April 8, 2014 | Posted in BCPA News, Uncategorized | By

Below is an article from BrightonMusical.com…

“Owing to a great bond package passed by Brighton’s voters two years ago and currently being implemented by the Brighton Area Schools, our performance space, the Brighton Center for the Performing Arts (the “BCPA”), has undergone some long-needed improvements. There is new carpet and some fresh paint in the public spaces. Roof leaks have been repaired. For “Grease” and our creative team, though, the most important improvements are things that won’t be immediately noticeable to you, our audience.

Prior to the bond, the Brighton Musical creative team had to rent a significant amount of sound and lighting equipment. The BCPA, for all its greatness, had limited or outdated speakers and lights, and with a lighting designer like our own Josh Holowicki, we needed the kinds of lights and controls that would allow him to use the lights to enhance what was happening on stage – to add to the action and help focus the audience’s attention when necessary. This created a number of challenges. First, at $15 a ticket and a run of 7 shows, we’re not dealing with a Broadway budget here. We don’t skimp on our productions, because we want our students to experience how professional productions are supposed to come together, but we are very careful about how we spend. So, we rented necessary lighting and sound equipment, but only for the last two weeks of production. That meant several very late nights hanging and aiming the lights when they came in, and usually another couple of late nights programming the lights. It meant our student sound techs and cast had only 5 or so rehearsals to get comfortable with the microphone cues. Everyone worked very admirably under these circumstances, but now we get a little bit more sleep.

As part of the bond, the BCPA stage was renovated, and we were able to purchase new lighting and sound equipment. So, Josh can start programming weeks before the show starts. The cast and crew should have significantly more time to get used to the very different feeling of performing under the lights and with their voices projected by microphones. The students involved in the technical portions of our production get more opportunities to learn how to use the system. These improvements have really lessened the anxiety about the last couple of weeks before the show, and they will create a much deeper learning experience for our cast and crew.

What does that mean for you? It means our marvelously professional production will be that much more prepared for you when you come to see “Grease”! And, having read this, you may notice just how craftily the lighting and sound are folded into the magic of our production.”

Eric is the manager of the Brighton Center for the Performing Arts.