Ohrstrom-Bryant Theatre’s new desk selected for the best combination of tech and customer care.
Maryland-based Acme Professional recently installed a DiGiCo SD9 at Shenandoah University’s Ohrstrom-Bryant Theatre. While the 630-seat venue is used for everything from concerts and recitals to dance performances, it is primarily used for musical theatre. The venue hosts numerous productions each year spanning both long-running chestnuts and productions of more recent Broadway hits.
Like many school theatre programs, the audio staff running shows at the Ohrstrom-Bryant Theatre primarily consists of students. “These students are learning how to use technology that they will be expected to know how to use when they leave school and get out into the ‘real world,’” said O’Neill.
The venue’s heavy schedule—especially in the summer season—also made the move from analog to digital crucial. “The summer musical theater season is the busiest and most important period of the year for us; we do four productions in an eight-week period,” said O’Neill. Each show is in tech rehearsals for a week before performances begin. And with the short period allowed for the season, there is no break. The next show in the schedule starts tech rehearsals during the second week of performances for the show before it.
“Moving to the SD9 has been about more than just feature sets or overall audio quality, although those are great,” O’Neill says. “But the ability to be developing one show while all of the settings for the current show are saved and recallable all on the same console has made things much easier and smoother.”
“Technology is changing so fast,” said O’Neill. “We educate and prepare students in the theatre audio program…with state-of-the art tools to learn on and, even more importantly, that they can get actual mixing time on.”