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Once all the Upper School science and visual arts classes are settled into their new homes in The Revers Center for Science and Visual Arts next month, work will begin in earnest on the next round of campus renovations.

One of the spaces that’s right at the top of the renovation list is the Black Box theater located in Haffenreffer. The theater was the subject of the Fund-a-Need effort at the Parents’ League Auction in May, where just over $170,000 was raised to fund a variety of different improvements.

One of those improvements, the installation of a new sound system, has already been completed. The new system, which includes Bose speakers and a modern audio mixing board, was used earlier this semester for the play “Puffs” and for the fall Coffee House event. The system dramatically improves the sound quality of productions and makes life easier for the production crew, thanks to a state-of-the art audio control system that sports a user-friendly interface and easy plug-in options for such digital devices as iPhones and iPads.

“For live music, this system was much smoother,” says drama teacher Julia Auster-Hogan, who oversaw audio production for the Coffee House event. “In the past we have had significant problems with feedback between amps and mics. We had no problem with that at this year’s Coffee House. With a more sophisticated soundboard, we were also able to keep better track of each mic and adjust them quickly and easily when necessary.”

The school has also purchased new risers and seats for the theater that will increase the seating capacity of the theater and provide an improved space for the theater’s production booth. Those are scheduled to be installed this spring.

The work to convert the current sculpture and plaster studios into a multi-purpose space that will be used as a green room, a costume room, and an extra teaching and performance space is set to begin this winter after those studios have been moved into The Revers Center. This new and improved backstage area will be ready for use by the start of the new school year.


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