When the Walls Come Down

By Russell Johnson

When the restoration/remodel began at the Sheldon in late May and some of the walls came down as part of that work, an opportunity long under consideration became a real possibility. Anyone who has been involved in a construction project knows the time to improve aging equipment and invest in infrastructure is when walls are open.

Throughout the back stage technical, green room and dressing room areas there is a speaker system that allows artists and technicians to listen to what is happening on the stage. A pair of microphones hanging high above the audience transmit what is referred to as “program feed” to this speaker system. This system is often partnered with a television monitor and camera system that is able to provide a closed circuit image of the stage to those same areas. This system is important to keep shows flowing, allowing artists and technical crews to stay connected wherever they need to be in the building with the show as it unfolds in real time.

We have contracted Audio Logistics Systems and The Fiber Guy to bring their system installation expertise to the Sheldon to augment, repurpose and replace this aging system and add additional audio and visual locations to a few of the newly refurbished public areas. When you next come to the Sheldon, you will notice that the all-new lower lobby restrooms will have speakers in them. These speakers will be providing that same “program feed” I described  earlier. So, if you need to leave in the middle of a performance, you won’t miss a beat. You’ll get back to your seat without missing a thing. This updated system will also provide a high quality sound experience in our newly remodeled studio space on the 3rd floor of the Sheldon.

As we continue to look to the next 30 years, systems like the one described are being installed with future expansion possibilities in mind. Where speakers and monitors won’t be installed right now due to budget constraints, cables and wires are being pulled to these locations so that when funds become available, this equipment can be easily mounted and plugged in. Seizing this opportunity helps the Sheldon continue to find ways to preserve our community treasure for the next 30 years and beyond.