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Spaces used by community theatre groups in British Columbia Long, Gordon Arthur 1974

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SPACES USED BY COMMUNITY THEATRE GROUPS IN B R I T I S H COLUMBIA by GORDON ARTHUR 5.A.  University  LONG  of British  Columbia,  1970  THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE  REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in  t h e department of THEATRE  We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s a s c o n f o r m i n g to t h e r e q u i r e d standards  THE  UNIVERSITY OF B R I T I S H O c t o b e r , 1974  COLUMBIA  In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s  in p a r t i a l  f u l f i l m e n t o f the requirements  an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t  freely available  for  I agree  for  that  reference and s t u d y .  I f u r t h e r agree t h a t permission f o r e x t e n s i v e copying o f t h i s  thesis  f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be g r a n t e d by the Head o f my Department or by h i s  representatives.  It  i s understood t h a t copying o r  publication  o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my written  permission.  Department o f  Theatre  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Vancouver 8, Canada  Date  October 9,  1974  Columbia  i  ABSTRACT  T h i s t h e s i s comprises a d e s c r i p t i o n and a n a l y s i s o f s e l e c t e d t h e a t r e spaces used by community t h e a t r e groups i n British  Columbia. F o l l o w i n g p r e l i m i n a r y r e s e a r c h , s i x t e e n examples  were chosen from the approximately one hundred spaces used by these groups, as b e i n g a t y p i c a l c r o s s - s e c t i o n o f the available f a c i l i t i e s .  These examples were surveyed by the  author and, where p o s s i b l e , i n t e r v i e w s were conducted w i t h those people r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e i r d e s i g n and/or  operation.  F o r purposes o f a n a l y s i s , t h e a t r e spaces were d i vided into f i v e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s : v e r s i o n , 3) 5)  gymnasium box,  1)  found space, 2 )  con-  4) m u l t i - p u r p o s e a u d i t o r i u m , and  b u i l d i n g s designed e x c l u s i v e l y f o r t h e a t r i c a l production.  In the f i n a l stage o f i n v e s t i g a t i o n one example was from each c a t e g o r y f o r a more i n t e n s i v e s u r v e y . spaces were then a n a l y z e d as t o t h e i r s u i t a b i l i t y ateur production. data  The method used was  These  five  f o r am-  comparison o f the  •,as. surveyed w i t h c r i t e r i a e s t a b l i s h e d by:  e r a t u r e on t h e a t r e a r c h i t e c t u r e , 2 ) p r o f e s s i o n a l p e r s o n n e l , and 3 )  chosen  community t h e a t r e p e r s o n n e l who  1)  lit-  theatre had worked  i n the sample b u i l d i n g . I t was  p o s s i b l e t o r e a c h , from t h i s r e s e a r c h , some  g e n e r a l c o n c l u s i o n s r e g a r d i n g spaces used by community  theatre  groups.  The  g e n e r a l c o n c l u s i o n was  t h a t , i n most  cases,  the spaces used were not s u i t a b l e f o r t h e a t r i c a l p r o d u c tion. and  T h i s problem was  a t t r i b u t e d t o a l a c k of funds  t o a l a c k o f t h e a t r i c a l knowledge on the p a r t of  de-  s i g n e r s of t h e s e spaces. A corresponding  f a c t o r w h i c h was  found t o  influ-  ence the q u a l i t y o f community t h e a t r e p r o d u c t i o n was i m p r o p e r use o f the spaces a v a i l a b l e .  the  A g a i n the problem  c o u l d be t r a c e d t o l a c k of knowledge o f a l t e r n a t i v e s . From the i n f o r m a t i o n g a t h e r e d , i t was  possible to  make g e n e r a l recommendations f o r those w i s h i n g t o improve t h e i r t h e a t r e space o r t o c o n s t r u c t a new a l s o f o r government a g e n c i e s w i s h i n g t o community t h e a t r e groups.  b u i l d i n g , and  t o be o f  assistance  TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT  i  L I S T OF ILLUSTRATIONS CHAPTER I . CHAPTER I I . CHAPTER I I I .  INTRODUCTION  12 ( 1 2 ) — O l d S t . Stephen's  22 ( 2 2 ) — T h e Powerhouse  46 Room, W e s t  MULTI-PURPOSE AUDITORIUMS. .  63  ( 6 3 ) — K e l o w n a Community  BUILDINGS DESIGNED EXCLUSIVELY FOR THEATRICAL PRODUCTION  General C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s V a n c o u v e r (81) CHAPTER V I I I .  Theatre,  GYMNASIUM BOX  General C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s T h e a t r e , K e l o w n a (65) CHAPTER V I I .  Church,  CONVERSIONS  General C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s (46)—Cypress V a n c o u v e r Community C e n t r e (49) CHAPTER V I .  7  FOUND SPACE  General C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s V e r n o n (25) CHAPTER V .  1  CLASSIFICATION  General C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s West V a n c o u v e r (15) CHAPTER I V .  