O’Neal Manufacturing Services Brings Steel Fabrication to the Theatre


It will soon be opening night for The Virginia Samford Theatre’s production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in Birmingham, AL. It seems an unlikely setting to recognize O’Neal Manufacturing Services (OMS), but in this instance, steel fabrication was uniquely suited to the artistic nature of community theater.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, herself is an enchanted car that transports the Potts family on a magical journey to the imaginary country of Vulgaria. Through the creative efforts of the theatre’s technical director, Ben Boyer, and the steel fabrication team from O’Neal Manufacturing Services in Fayette, AL, actors in the musical production will not only sing and dance onstage, but they will also have the rare opportunity to operate a car that can drive, float, and fly.
The collaboration began with an initial request for financial support from Virginia Samford Theatre. It didn’t take long until a collective effort was formed to bring the show’s magical car to life. With a steel fabrication facility close by in Fayette, Alabama, OMS quickly responded to the theatre’s request not only for financial support but also through hands-on fabrication expertise.
OMS Fayette engineer, Rhett Northam, along with maintenance technicians, Marlon Norris and James Hunter, stepped up to design and build the steel frame for the vintage race car that will be featured in the play. They began by cutting, welding, and building the car frame out of steel tubes. Next, the team provided the electrical specifications and wiring installation required for the car to perform its supernatural functions, including actuators to lift the car up and down, extend the car’s wings, and lower the tires for her iconic ‘float mode.’ 
Overall, this project for Virginia Samford was a labor of love. “Our company is proud to not only be an industry-leading employer and manufacturer but also a leader in community involvement,” remarked Kent Brown, O’Neal Manufacturing Services President, and CEO. “Our slogan at O’Neal Manufacturing Services is “Let’s Build Things.”  In this case it was “Let’s Build Art and Entertainment!”
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.