LifestyleArtsPlayhouse Theatre enjoys a lighting box upgrade

Playhouse Theatre enjoys a lighting box upgrade

The Playhouse Theatre Grease Lighting and Sound team test out the new, improved Lighting Box
The Playhouse Theatre Grease Lighting and Sound team test out the new, improved Lighting Box.

Patrons at the recent sell out season of Grease may have noticed a new row of seats at the back of the centre section and a big new window behind it.

It’s all part of The Playhouse Theatre's lighting box upgrade, thanks to funding by the Community Gambling Benefit Fund.

Project manager and committee member Richard Williams said the lighting box upgrade was the first step in the theatre refurbishment.

“With a future plan to upgrade the Playhouse Theatre seating, the Bundaberg Players Inc committee thought it was the perfect opportunity to redesign the lighting box to reduce its footprint, to accommodate more auditorium seating,” Richard said.

“This would allow us to make vital changes including removing asbestos, moving dimmers to a dimmer room, lowering the desk height and making the front opening of the booth three times larger, as well as creating more video, power, and lighting points to provide a better environment for our volunteers to operate our shows”.

The project has been in the planning stages for over six months, with work starting in November 2023.

“After getting notification that we were successful in gaining the grant, we got to work straight away mid-November to start building a storage room upstairs in the ceiling space,” he said.

“This will store all the gear from our reduced space in the lighting box. We then removed all our equipment and shelving.

“In mid-December the first of our contractors came in to remove the asbestos skin of the lighting box so we could start work on the demolition and rebuild.

“Mid-January, in one of the hottest Summers on record, our builders started building the dimmer room whilst the electricians moved the switchboards and disconnected all the old wiring in the lighting box.”

Richard said by the end of January the builders had finished the dimmer room and demolished and started rebuilding the lighting box.

“A month after the builders started, mid February, the builders and the electricians were finished, the windows and air conditioning were installed and all our contractors were finished,” he said.

“We then moved back in to paint, carpet and reinstall our theatre systems – lighting, dimmer racks, sound, stage monitors, talkback, and AV monitors ready to be commissioned for Grease the Musical, which started in the theatre in March”.

Richard said the upgrade had made a huge difference to the volunteers working in the space.

“The room is great to work in, comfortable, nice and open and we can now easily see and hear what is happening on stage,” he said.

“We can simply control the Dimmer Room and Sound equipment with one button power on and off.”

Now the job is complete, the committee is looking at seating options for the theatre.

President Nigel Dick said it is an exciting time for the Playhouse Theatre.

“Once we have decided on a supplier, we will be fundraising and will be calling on patrons, subscribers and Life Subscribers to support this important next phase in the life of the Playhouse Theatre, which has been entertaining audiences in our present site for almost 60 years,” he said.



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