo Park has operated at more than two main locations, which means productions go out and are performed at schools and nursing homes. This has often resulted in challenges in reproducing the same productions outside Mungo Park, as they have had to adapt to the available equipment at the various venues during their tours.

Therefore, it was crucial to find a solution that would lead to the possibility of staging the same theater productions outside Mungo Park as within its premises. As a result, two complete theater sound and lighting packages were developed, containing the same equipment, including lamps, speakers, and other stage technical devices. One package was designed to be taken on tour, while the other was permanently installed in Mungo Park’s new theater hall in Allerød. Only a few technical elements such as stage rigging, and the monitoring and communication system were not included in the technical touring package. These theater technical packages added a high degree of flexibility, allowing Mungo Park to take their productions around the country without the need to change and adapt the production at each venue.

Additionally, the process of constructing a new theater in Denmark is rarely a straightforward path. Even with good communication and cooperation, we encountered the familiar challenge of a lack of knowledge about theater technology among both architects and engineers. Since Denmark is a relatively small country, theaters are not frequently built or renovated. Consequently, we often encounter new individuals and companies unfamiliar with theater technical concepts and requirements. One must gain an understanding of the importance of the challenges that may arise during a theater production.

Therefore, it was also Stouenborg’s responsibility as a consultant and comprehensive supplier to plan and conduct construction meetings and workshops with the various stakeholders, including architects, engineers, and Mungo Park’s technical staff.

The Mungo Park project has made its mark as a remarkable achievement in Danish theater history. The collaboration between Mungo Park and Stouenborg, which began in 2018, evolved into a multi-year partnership aimed at realizing a groundbreaking theater hall in Allerød north of Copenhagen. The new hall, an extension of the existing structure, is not just an upgrade of the infrastructure, but rather a monument to the commitment to creating intimate and artistically immersive experiences. From improved acoustics to greater stage capacity, the project has embraced a holistic approach to theater design with the help of Stouenborg.

As a 360-degree supplier in the project, it was Stouenborg’s responsibility to advise on all theater-technical tender material related to stage technology, audience seating, and power and electricity for the theater. Therefore, we provided guidance, supervision, and dialogue with all the involved suppliers and stakeholders in various aspects. Furthermore, Stouenborg provided consultation and quality assurance for the installation of the technical equipment, audience seating, and stage rigging (from ASM). Additionally, Stouenborg was responsible for the integration of sound, including a Spacemap Go system, lighting, lighting console (MA Lightning), complete cable infrastructure (fiber, DMX, XLR, CAT6A), and custom-designed solutions such as a numbering system that can be placed on fly bars, and an innovative monitoring and communication system throughout the theater.

Finally, it is worth highlighting the meticulous collaboration with suppliers such as stage rigger Priebe Hold/ASM and seating provider Skeie, who have ensured that the theater is equipped with top-notch facilities and equipment for stage rigging and audience seating, respectively. Stouenborg was the project leader and was responsible for securing those elements at the construction.

Overall, the Mungo Park project represents an exemplary fusion of artistic vision and technical expertise, which, after the completion of the project, now leads to a broader range of experimentation and development in the theater world and locally for Mungo Park north of Copenhagen.

Cultural writer Anne Liseberg reviews the new construction of Mungo Park’s new hall saying that “all the past that Mungo Park contains and all the future that Mungo Park is going to give Danish Theatre.”