iv  ( 8 0 ) — T h e York  80  Theatre,  CONCLUSION  95  U t i l i z a t i o n o f Space ( 9 5 ) — E x i s t i n g F a c i l i t i e s ( 9 5 ) — B u i l d i n g D e s i g n ( 9 9 ) — R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s (103)  APPENDIX A  106  APPENDIX B  107  GLOSSARY  112  L I S T OF ARCHITECTURAL SURVEYS  115  L I S T OF LITERARY SOURCES  116  L I S T OF INTERVIEWS  117  iv  LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Illustration III-l. III-2. III-3. III-4. IV -1. IV -2. IV -3. IV -4. IV -5. IV -6. IV -7. V -1. V -2. V -3. V -4. VI - 1 . VI -2. VII-1. VII-2. VII-3. Fact  O l d S t . Stephen's Church O l d S t . Stephen's Church O l d S t . Stephen's Church, basement O l d S t . Stephen's Church, proscenium s e c t i o n Powerhouse T h e a t r e , lobby Powerhouse T h e a t r e , lobby entrance Powerhouse T h e a t r e , t i c k e t o f f i c e and washrooms.. Powerhouse T h e a t r e , a u d i t o r i u m Powerhouse T h e a t r e , c r o s s s e c t i o n Powerhouse T h e a t r e , lower l e v e l p l a n Powerhouse T h e a t r e , upper l e v e l p l a n Arbutus Room, g r i d s u b s t i t u t e system Arbutus Room Arbutus Room Cypress Room Kelowna Community T h e a t r e , stage area Kelowna Community T h e a t r e , a u d i t o r i u m York T h e a t r e York T h e a t r e , basement York T h e a t r e , b a l c o n y and d r e s s i n g rooms  17 20 21 21 38 38 39 39 44 44 45 56 57 57 62 78 79 93 94 94  Sheet 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.  O l d S t . Stephen's Church, West Vancouver The Powerhouse T h e a t r e , Vernon Cypress Room, West Vancouver Community C e n t r e . — Kelowna Community T h e a t r e , Kelowna The York T h e a t r e , Vancouver  18 40 58 75 90  V  1  CHAPTER  I  Introduction Man's a c t i v i t i e s forms i n o r d e r  fall  to provide  himself  and  t h o s e he p e r f o r m s p u r e l y  not  o f primary  in  many ways.  importance, This  i n t o two c a t e g o r i e s : with  shape h i s l i f e  community h a s b e e n r e c o g n i z e d by  the fact  age  Branch).  in  various  1)  the a c t i v i t y  by  personal  qualitative should  although  and t h a t o f h i s f a m i l y recreation.  The  t o t h e i n d i v i d u a l and t h e  f o r a long  time, and i s e v i d e n c e d  t h a t government a g e n c i e s have been s e t up t o e n c o u r -  these functions  tion  The l a t t e r ,  i s called  importance o f r e c r e a t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s  per-  the necessities of l i f e ,  f o r enjoyment.  type o f a c t i v i t y  t h o s e he  (e.g.,  the B r i t i s h  Modern s o c i a l  C o l u m b i a Community  s c i e n t i s t s have d e f i n e d  ways, b u t a l l seem t o c o n c u r i n t h e s e i s done i n l e i s u r e  t i m e , and  enjoyment o f t h e a c t i v i t y judgement on r e c r e a t i o n  be encouraged) a t h i r d  part  Recrea-  recreation  respects:  2) i t i s m o t i v a t e d  itself.  (to decide  In t r y i n g to place which  activities  i s added t o t h e d e f i n i t i o n ;  r e c r e a t i o n must l e a d t o g r o w t h a n d d e v e l o p m e n t o f t h e i n d i v i d u a l t a k i n g part."*" One r e c r e a t i o n a l a c t i v i t y w h i c h f u l f i l l s these c r i t e r i a  i s community t h e a t r e .  a l l three o f  Community t h e a t r e  L y n n S. Rodney, A d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f P u b l i c R o n a l d P r e s s Co., New Y o r k , 1964, p . 3.  is a  Recreation,  2 l e i s u r e time a c t i v i t y , from which both those p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n p r o d u c t i o n and  those i n the audience r e c e i v e p l e a s u r e .  t u r n , both a r e g i v e n the b e n e f i t o f a c u l t u r a l p r o v i d i n g growth and development f o r the Another way  In  experience,  individual.  i n which community t h e a t r e a i d s p e r s o n a l  growth i s i n the experience  o f c o o p e r a t i o n which stems from  the nature of the t h e a t r i c a l e n t e r p r i s e .  Theatre  i s unique  among r e c r e a t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s , be they s p o r t s o r a r t s o r i e n t e d , i n the number of d i v e r s i f i e d t a l e n t s , s k i l l s , encompassed i n i t s r e a l i z a t i o n . a meeting p l a c e f o r people society, dren, and er  The  and a s p i r a t i o n s  community t h e a t r e p r o v i d e s  from many l e v e l s and segments o f  (e.g., s c h o o l t e a c h e r s , c a r p e n t e r s , housewives, s e n i o r c i t i z e n s ) a l l o w i n g these people  towards a s i n g l e g o a l — t h e Although  chil-  t o work togeth-  t h e a t r i c a l show.  perhaps the t h e a t r e e x p e r i e n c e  i s n o t dependent  on a t h e a t r e b u i l d i n g , the community t h e a t r e groups, because of  the demands of audiences,  plays, and b u s i n e s s  f i n d themselves i n the p o s i t i o n of needing  arrangements,  a specific  space.  Thus i t i s h i g h l y d e s i r e a b l e f o r the community t h e a t r e group to work i n a t h e a t r e .  My  r e s e a r c h i n d i c a t e s t h a t an  ideal  b u i l d i n g f o r many groups would be a two hundred s e a t proscenium t h e a t r e , w i t h a raked a u d i t o r i u m , s e r v i c e s , a f l y i n g system, and  adequate f r o n t o f house  fairly  extensive  production  services. There are over 20,000 people at  involved i n producing  the community t h e a t r e l e v e l i n B r i t i s h Columbia,  i n 70 towns throughout the p r o v i n c e .  About 400  plays  residing  productions  3 are staged  each year,  T h e r e c a n be people the  and  little  an  the r e s e r v e of t a l e n t  and  g r o u p s i n B.C., ically  as  inadequate. only  theatres-  uses account  their  2 are  t o them.  of  available  to  facilities  avail-  activities  are, f o r the  most  the over  100  community  facilities  Buildings converted  specif-  t o t h e a t r e s from  the v a s t m a j o r i t y  Only  9 of the  100  other  struggle  s c h o o l gymnasiums, o r any total  theatre  built  high  t h e a t r e s p a c e and  280,000.''"  t o t h e number  enthusiasm  a b l e t o use  f o r 6 more, w h i l e  community h a l l s ,  available  Of  as  of over  However, t h e  i n which t o house t h e a t r i c a l  part, woefully  audience  doubt, then,  community t h e a t r e movement.  