Greybeard Solutions, LLC is the sole manufacturer and purveyor of the Retrospreader, an aftermarket device designed to facilitate the simple, cost effective installation of additional spreader plates on counterweight rigging system arbors. The company was founded in 2010 to provide the patented product to system installers, renovators, and theatrical supply houses as well as end-users in educational or commercial theatre situations. The device meets the need for the recommended spacing of spreader plates on 2-foot centers as currently done by manufacturers of stage rigging systems. Older systems may not have an adequate number of such plates. Retrospreader allows a simple and rapid installation of extra spreader plates as necessary.
The Retrospreader is designed for use as an adjunct to existing factory installed spreader plates on systems lacking enough plates to provide a spreader plate for each two feet of counterweight stacked on an arbor. As an example, an 8-foot arbor might originally have had only two spreader plates in place at installation. This inadequate number can easily be increased by the addition of a Retrospreader to make up for the deficiency. As well, the Retrospreader can be added to any arbor, new or old, even with sufficient spreader plates, to serve as a line of demarcation between pipe weight and load weight on the arbor. This serves as a reminder to prevent accidental removal of counterweight and the risk of an unbalanced lineset.
The Retrospreader is fabricated of 12 ga. Steel, laser cut to shape, powder-coated, and assembled with stainless steel fasteners. A normal installation can be accomplished in under 3 minutes with no previous experience.
Stephen E. Rees is the owner of GreyBeard Solutions, LLC, a limited liability corporation registered in the state of New York. He is an Emeritus Professor of Theatre at the State University of New York at Fredonia where he served variously as Technical Director, Lighting Designer, and Department Chair from 1982 to his retirement in 2010. He is an ETCP Certified Rigger – Theatre (#492), and a Sustaining Member of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology.