Auditorium Gets New Look
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BY HALEY YATES
Using a portion of the $7 million renovation share from the 2011 RISD bond, RHS is giving the auditorium a full make over.
The update includes technological renovations as well as a modern look.
“The bond that was passed two years ago is mainly going towards the acoustic problems we’ve had,” theater teacher Erik Archilla said.
Acoustic engineers evaluated the sound system and made upgrades to enhance the audience’s experience by making it easier for the actors to be heard.
“In the past it’s been very difficult for an actor to stand on the stage and be heard by the audience because our speaker placement made it so that the audio was shooting over their heads making it harder for them to hear.”
Though there have been minor updates in the past dealing with technical issues, the auditorium has never had a full-blown makeover.
“They have adjusted the sound reflector boards, and replaced the ceiling,” Archilla said. “They also adjusted the catwalk on the front of the stage so our front light is better, and they installed speakers on the floors and the sides for a better overall sound.”
Another long-standing concern for the Theatre Department has been security. With the renovation came much-needed cameras to keep watch over the space.
“We did finally get surveillance in the theater backstage and in the dungeon which is great,” Archilla said. “We’ve been without that for a long time, and now all our areas are secure.”
The auditorium’s technical renovations weren’t the only focus. The overall aesthetics were also taken into consideration.
“It looked like a bad 70s movie,” junior Michelle Grace said. “The seats were falling apart and there were stains from God knows where. I think this new auditorium is a well deserved change.”
Archilla said in the lobby decorative panels were added to the sides of the walls and the old fluorescent lights in the ceiling were replaced with color LED lights to create colorful, ambient lighting.
“In the lobby, they got rid of our outdated 1950’s chandelier and replaced them with some really cool contemporary ones,” Archilla said.
Theater teacher Cliff McClelland said Richardson’s auditorium has always been known state-wide as one of the best performing spaces for bands and choirs because of it’s resonant sound.
“Now, it’s going to be one of the best places to come for tech, lights and systems that we’re going to be able to train our students to use,” McClelland said.