Auditorium remodel set to improve Pearce theater experience

By Shian Omar | Features Editor

Auditorium Changes

Construction workers and builders work on the Pearce auditorium in mid-September.
Image Credit: Humberto Cayetano

This year the district is remodeling the Pearce auditorium and hopes to complete the project by mid-October. The auditorium is being renovated with funds from a bond election in RISD four years ago to update the outdated fine arts facilities in the area.

Nearly everything that was known to the Pearce community about the look of the auditorium and lobby will be either stripped or updated.

“The auditorium is getting a total rebuild,” sophomore assistant principal Rodney Beasley said.

The classic red seats are gone and have been replaced with seats that are two shades of blue.

“The entire space will have a more modern feel,” head theater director Heather Biddle said.

The area being configured into an upstairs lobby is most visible to students because it is in upstairs A hall.

“It will also have a wheelchair lift that will take our mobility-impaired audience members to the second landing to be able to sit up there as well,” Ms. Biddle said.

Any sound issues that were a problem before will be solved with the newly sloped ceiling and sound booth.

“We have a new sound booth that is open so the sound techs can hear the actors,” Ms. Biddle said.

The lighting onstage will also have significant improvements. With the new lights put in place, there will no longer be any shadows when an actor moves from one side of the stage to the other.

“It will be better for the audience because it is all new, and there won’t be any worries about the things that use to go wrong,” Theatre 4 student Ilona Calatayud said. “This way, the only focus will be on how great the show is.”

One important part of Pearce theater productions that will not usable until the renovations are complete is the dungeon underneath the auditorium.

“We are really excited, but the loss of space has been trying,” Ms. Biddle said. “Mr. Cox can’t use the dungeon, and we can’t really build anything, but in the end it will all be worth it.”

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Categories: News

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