able  in  attracting  other  completely  t h e number w h i c h a c t u a l l y  own  along spaces  control their  2 premises and  i s even l e s s .  educational authorities  t i o n , because the buildings  t o be  Although spaces  u s e d by  made o f t h e intent to  New  of  unsuited  do  little  these  study  by  to a l l e v i a t e  municipal  this  o f other groups cause the  groups,  no  b e e n done i n t o m-depth  design of these  study  the has  t h e a t r e g r o u p s by  the  spaces  they  use.  group.  types yet  buildings.  i s t o i n v e s t i g a t e the problems  situa-  resulting  f o r t h e work o f t h e community  some r e s e a r c h h a s 3  architectural  this  community  interests  theatres being b u i l t  of  been  The presented To  Paddy M a l c o l m E n g l i s h , "A R e p o r t on t h e S t a t e o f Nonp r o f e s s i o n a l Theatre i n B r i t i s h Columbia", unpublished, p . 1. Idem, t o E r i c Broom, May  14,  1974.  Idem, " B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a Community T h e a t r e Q u e s t i o n n a i r e " , unpublished. For a reproduction of t h i s questionnaire, s e e A p p e n d i x A.  4 t h i s purpose, I w i l l analyze facilitate  these spaces i n terms o f how  they  the c o n s t r u c t i o n , r e h e a r s a l , and performance o f a  community t h e a t r e Community  production.  Theatre  The  term "community t h e a t r e " as used i n t h i s paper i s  perhaps b e s t d e f i n e d by Paddy Malcolm E n g l i s h , former B.C.  Drama  Consultant. The term ' n o n - p r o f e s s i o n a l community t h e a t r e ' c o u l d be d e f i n e d as an a r t form p r a c t i c e d f o r p l e a s u r e and not f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n , but r a t h e r as a community s e r v i c e and t h e r e f o r e e s s e n t i a l j n the c u l t u r a l growth o f the people o f t h i s P r o v i n c e . T h i s d e f i n i t i o n , i t should be noted, excludes s e m i - p r o f e s s i o n a l groups  p r o f e s s i o n a l groups,  (e.g., those p a r t l y f i n a n c e d by Opp-  o r t u n i t i e s f o r Youth and o t h e r government a g e n c i e s , which pay  some a c t o r s and  and  t e c h n i c i a n s ) , and e d u c a t i o n a l  those theatre  ( e i t h e r w i t h i n the s c h o o l c u r r i c u l u m , o r e x t r a - c u r r i c u l a r  theatre  under s c h o o l s u p e r v i s i o n ) . The  o r g a n i z a t i o n s performing  community t h e a t r e term them-  s e l v e s v a r i o u s l y as c l u b s , workshops, t h e a t r e s , l i t t l e g u i l d s , and in this  groups.  For s i m p l i c i t y ,  I s h a l l use  theatres,  the term "group"  study. I t i s p e r t i n e n t to note t h a t the members o f community  t h e a t r e groups work on p r o d u c t i o n s and  f o r r e c r e a t i o n a l purposes,  t h a t a v a s t m a j o r i t y o f them have f u l l time j o b s .  t h e i r motivation  Thus  i s not the same as t h a t o f a p r o f e s s i o n a l ,  Idem, "Report on N o n - p r o f e s s i o n a l  Theatre",  p.  1.  5  and n e i t h e r i s t h e i r working p o t e n t i a l .  The f a c t t h a t t h e s e  people have a l r e a d y worked a f u l l day makes i t d i f f i c u l t f o r them to  spend the l o n g , hard hours n e c e s s a r y f o r the r e h e a r s a l , con-  s t r u c t i o n , and promotion o f a l a r g e t h e a t r i c a l p r o d u c t i o n .  In  such a s i t u a t i o n , the e f f i c i e n c y o f the t h e a t r e space i n which they work i s doubly important.  In a d d i t i o n , t h e s e amateur a r t -  i s t s and t e c h n i c a l people o f t e n l a c k the e x p e r i e n c e and  training  which would enable them t o cope e f f e c t i v e l y w i t h l e s s than i d e a l facilities.^"  I e x p e r i e n c e d an example o f t h i s a t F e s t i v a l  '74  i n Kelowna, where groups from v a r i o u s p a r t s o f t h e p r o v i n c e were p e r f o r m i n g on t h e v e r y wide s t a g e o f the Kelowna Community T h e a t re.  The f a c t t h a t the t e c h n i c i a n s d i d not know how  to success-  f u l l y d e a l w i t h t h i s w i d t h p l a c e d the a c t o r s i n t h e awkward p o s i t i o n o f p l a y i n g i n a s e t t i n g o f d i f f e r e n t dimensions from t h a t used f o r p r e v i o u s r e h e a r s a l s o r performances.  They were  o f t e n unable t o adapt g r a c e f u l l y . Theatre  Space The term " t h e a t r e space" c o u l d be b r o a d l y d e f i n e d as  any a r e a used by the community t h e a t r e group f o r any function ed  theatrical  (e.g., performance, r e h e a r s a l , non-performance  orient-  t h e a t r e such as workshops and developmental drama, c o n s t r u c -  t i o n and t e c h n i c a l work, and s t o r a g e o f t h e a t r i c a l  equipment).  The b u i l d i n g s which I have surveyed and chosen as examples  are  e i t h e r spaces which are c u r r e n t l y being, used by community t h e a t r e  Idem, i n t e r v i e w a t F e s t i v a l  '74, Kelowna, June  1974.  6  groups, o r , i f not a c t u a l l y i n use, are c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f b u i l d ing  types which are o f t e n  used.  These f i v e b u i l d i n g s w i l l be a n a l y z e d by comparison criteria  with  e s t a b l i s h e d through r e s e a r c h o f sources o f t e c h n i c a l  t h e a t r i c a l knowledge.  F o r a summary o f these c r i t e r i a ,  Appendix B, page 107 below.  see  7  CHAPTER I I Classification Architecture In her naire", Mrs.  sent  "British  five  multi-purpose sion of  the  on  "work area"."''  found  space,  c o n v e r s i o n , and  gymnasium  theatre.  