ASHEVILLE, NC 10.12.21—The Parker Playhouse curtain rose for the first time on February 6, 1967; one of Fort Lauderdale’s first venues, the neo-classical playhouse was built by Dr. Louis Parker and is now managed by the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. The 1,147-seat fully equipped theater plays an important role in the community by fueling economic development, while also bringing the community together with performances, events, and educational programming.
The Parker Playhouse recently completed a 30-million-dollar renovation which was funded through a campaign by the Broward Performing Arts Foundation with significant support from the City of Fort Lauderdale. This is the first time since opening in 1967 that the Parker has undergone a capital renovation. The Parker renovation features beautiful new hospitality spaces, including the S. Donald Sussman Grand Lobby, and the performance space, updated for the times, and called the Lillian S. Wells Hall.
Anton Foresta is the head engineer for the Parker Playhouse as well as Director of Production – Affiliated Venues. “I am also a touring front-of-house and monitor engineer for ‘Arrival from Sweden, The Music of Abba’ and have had the opportunity to mix in some of the greatest venues with some of the greatest sound systems,” said Foresta, adding, “my personal favorite being Red Rocks with their d&b GSL rig. The choice of the d&b V-Series system was easy for us. A few years ago, we had established ourselves as a d&b house with a rental Q system provided by Jack Hammer Live Audio. A few shows in and including Ringo Star & His All-Star Band and Joe Satriani requested something a bit more powerful. We rented a V-Series system for those shows and knew from that point on the V-Series was the way to go. The goal was to put a system in place that would meet any rider’s requirement. Nine times out of 10, d&b is on every rider as the first choice, so we wanted to provide the first choice.” The 3-way passive V-Series comprises both line array and point source systems for medium to large scale sound reinforcement applications, with complete efficiency and broadband directivity control to low frequencies.
Chris Carlton, owner of Carlton Audio Services of Sunrise (and d&b audiotechnik Sales Partner) developed the d&b loudspeaker system specification to meet the Parker Playhouse budget while providing excellent coverage. “Anton and I had talked for quite a while on developing the d&b specification,” states Carlton. “The system provided by Carlton Audio consists of 16 x V8 loudspeakers deployed 8 deep left and right, a single custom red Vi7P point source at center to match the Austrian curtain, 7 x 8S for front fill, 3 x SL-GSUBS under the stage in a horizontal array. D80, 30D, and D20 power amplifiers along with DS10 signal conversion and distribution complete the audio package.
Rusty Cadaret of TSG Design Solutions (West Palm Beach) was the design consultant for the renovation. The contractor for the project was Peerson Audio of Jupiter led by Joshua Delasant, project leader, CTS. Peerson Audio has been a commercial AV integrator since 1955.
“Peerson provided installation expertise, all video and 70-volt lobby and backstage systems along with the entire building QSC Q-Sys signal infrastructure, and front of house electronics and developed a unique way of handling single point rigging for a small to medium line array,” Carlton says. The APE Rigging-designed BB-1 allows for pan and tilt of the array and can be locked off when desired angles are met.” APE Rigging is the sister company of Peerson Audio.
The Parker Playhouse renovation project was to be completed in two phases,” states Delasant. “Phase 1 was to be implemented in a short time frame (roughly 3 months) during the off season between scheduled shows. Phase 1 consisted of integration of a new AV system for their back of house area (green room, dressing rooms, administration offices) and existing East and West Lobbies. Phase 2 was for the overhaul of the auditorium AV with the addition of expanded lobby areas to the existing building.”
For the video system, Delasant said that control and transport is handled through a QSC Q-sys platform. A video camera located at the front of house position can be controlled and routed to several video displays throughout the facility. “A digital signage package for the facility will include content from owner provided devices to several lobby displays based on the space and function.”
For more information on The Parker Playhouse, visit www.ParkerPlayhouse.com.
For more information on Carlton Audio Services, visit www.carltonaudio.com.
For information on d&b audiotechnik products, visit www.dbaudio.com.
For information on Peerson Audio Inc, visit www.peersonaudio.com
PHOTO Credit: Danny Butler, A1, Parker Playhouse