The Fairmount Performing Arts Conservatory (FPAC) in Novelty, Ohio, a high-caliber theater school for children and adults, which launched a professional theater last year, has been a double beneficiary of its new relationship with Stage Research Inc. FPAC not only hosted the latest series of Stage Research Sound and Lighting 411 open houses but also reaped the rewards of using some of the best equipment in the industry for its encore production of the musical, "13."
Stage Research Sound and Lighting 411 is an open house series bringing together the leading manufacturers of lighting and sound equipment so theaters, schools and houses of worship looking to update their technology can get real hands-on time with some of the top gear on the market. Sound and Lighting 411 launched last year in New York for industry professionals.
Manufacturers from ADK Pro Audio, d&b audiotechnick, DiGiCo and Lectrosonics participated in the Sound and Lighting 411 open houses at FPAC along with local equipment rep C.L. Pugh and personnel from Stage Research who demo'd the company's flagship SFX audio playback software, the RF Guru frequency coordination tool, ShowBuilder show paperwork-management software and LightFactory for computerized lighting control.
"Sound and Lighting 411 has attracted dealers and equipment you might not find here and has drawn customers, big reps and rental companies to see the latest gear used for Broadway, Vegas and professional touring and how it can benefit them," says Sean Szaller, director of "13." "It's been incredible!"
Szaller got to see firsthand the practical benefits of the hardware and software showcased at Sound and Lighting 411 when the encore run of the Ohio premiere of "13" tapped a complement of the equipment for its production at FPAC. "13" is a high-energy musical about growing up, dealing with change and discovering who you are.
Stage Research cofounder Carlton Guc handled sound design for the show running the DiGiCo SD8 digital console for front of house with the SD8 MaDi rack onstage. An assortment of 13 Lectrosonic VR digital hybrid mics were deployed for the cast along with d&b audiotechnik D6 amps with E12's for house and E12's for the orchestra w/ two E15-Subs; ADK Pro Audio supplied the show computer and Stage Research its SFX, LightFactory, RF Guru and ShowBuilder software.
"FPAC was originally a church and the venue has been modified to support the school, but, as with most converted venues, the space can be challenging with very limited wing space, live acoustics and no place to put an orchestra," notes Carlton Guc. "What the space doesn't lack is talent. FPAC delivered a high-quality '13' in its sold-out first run, and this encore presentation brings back the entire company. With the added support of the equipment manufacturers participating in Sound and Lighting 411, '13' is a show not to miss - the sound system now matches the talent on stage."
Restaging "13" with new equipment has "made the clarity of the show unbelievable," says Szaller. "We've been able to mix the show suitably for the space. There's great sound coverage - everything we need for the show."
Szaller cites the further synergy between the production and Sound and Lighting 411 with the open houses promoted during the show and theater technical staff available after the show for questions about the equipment usage. "Our production of '13' enables people to understand the full scope of how this all can work for me," Szaller points out. "They can first see the show then come to the open house for quality time with the gear used to run the production."
Fred Sternfeld, the artistic director of FPAC, is the producer of "13."
About Stage Research
Stage Research is the developer of SFX, Soft Plot, Light Factory, ShowBuilder: Sound Design and other audio and lighting software. For more information, visit our website at www.StageResearch.com.