the b a s i s of the  spaces  box,  This  architectural  divinature  space. Space A  found  used as  facilitate with  auditorium,  regarding  province,  i t i s p o s s i b l e to d i v i d e the  general types:  i s made s t r i c t l y  Found  is  various questions  answers o b t a i n e d ,  used i n t o  Question-  t o a l l community t h e a t r e g r o u p s i n t h e  E n g l i s h asked  From t h e  C o l u m b i a Community T h e a t r e  space i s , as  i t i s found,  and  i t s name w o u l d not  c h a n g e d i n any  theatrical production.  theatre production  imply>  I t has  i n m i n d , b u t was  a space t h a t  m a j o r way  not been originally  for  some o t h e r p u r p o s e .  A technician building  own  basement, a d i r e c t o r h o l d i n g a r e h e a r s a l i n h i s  room, o r a s c h o o l c l a s s r o o m classify  as  use  of  found  used as  space.  Another aspect, space as  English,  found  however, i s t h e  a performance area.  designed intended  a flat  in his  living  a d r e s s i n g room, w o u l d a l l  In t h i s  amateur groups i n the p r o v i n c e use  to  sense,  probably a l l  s p a c e i n some  group t h a t uses  way. found  A group t h a t performs c h i l d r e n ' s  "Community T h e a t r e  Questionnaire".  8  theatre i n a kindergarten  classroom  or a group t h a t performs  i n an a r t g a l l e r y are a l s o u s i n g found space.  These groups  are i n a m i n o r i t y , b e i n g o n l y seven out o f the  fifty-five  groups who  responded t o the E n g l i s h q u e s t i o n n a i r e .  the K i t i m a t Community Theatre  F o r example,  sometimes performs i n an open  a r e a i n the M u n i c i p a l Museum.  One  o f the V i c t o r i a groups,  G a l l e r y P l a y e r s , performs i n the l e c t u r e h a l l o f the  the  Provin-  c i a l Museum.^" Gymnasium  Box  The  gymnasium box  i s by f a r the most f r e q u e n t l y used o f  a l l the t y p e s , not because o f i t s e x c e l l e n c e as a space, but because o f i t s a v a i l a b i l i t y .  There a r e  theatrical innumerable  s c h o o l s as w e l l as many m u n i c i p a l i t i e s i n the p r o v i n c e which 2  have t h i s type o f f a c i l i t y .  An exact number i s u n a v a i l a b l e .  T h i s s t y l e o f b u i l d i n g i s designed  p r i m a r i l y as a gen-  e r a l purpose h a l l , f o r s p o r t s , meetings, and banquets. a box  stage added a t one  facilities. a b l e w i t h any  end o r perhaps one  I t has  s i d e t o expand i t s  In some s m a l l towns, t h i s i s the o n l y space a v a i l t h e a t r i c a l p o t e n t i a l at a l l ,  and  i n others r e n t a l  3  o f a l t e r n a t i v e s i s too c o s t l y . c e n t use a gymnasium box  stage  Of the groups surveyed, 40 f o r a l l t h e i r productions,  per  and  E n g l i s h , t o E r i c Broom. Mrs. Van Bassen, S e c r e t a r y to Mr. S_mpson, D i r e c t o r o f School P l a n n i n g F a c i l i t i e s , Department o f E d u c a t i o n , V i c t o r i a , telephone, August 29, 1974. English  interview.  9 a number of o t h e r s use one on occasion.'*" d e s p i t e t h i s heavy usage, everyone  I might p o i n t out  q u e s t i o n e d condemns t h i s  o f b u i l d i n g as b e i n g a n t a g o n i s t i c to almost any t h e a t r i c a l  that, type en-  deavour.^ Multi-Purpose Auditorium Another  c l a s s i f i c a t i o n o f b u i l d i n g which i s designed t o  fulfill  as many f u n c t i o n s as p o s s i b l e i s the m u l t i - p u r p o s e  orium.  U n l i k e the gymnasium, t h i s type i s d e s i g n e d  f o r f u n c t i o n s which a t t r a c t an audience,  audit-  specifically  i t has permanent s e a t s ,  a raked f l o o r , and a b e t t e r designed s t a g e .  In t h i s case a l s o ,  community t h e a t r e p r o d u c t i o n s a r e not c a t e r e d t o , because d e s i g n a c c e n t i s p l a c e d on audience space, and not on the and behind i t .  proscenium  These b u i l d i n g s a r e u s u a l l y owned by c i v i c  or  3 educational authorities.  Only f i v e groups xn the p r o v i n c e use  a b u i l d i n g o f t h i s type w i t h r e g u l a r i t y , one example b e i n g T h e a t r e Kelowna. Conversion A very few community t h e a t r e groups have been a b l e t o improve t h e i r f a c i l i t i e s a g r e a t d e a l by f i n d i n g a b u i l d i n g which would o r i g i n a l l y c l a s s i f y as found space, but which they have r e - d e s i g n e d and changed i n major ways t o adapt i t t o t h e a t r i c a l  Idem, t o E r i c Broom. E n g l i s h i n t e r v i e w ; Doug Huggins i n t e r v i e w , F e s t i v a l '74, Kelowna, 1974; P h i l i p S i l v e r i n t e r v i e w , F e s t i v a l '74, Kelowna, 1974. English interview.  10  performance.  W a l l s may  be removed, a stage added, a u d i t o r i u m  f l o o r raked, c e i l i n g r a i s e d , and doors  added; r e n o v a t i o n s  depending on the o r i g i n a l d e s i g n o f the b u i l d i n g and o f the group.  vary  the needs  Because t h i s k i n d o f p r o j e c t r e q u i r e s a l a r g e  monetary o u t l a y and c o n s i d e r a b l e o r g a n i z a t i o n and  support,  only  the more advanced groups a r e a b l e t o c o n s i d e r a c o n v e r s i o n , and o n l y s i x f u l l c o n v e r s i o n s e x i s t , the Vagabond Theatre  of  New  being  Westminster and the Langham Court Theatre o f V i c t o r i a  examples.  