McLaren's Entertainment Division Chief Pens Key Chapter in New Book 'Entertainment Rigging for the 21st Century'

AUTHOR: John Eccleston

"Structural engineers can be helpful collaborators with designers, technical directors, riggers, and stagehands when developing entertainment designs. The engineer visualizes the load paths and stability of the system, ensuring safety and hopefully improving the ease of use and cost," writes William B. Gorlin, P.E., S.E., in a new book "Entertainment Rigging for the 21st Century: Compilation of Work on Rigging Practices, Safety, and Related Topics."

Mr. Gorlin, Vice President at McLaren Engineering Group and its Entertainment Division Chief, is one of 16 world-renown rigging and staging experts, and the only professional engineer, to contribute to the 288-page book edited by industry veteran Bill Sapsis, founder of Sapsis Rigging, Inc., which is an internationally recognized leader in the design and installation of stage equipment.

Mr. Gorlin acts as the driving force and steady hand behind McLaren's flourishing Entertainment Division. Through his 27-year career, he has engineered and overseen thousands of projects involving show action equipment, stage sets, theatrical rigging, entertainment venues, roller coasters and other amusements, and architectural theming.

Barclays Center Portable Court
Lighting System Rigging

"Entertainment Rigging for the 21st Century: Compilation of Work on Rigging Practices, Safety, and Related Topics" is published by Focus Press and available for $44.00 on in paperback and Kindle e-book format --

The book, which was released mid-September 2014, provides the reader with insider information into rigging systems and the skills needed to safely operate them. It covers the basics of physical forces and mathematical formulas to performer flying and stage automation. According to the editor Mr. Sappis, the entertainment industry has witnessed over the past decade major changes in rigging technology, as manually operated rigging has given way to motorized systems in both permanent and touring productions, and greater attention has been paid to standardizing safety practices. He says the book leads the reader through what is currently happening in the industry, why it's happening, and how.

In Chapter Two entitled "Structural Behavior" Mr. Gorlin introduces the notion of structural behavior to people involved in entertainment rigging and suggests tapping into the experiences and "feel" all of us have gained from looking at structures every day of our lives."

"Structures are governed by the laws of physics, namely Isaac Newton's Laws, which are all around us: buildings, bridges, box trusses, rope, fences, trees, rock formations, etc. We will explore key basic structural subjects, with the intention of improving the reader's awareness of such behaviors," Mr. Gorlin explains. "Anyone involved in technical aspects of entertainment can contribute significantly to structural safety and stability by improving awareness of structural behavior, without needing to do any math. These behaviors are open to all to see, and many of us have a great feel for such behaviors simply by having a lifetime of observing our world."

Mr. Gorlin has been published numerous times in key industry publications and has been quoted in major business publications regarding the safety of temporary structures and stages. He is a member of the Rigging Working Group for PLASA North America, the Performer Flying and Temporary Structures Task Groups; American Society of Civil Engineers; Cornell Society of Engineers; and Structural Engineers Association of New York.