[Theaterfacultystaff] Dublin Project Update
lincolnm at ohio.edu
Mon Jul 21 22:46:52 EDT 2014
Dear Theater Faculty and Staff,
With very short notice, a site visit occurred last week to Dublin’s three high school Performing Arts Centers and the Dublin Recreation Center Theater. Attending from Athens were Madeleine Scott, Bob St. Lawrence, Lowell Jacobs, Dan Denhart, Shelley Delaney, Dennis Delaney, Charles Smith and Michael Lincoln. Thomas Raabe, OU Project Manager for the Dublin campus, hosted. Superintendent of Dublin Schools Dr. Todd Hoadley led the tour of the high schools. A tour of the Recreation Center Theater followed. A followup telephone meeting occurred this morning with Dean Peg Kennedy-Dygas, Assistant Dean, Dan Harper, Donna Goss, Director of Engagement and Real Estate Management, Thomas Raabe, Bob St. Lawrence, Lowell Jacobs and Michael Lincoln.
The consensus is that Dublin Coffman High School has the best overall facility for our purposes. The stage to audience relationship is best. It seats 720, but there are side and upper house sections that make it feel more intimate. (Dublin officials claimed we would have not trouble filling it, but that will depend on number of performances, length of run, etc.) It has the best fly system, infrastructure for sound and lighting and dressing rooms with showers for Equity actors. What it doesn’t have is scenic or costume shops to build productions. The stage and scenic area doesn’t appear to have 220v power which would be necessary for welding and stage automation machinery. This drawback would mean we either build scenery and costumes in Athens or outfit spaces elsewhere with equipment to build scenery and costumes. One possibility is using the shop at Jerome High School for scenic construction and welding. Either way, some trucking of scenic pieces will be involved and the new automation equipment could not be used until 220v power is available. (As an example, this factor would prevent us from moving our production of Noises Off, which will depend on the new stage automation equipment.) We are still waiting on drawings of the theater, and inventories of sound and lighting equipment.
The location of Coffman is nearest to downtown Dublin. Everything in Dublin is connected by bike paths.
In addition to the choice of Coffman HS, the group looked at the theater in the Dublin Recreation Center, which is very close to Coffman HS. Everyone liked the theater for smaller productions, although it has virtually no support facilities except a scenic dock room and dressing rooms behind the stage. The recreation center facility is heavily used by community groups so booking this space will be an issue, but we are looking into the possibility of using it for 1 or 2 smaller productions. Peg was enthusiastic that we produce something in this venue that would bring in Dublin families who use the recreation facitliy and wouldn’t otherwise come to the theater productions in the high schools. Some of us had conceived of this space as one in which we could produce smaller, edgier work. Maybe both could happen.
The Dublin schools are available roughly June 1 – August 15. Two calendar factors in the City of Dublin are the Irish Festival, which this year is scheduled for August 1-3 and the Fourth of July celebration. Those will affect parking and access to Coffman High School. Thomas Raabe will discuss this with Thomas Hoadley to determine if we need to avoid performing on those weekends or if we could program an Irish play to take advantage of the Irish Festival. A production calendar and season slots will be worked out once we determine that factor. At this point we are thinking of a 3 or 4 show season, possibly producing 1 or 2 in the Recreation Center Theater depending on it’s availability. There is also the idea of programing a new film series or a dance event to make it an all encompassing DFT organization.
It is important to keep in mind that a key factor in this project will be educational opportunities for Dublin’s citizens and students. Dr. Hoadley is interested in Dublin students having opportunity to be a part of productions in all aspects although if cast, the understanding is that they would be in appropriate roles. In addition, perhaps we offer classes taught by our graduate students or faculty. The high schools are all amazingly diverse internationally. Each high school displays flags from the countries of all the students. I believe the school with the least international diversity had approximately 40 flags displayed if my memory is correct.
Thomas Raabe will summarize our choice of facilities and ask follow up question with Superintendent Todd Hoadley in addition to getting drawings and technical details.
Peg is already in the process of forming an advisory board to handle funding and business aspects of the venture.
Thomas Raabe is also researching extended stay housing near Coffman HS. He reported that he made initial inquiries and has already received follow up calls back, so there is keen interest from them. Another site visit of those facilities will be planned before classes begin.
Bob St. Lawrence is going to put together a staffing plan for all aspects of the summer season.
With each step in this process we make steady progress toward the reality. Please let me know if you have questions that haven’t been answered. I’m sure by the time we begin classes there will be further progress to report.
All the best,
Associate Professor, Lighting Design
Artistic Director/Head, Theater Division
School of Dance, Film, and Theater
740 593-4818 (O) 917 301-5173 ©
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