A few o t h e r groups, such as the Surrey L i t t l e  Theatre,  have p a r t i a l l y converted b u i l d i n g s . ^ B u i l d i n g s Designed  Exclusively for Theatrical  Production  T h i s c l a s s i f i c a t i o n i s d i s t i n g u i s h e d from o t h e r i e s , i n t h a t i t i s designed t i o n i n mind.  s p e c i f i c a l l y w i t h t h e a t r i c a l produc-  I t u s u a l l y takes the form o f a s m a l l e r  t o the m u l t i - p u r p o s e  categor-  auditorium)  (compared  proscenium t h e a t r e , w i t h  a u d i t o r i u m , permanent s e a t i n g , f r o n t o f house s e r v i c e s , a  raked flying  system, d r e s s i n g rooms, and sometimes c o n s t r u c t i o n f a c i l i t i e s . T h i s type i s a l s o d i s t i n g u i s h e d by b e i n g the s m a l l e s t classification.  Only two  f a l l i n t o t h i s category:  b u i l d i n g s out o f the t o t a l one  i n P r i n c e George, and  the York T h e a t r e , i n Vancouver.  surveyed the o t h e r ,  The North Vancouver C e n t e n n i a l  Theatre i s so w e l l designed as a t h e a t r e as t o almost meet the q u a l i f i c a t i o n s of t h i s c l a s s i f i c a t i o n .  Because o f i t s s i z e  i t s i n t e n d e d f u n c t i o n , i t w i l l be c o n s i d e r e d a  Idem, "Community Theatre  multi-purpose  Questionnaire".  and  11  a u d i t o r i u m f o r the purposes  of t h i s  study.  Business B u i l d i n g s can a l s o be c l a s s i f i e d i n terms o f t h e i r busi n e s s o p e r a t i o n , the p e r t i n e n t f a c t o r b e i n g c o n t r o l o f the b u i l d i n g , o r , more s p e c i f i c a l l y , who and s c h e d u l i n g .  i s i n charge o f o p e r a t i o n  In t h i s study, a simple d i v i s i o n i s made,  d e c i d e d by whether the b u i l d i n g i s o p e r a t e d by the community t h e a t r e group o r by another body. not always a f a c t o r .  The a c t u a l ownership  is  O f t e n the b u i l d i n g i s owned by the muni-  c i p a l i t y , and l e a s e d o r donated as i f i t were t h e i r own.  t o the group, who  then o p e r a t e  F o r example, the P r i n c e George T h e a t r e  Workshop s t a r t e d t o b u i l d t h e i r own t o f i n i s h i t f o r f i n a n c i a l reasons.  t h e a t r e , but were unable The c i v i c government has  f i n i s h e d the p r o j e c t , and a l l o w s the group t o run the b u i l d i n g . Both the Vagabond Theatre i n New  Westminster and the Powerhouse  T h e a t r e i n Vernon are t e c h n i c a l l y owned by t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e c i t i e s , but a r e o p e r a t e d by the community t h e a t r e groups.  The  Kelowna Community T h e a t r e and the James Cowan T h e a t r e o f Burnaby a r e both owned and c o n t r o l l e d by c i v i c  governments.  1  Both Doug Huggins, Designer o f the Powerhouse T h e a t r e , and Mrs. E n g l i s h c o n s i d e r c o n t r o l o f the space an  extremely 2  important f a c t o r i n the o p e r a t i o n o f a communxty t h e a t r e group.  E n g l i s h , t o E r i c Broom. Huggins i n t e r v i e w ; E n g l i s h i n t e r v i e w .  12  CHAPTER I I I Found General Found space theatrical community from  Space  Characteristics  i s , by d e f i n i t i o n ,  i n d e s i g n , b u t i s used t h e a t r e group  a space which  i n i t s original  fora theatrical  that  t h e space i s n o t chosen because  of  i t s atmosphere,  specific groups  play.  benefits  The  typical  resulting atmosphere  at best neutral, formance.  benefit  of their  (see Chapter  IV below) i n t h a t  varied  theatre  and any a r t i s -  found space i s per-  from c o n v e r s i o n  the conversion i s a build-  performance.  adaptation.  o f found space;  i n major Found  ways t o  space i s  F o r example, moving t h e performance  area  would  adding a raked auditorium f l o o r  be c o n s i d e r e d c o n v e r s i o n .  a l l t h e spaces used by t h e a t r e groups t h e found space c l a s s i f i c a t i o n  forms, because  value  of a  to the theatrical  i s adapted  i n a c l a s s r o o m t o make a c e n t r a l  t o a c h u r c h h a l l would  theatre  i s distinguished also  used without s i g n i f i c a n t  Columbia,  t h e performance  o f t h e community  make i t s u i t a b l e f o r t h e a t r i c a l  Of  o f any i n t r i n s i c  availability,  a t worst d e t r i m e n t a l ,  Found space  be u t i l i z a t i o n  s e n s e o f t h e word,  from t h e n a t u r e o f t h e space a r e r a r e .  i n g o f n o n - t h e a t r i c a l d e s i g n which  desks  I t differs  T h e f o u n d s p a c e s u s e d b y community  a r e chosen because  tic  space,  which would  s t a t e by t h e  purpose.  "found space" i n the u s u a l t h e a t r i c a l  in  i s non-  i n British  includes  t h e most  i t i n c l u d e s any space f o u n d u s e f u l by t h e  13  group f o r any t h e a t r i c a l purpose.  Such d i v e r s e spaces as garage  workshops, s c h o o l classrooms, a r t g a l l e r i e s , c i t y p a r k s , basements, l i v i n g rooms, and s t r e e t s a r e used by community groups f o r the v a r i o u s of t h e i r p l a y s .  theatre  a c t i v i t i e s i n c l u d e d i n the p r o d u c t i o n  Because o f t h i s d i v e r s i t y , I w i l l  disregard  spaces n o t used f o r the t h r e e major f u n c t i o n s o f t h e a t r e : r e h e a r s a l , c o n s t r u c t i o n , and performance. The  most p r e v a l e n t  n o n - t h e a t r i c a l nature.  f e a t u r e o f these spaces i s t h e i r  Because o f t h i s , they a r e r e s t r i c t e d  i n equipment o f a l l t y p e s — l i g h t s , sound, f l y i n g i n space f o r a c t o r s , s e t s , and audience. general  area  acoustics  systems—and  Lighting i s usually  i l l u m i n a t i o n , sound equipment i s n o n - e x i s t e n t  and  bad, and s e a t i n g i s temporary, o f t e n wooden o r m e t a l  stacking c h a i r s .  1  I t i s d i f f i c u l t t o g e n e r a l i z e on ownership and o r g a n i z a t i o n o f found spaces, because the types o f b u i l d i n g s d i f f e r so greatly.  