RiverPark Center General Manager Roxi Witt took time from a busy day to give us a backstage tour.
“One of the key decisions our board members made back in 1992 was to hire a theater consultant,” Witt says. “When it was budget crunch time in 1992, the board wisely decided to not make any cuts to the nuts and bolts of the technical theatrical features. And they left room for innovations that were only dreamed of back then. That’s why this remains a state of the art theater today.
“The original lighting system is still in place,” Witt says, “but the light board has been upgraded with more computerized technology. Resident and touring companies can record their shows on a computer disk, then put that into the light board. While the show is running, hundreds of lights can be changed at once. With input from a technician during the show, entire sequences of events can be initiated by just pushing one button.
“Eighty percent of the original sound infrastructure remains, but it’s been augmented with newer equipment, including an improved balcony sound system, and a new sound board that has similar capabilities to the light board. If you’re running a show and there are five people on stage, then three of those people leave the stage, instead of having to turn off each of those three microphones, you can hit one button that will turn off all three at the same time. The sound system also retains equalizer settings for individual microphones because the female lead may need something different than the male lead.
“We’ve also done things throughout our building to make provisions for wireless Internet—15 years ago nobody had that—and we’ve had to make sure this doesn’t interfere with our lighting, sound, and in-house computer systems.”
To read the Kentucky Living June 2007 feature that goes along with this supplement, click here: A Bit of Broadway in Owensboro.