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State-of-the-art technology behind Art House Wyong’s growing reputation

September 13, 2016

Since opening in May, the Art House Wyong is establishing a growing reputation as a popular performing arts venue, hosting productions by popular local companies and already attracting Australia’s finest touring acts.

The fly-tower equipped venue offers a 500 seat proscenium arch theatre and a flexible 130 seat studio space, suitable for emerging artists or digitally linked to the theatre as an orchestra room.

Entirely funded by the former Wyong Council, its construction cost of $12.7 million represents an remarkable return on investment.

The P.A. People installed the heart of the Art Houses’ technical systems; the equipment that makes the everyday use of the venue possible and viable. Along the way, the Sydney-based company helped ensure that the equipment was industry standard, fit-for-purpose and made the venue as attractive as possible for touring performing arts companies and local groups alike.

Commenting on the venue, architect Tim Greer of Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects stated “it’s great to see local councils building theatres.

“They’re very difficult buildings to deliver, with their multiple stakeholders (but) Wyong, with their limited resources, now have a great asset.”

Greer continued “there’s a strong culture of theatre and performance groups within the local government area of Wyong who have agitated for this venue for a very long time, and it’s good they’ve got such a great facility.”

Simon Austin of theatre engineering consultancy Schuler Shook, praised The P.A. People’s work, adding “there’s not a lot of companies in the market that can handle fitting outperforming arts centres with high-end audio and high-end stage lighting.”

Julie Vaughan, Project Manager for the Art House Wyong development also commented “the P.A. People are very knowledgeable.

“We worked with both Brett Steele and Chris Dodds on the Project. They walked the Council through the process and as we changed and updated a lot of the specified equipment throughout the task, The P.A. People were prompt with re-quotes and keeping Council up-to-date.

“As a result, the Council got amazing value for a regional theatre, and the community is now enjoying a very professional space.

“We didn’t have to sacrifice on the technical aspects, and we installed industry standard equipment. The lighting and sound equipment we use every day isn’t where the cost savings were made. The equipment that makes the venue run is where the quality is, so the shows don’t suffer.”

Art House Wyong Gear list
The theatre’s PA is a JBL VRX 900 Series system, with four elements each of VRX932LA-1 at left, centre and right. Two VRX918S subwoofers are flown above centre. Front fill is provided by seven JBL AC18/26s. The rig is powered and processed by a combination of Crown DCi 4 and DCi 8 amplifiers. Further processing for the Back-of-House system is courtesy of a BSS BLU-100, also connected to the Dante network. The Studio’s PA is a flexible system of JBL EON615s and 610s that can be flown or tripod mounted as required. The house mic kit is a mixture of wired and wireless models from Shure.

Mixing desks are Yamaha digital on a Dante backbone, with a QL5 for large shows in the theatre, and a smaller TF1for the Studio, or smaller, single operator shows. A Yamaha Rio3224-D sits at the Theatre’s prompt side, a Rio1608-D at opposite prompt. A second Rio1608-D is sleeved and can be deployed anywhere on the Dante network as needed. An eight-in Ri8-D and an eight-out Ro8-D are mounted in the bio box for local I/O. Dante sits on a separate switch from the building’s IT network, with the Primary and Redundant connections run on separate V-LANs. There are 24 dedicated Dante patch points throughout the building.

The stage management console is a custom P.A .People build, and houses a Jands EZICOM 401 master station, a Leon Audio QLM16 MK4 cue light master station, Shure mic and a dual 8” LCD video monitor. Communications headsets are from beyerdynamic, while back-of-house area paging is through a combination of JBL and TOA ceiling and surface-mount loudspeakers.

Theatre lighting control is from an industry standard ETC Gio, while the Studio is run from a smaller ETC Element 40. The system is built around 20 JandsHPC12 digital dimmers, which control a predominantly LED rig built around ETC Source 4 LED models and Selecon Rama LEDFresnels, flown from Jands JLX-Pro lighting bars. Cyclorama wash is provided from seven Chroma-Q Color Force CF72 LED battens.

The P.A. People also installed Jands curtain tracks in the Studio, 11 LED displays and three cameras for digital signage and performance relay throughout the building and the video infrastructure to support it, including HD-SDI links between the Studio to the Theatre to enable the Studio to be used as an orchestra room.

Click here to contact The P.A. People via their in the Australasian Leisure Management Supplier Directory.

The P.A. People were profiled in the July/August 2016 issue of Australasian Leisure Management.

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