Homes o f group members a r e o f t e n used.  i n Williams  F o r example,  L a k e , f l a t s a r e s t o r e d i n a c l u b member's basement.  These spaces are, as a r u l e , f r e e o f charge.  The O l d S t . Stephen's  Church i s owned by t h e West Vancouver M u n i c i p a l i t y , and i s available f o r rent. area  The K i t i m a t group performs i n an open  i n t h e P r o v i n c i a l Museum.  The main b u s i n e s s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c  o f these spaces i s t h a t i t seems, from i n f o r m a t i o n  gathered  by Mrs. E n g l i s h , t h a t many groups f i n d even these minimal  E n g l i s h , t o E r i c Broom.  14 accommodations d i f f i c u l t to o b t a i n and  expensive t o  finance.  For most c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s o f spaces i t i s not  difficult  to f i n d a b u i l d i n g which i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f the type. found space c a t e g o r y to note a few be  the d i v e r s i t y o f forms makes i t o f  general  f u l l y analyzed,  examples.  the  use  A s p e c i f i c example, which w i l l  i s also included. Williams  The  In  Williams  Lake  Lake P l a y e r s use a p o r t a b l e c l a s s r o o m  i s owned by the town c o u n c i l .  which  T h i s b u i l d i n g i s a l s o used  by  s e v e r a l o t h e r community groups, f o r a c t i v i t i e s as v a r i e d as square d a n c i n g , p o t t e r y , music, and  painting.  24-by-24 f e e t , w i t h an 8 f o o t c e i l i n g . c o n s i s t s o f two  space i s  L i g h t i n g equipment  500 Watt F r e s n e l s p o t l i g h t s and  household f l o o d l i g h t s . by s i x 500  The  e i g h t 150  Watt  Dimming of the l i g h t i n g i s p r o v i d e d  Watt, s o l i d s t a t e household dimmer switches on  w a l l by the e n t r a n c e door.  For performance, 120  seated on s t a c k i n g c h a i r s borrowed from a nearby Each y e a r ,  the W i l l i a m s  are not  runs 3 n i g h t s , u s u a l l y on Thursday, F r i d a y , and  Idem, "Report on N o n - p r o f e s s i o n a l  per-  are strongly  i n the found space a r e a  performed i n a s c h o o l gymnasium o r church h a l l .  Harold  and  Once a y e a r the group produces a  l e n g t h p l a y which i s rehearsed  be  school.  These p l a y s  produced as an e x e r c i s e f o r group members and performance o r i e n t e d .  p e o p l e can  Lake P l a y e r s r e h e a r s e  form 4 "workshop" p l a y s i n t h i s b u i l d i n g .  the  fulland  This  production 2 Saturday.  Theatre".  G i l e s , telephone i n t e r v i e w , J u l y 26,  1974.  15 Kelowna T h e a t r e Kelowna i s much b e t t e r equipped, h a v i n g the Kelowna Community Theatre i n which t o perform, and a former F o r e s t S e r v i c e complex i a r y space.  T h i s complex  renting  f o r r e h e a r s a l and o t h e r a u x i l -  c o n s i s t s of 3 b u i l d i n g s :  an o f f i c e  b u i l d i n g , a s t o r a g e area, and a garage, each a p p r o x i m a t e l y 34-by-40 f e e t . no s i n k .  The o f f i c e has 4 rooms, i n c l u d i n g a k i t c h e n w i t h  The former s t o r a g e b u i l d i n g has one room a p p r o x i m a t e l y  26-by-30 f e e t which the group uses as a green room and r e h e a r s a l space.  There i s a l s o a washroom, w i t h a sink, and an a t t i c  age space i n t h i s b u i l d i n g .  stor-  The garage b u i l d i n g has 4 v e h i c l e  bays, 10-by-30 f e e t each, 2 o f which a r e used as a scene shop, and 2 o f which a r e s t o r a g e .  The group i s charged no r e n t f o r  t h i s f a c i l i t y , but must pay $1,600 taxes per y e a r .  This cost,  p l u s most o f t h e i r o t h e r expenses, i s u s u a l l y covered by t h e p r o f i t s from one m u s i c a l comedy which they produce each y e a r . T h i s runs 5 days and a t t r a c t s l a r g e a u d i e n c e s .  They a l s o p r o -  duce 4 dramas p e r y e a r which run 3 days each, and do not always pay f o r the c o s t o f t h e i r own  production.  1  O l d S t . Stephen's Church, West Vancouver T h i s b u i l d i n g i s a former c h u r c h , now d e s a n c t i f i e d  and  owned by the M u n i c i p a l i t y o f West Vancouver as p a r t o f t h e i r r e c r e a t i o n complex. ing  I t i s used f o r v a r i o u s f u n c t i o n s ,  includ-  a r t showings, Red Cross i n s t r u c t i o n , S e n i o r C i t i z e n s meetings,  Mark Vaughan i n t e r v i e w , Kelowna, August 16, 1974.  16 and the community Youth Theatre Program. ing i s p a r t i a l l y performance oriented,  The design of the b u i l d -  i n that i t contains an  area with a f l a t f l o o r for audience seating, facing a v e s t i g i a l proscenium arch with a one  foot raised stage behind i t .  The  remainder of the b u i l d i n g i s taken up by a u x i l i a r y rooms.  For  complete a r c h i t e c t u r a l information see Fact Sheet 1. The Old St. Stephen's Church i s one example of a number of buildings with good t h e a t r i c a l p o t e n t i a l which are i n e x i s t ence, but are not necessarily always available to theatre The West Vancouver L i t t l e Theatre has control of t h i s b u i l d i n g has to t h i s date been  groups.  t r i e d to obtain complete  to use exclusively as a theatre,  but  unsuccessful.  The main q u a l i t y which recommends t h i s b u i l d i n g to  the  theatre technician i s the large amount of a u x i l i a r y space a v a i l able, consisting of a complete wing of two stage storage space.  f l o o r s , plus under-  Another advantage t h i s b u i l d i n g has  over  many found spaces i s the " f e e l " , or atmosphere of the i n t e r i o r . The white p l a s t e r walls and dark wood f l o o r , panelling,  and  beams seem to make a r e s t f u l , comfortable impression on  the  audience member, adding to the atmosphere of " s p e c i a l place" needed i n a theatre  (see i l l u s t r a t i o n 1)."^  This b u i l d i n g does not conform to Mr. Huggins' d e f i n i t i o n of a "building with p o t e n t i a l " , which i n h i s opinion would be 2  approximately 50 feet square, with "good height".  I t also  •••Ian Pratt interview, Frederic Wood Theatre, University of B r i t i s h Columbia, August 1974. Huggins  interview.  17  has o t h e r d e f i c i e n c i e s .  F o r example, as Mr. W i l c o x p o i n t e d  o u t , the w h i t e w a l l s would d e t r a c t from f o c u s o f a u d i e n c e attention."'"  T h e r e f o r e , t h i s b u i l d i n g would p r o b a b l y not be  u s e f u l f o r a group d e s i r i n g t o p e r f o r m f u l l - s i z e w i t h s e t s and e l a b o r a t e l i g h t i n g .  productions,  However, i t would be a  s u f f i c i e n t space t o p e r f o r m t h e a t r e o f a l i m i t e d form, such as workshop and e x p e r i m e n t a l p e r f o r m a n c e s .  I t would a l s o be  v e r y good space f o r a group t o use as r e h e a r s a l and c o n s t r u c t i o n space.  They c o u l d produce t h e i r f u l l - s c a l e performances i n  a more s u i t a b l e  theatre.  """Richard Kent W i l c o x i n t e r v i e w , F r e d e r i c Wood T h e a t r e , U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , August 1974.  Illustration III-l  O l d S t . Stephen's Church  I  18 FACT SHEET 1 Old S t . Stephen's Church, West Vancouver Style 1.  Proscenium  1.  Proscenium; 24 f e e t wide, a G o t h i c - s t y l e a r c h 12 f e e t high a t centre, 8 feet a t sides  2.  Stage h e i g h t ; 1 f o o t  3.  Stage depth; 16 f e e t 6 i n c h e s  4.  Wing space; 2 f e e t 6 i n c h e s each s i d e  5.  Height o f c e i l i n g ; 15 f e e t a t c e n t r e , 10 f e e t a t sides  6.  Floor; varnished f i r ,  S t a g e  no n a i l s o r screws a l l o w e d  Standard Masking 1.  None  Lighting 1.  Regular 110 v o l t l i g h t f i x t u r e s on proscenium a r c h , s w i t c h on stage l e f t proscenium  1.  No  Sound equipment  Loading and Storage 1.  Loading; up 4 f e e t o f , s t a i r s , through house door, through v e s t i b u l e , and through house  2.  Storage; l l - b y - 1 9 f e e t a g a i n s t upstage w a l l ,  D r e s s i n g Rooms 1.  None s p e c i f i c ; space a v a i l a b l e d o w n s t a i r s  lockable  19  FACT SHEET  1—Continued  2.  2 t o i l e t s with sinks; o f f downstairs  3.  Red  Cross  room; c o u l d be  hallway  Greenroom  Wardrobe 1.  Space a v a i l a b l e  downstairs  Properties 1. Scene  No  specific  area; storage i n upstage  wall  shop 1.  None  1.  150  2.  45-by-29 f e e t ;  3.  F l o o d l i g h t s ; p r o v i d e d f o r a r t showings, s w i t c h d o o r n e a r m a i n e n t r a n c e , do n o t d i m  4.  Large  House temporary  seats flat  floor on  numbar o f windows  F r o n t o f House S e r v i c e s 1.  6-by-14  2.  Red  3.  Kitchen f o r concessions across hallway C r o s s Room  from  4.  2 washroomsoff upper h a l l w a y ; i n each  and  Performance  foot  Cross  vestibule  room c o u l d be  used  as  lounge  1 toilet  Operation  1.  Stage  2.  Access  Manager; on to acting  stage area;  left stage  left  only  Red  1 sink  :  20  i J  V e s t i b u l e , 6 ' X 10'  Illustration Old  III-2  S t . Stephen's  Church  Auditorium,  Red  Cross  Room, 21'  X  45'  X  29*  Up  24  Stage,  16J*  Storage,  11"  X  29  X  21  S t o r a g e Under  R e h e a r s a l Space  21'  House  X 29'  Up  Up  —f—  _  4.  Washroom  Storage-i Washroom  r I Storage  Furnace  Office  I l l u s t r a t i o n I I I - 3 O l d S t . Stephen's Church, basement  22  CHAPTER  IV  Conversions General  Characteristics  Examples of t h e a t r e s formed by the c o n v e r s i o n o f f o r m e r l y n o n - t h e a t r i c a l spaces may communities.  be found i n s e v e r a l B r i t i s h  Columbian  S i x o f the groups surveyed have c o m p l e t e l y c o n v e r t e d  b u i l d i n g s i n t o t h e a t r e s , and s e v e r a l more have made s i g n i f i c a n t steps i n that d i r e c t i o n .  Full  conversions are:  the Powerhouse  Theatre i n Vernon, the Langham Court Theatre i n V i c t o r i a , Vagabond Playhouse  i n New  Westminster,  the  the White Rock L i t t l e  Theatre i n White Rock, and the James Cowan Theatre i n Burnaby. Other l e s s developed c o n v e r s i o n s are used by the S u r r e y T h e a t r e , which performs  i n an o l d church h a l l ,  P l a y e r s i n V i c t o r i a , which owns a former  Little  and the S t . Luke's  church.  The t y p i c a l c o n v e r s i o n surveyed i s a m u l t i - p u r p o s e m o d i f i e d by simply expanding  hall,  i t s f a c i l i t i e s t o make a t h e a t r e .  The Langham C o u r t , the James Cowan T h e a t r e , and the S u r r e y Theatre are o f t h i s s o r t . t h a t i t was  Little  The Powerhouse Theatre i s unique, i n  c o n v e r t e d from a completely n o n - t h e a t r i c a l  space,  namely an o l d power s t a t i o n . The process of c o n v e r s i o n i s u s u a l l y a g r a d u a l one,  as the  group o b t a i n s enough money t o do a s m a l l amount o f r e n o v a t i n g a t one time.  I t i s probable t h a t the S u r r e y L i t t l e T h e a t r e  and  the S t . Luke's P l a y e r s are a t an e a r l i e r stage o f development at  t h i s time, and c o u l d be f u l l y  c o n v e r t e d i n the f u t u r e .  For  23 example, the Powerhouse Theatre was f i r s t opened i n 1963, then redone i n 1973.  The Vagabond Playhouse has a l s o had a r e c e n t  u p d a t i n g o f a former c o n v e r s i o n . "^ The  steps u s u a l l y taken t o render these spaces more p e r -  formance o r i e n t e d a r e :  t o rake the house f l o o r , u s u a l l y i n  l e v e l s , and p r o v i d e permanent s e a t i n g ; t o b u i l d a s t a g e i f no stage e x i s t s ; t o i n s t a l l a proscenium a r c h ; t o i n s t a l l a f l y i n g system o f some s o r t ; t o p r o v i d e some t h e a t r i c a l l i g h t i n g ; and to  p r o v i d e o r remodel t h e lobby space, d r e s s i n g rooms, shop  space, k i t c h e n and c o n c e s s i o n s , and costume, prop and s c e n e r y s t o r a g e spaces.  These a r e accomplished  completeness, depending on the group's The  i n d i f f e r e n t degrees o f priorities.  f i n a l product o f t h i s i s u s u a l l y a t h e a t r e s e a t i n g  j u s t under two hundred p a t r o n s ,  (one e x c e p t i o n i s t h e James Cowan  T h e a t r e , which was b u i l t by c i v i c a u t h o r i t i e s , and does n o t conform t o some o f the standards o f community t h e a t r e s ) .  There a r e  c e r t a i n r e s t r i c t i o n s i n e f f i c i e n c y stemming from t h e c o n v e r s i o n p r o c e s s , b u t I would say the r e s u l t i s a b e t t e r p l a n t than most groups i n the p r o v i n c e  possess.  There a r e c e r t a i n a r c h i t e c t u r a l problems which a r e common to  most c o n v e r s i o n s .  of  a hall,  Because o f a stage b e i n g added a t one end  stage w a l l s a r e o n l y as wide as the s e a t i n g a r e a ,  thus g i v i n g extremely  r e s t r i c t e d wing space.  Not one group 2  has  f o l l o w e d the recommendations o f B e l l e t a l . ,  Mrs.  H. C l i f f  who show a  i n t e r v i e w , Vagabond T h e a t r e , June 27, 1974.  S. B e l l , N. M a r s h a l l , and R. Southern, E s s e n t i a l s o f Stage P l a n n i n g , F r e d e r i c k M u l l e r L t d . , London, 1949, p. 22f.  24 c o n v e r t e d h a l l w i t h expanded wing space and f l y l o f t .  The f l y  l o f t i s o f t e n l e f t low because o f i n s u f f i c i e n t h e i g h t i n the o r i g i n a l b u i l d i n g and thus the i n c r e a s e d c o s t o f p r o v i d i n g i t .  The  l o a d i n g a r e a a l s o s u f f e r s because o f r e l u c t a n c e t o c u t new  doors  i n the b u i l d i n g when s e m i - s u f f i c i e n t ones a l r e a d y e x i s t .  In t o t a l ,  then, t h i s u s u a l l y r e s u l t s i n a b u i l d i n g w i t h a l l t h e f a c i l i t i e s needed f o r a s m a l l t h e a t r e , but r e s t r i c t e d i n s i z e . a l t o g e t h e r bad.  T h i s i s not  A s m a l l a u d i t o r i u m i s c o n s i d e r e d by some t o be  a d e s i r a b l e f e a t u r e f o r the use o f an amateur g r o u p . it  1  However,  i s very r e s t r i c t i n g i n o t h e r a r e a s , such as d r e s s i n g rooms. These t h e a t r e s a r e u s u a l l y r u n by the community t h e a t r e  group, a l t h o u g h o f t e n owned by the c i t y .  Again,  the James Cowan  T h e a t r e i s t h e o n l y e x c e p t i o n , b e i n g both owned and r u n by t h e c i t y o f Burnaby.  Once a group has a c o n v e r t e d  towards p r o d u c i n g more ambitious  seasons o f p l a y s .  t h i s i s n a t u r a l , s i n c e they have, f i r s t , for  they  the f a c i l i t i e s r e q u i r e d  t o cope w i t h the ownership  l o n g e r running show.  busi-  situation.  c o n t r o l o f a good t h e a t r e g i v e s these groups another  tage—the  tend  I suppose  f u l l - s c a l e p r o d u c t i o n s , and second, t h e w e l l developed  ness o r g a n i z a t i o n necessary The  space,  advan-  These groups a r e a b l e t o mount  l a r g e p r o d u c t i o n s which, because o f s c h e d u l i n g a b i l i t y , u s u a l l y run seven t o t e n days.  The average o f a l l groups i n the p r o v i n c e  i s s i x days run per p l a y , many groups p e r f o r m i n g  t h r e e days o r  less.  E n g l i s h i n t e r v i e w ; Huggins i n t e r v i e w . English,  "Report on N o n - p r o f e s s i o n a l  Theatre".  25  The  Powerhouse T h e a t r e ,  I have chosen the  Powerhouse T h e a t r e o f V e r n o n f o r  example n o t  because i t i s t y p i c a l ,  what c a n  achieved  in  be  British  the  b u i l d i n g , and  to use. Hall,  They  and  i n the  were l o o k i n g  stored  performed  their  auditorium,  system of  t h o u s a n d and  a new  18  theatre  group f o r the completely  project. 1963.  The  In  s t a g e and  Fact  is city  a u n i f i e d theatre i n t o two  and  2)  the  Arts  Centre Society  the  owned  space  Scout  a  invested Theatre  150-seat a stage  New  revolve  raked tower,  s y s t e m and  a further  b u i l d i n g was  s h o p , and  Sheet  a  $15 expanded.  a d d e d 41  seats,  lighting  equipment,  were a l s o  added.  2. leased  d o l l a r per  group.  1)  with  the  owned, b u t  club.  sections:  Vernon L i t t l e  1973,  a portable  see  c o n t r o l l e d by  the  Powerhouse  a lighting  costume a r e a .  n o m i n a l f e e o f one  divided  room o f  I t contained  volunteers,  a new  s y s t e m , and  they  gymnasium.  rope s e t s .  foyer,  those  rehearsal  a clubroom, costume s t o r a g e ,  information,  This  cially  of  Many g r o u p s  T h e a t r e g r o u p i n 1962;  Equipment i n c l u d e d  rooms, and  flying  full  converted spaces.  o l d V e r n o n Power S t a t i o n , and  more work by  They e x t e n d e d the  For  the  a foyer,  a scene shop.  dressing  a demonstration  f o r a clubhouse or  i n a school  o p e n e d i n November o f  flying  as  e q u i p m e n t i n one  thousand i n a conversion  first  and  l i n e of  Vernon L i t t l e  They a c q u i r e d $25  but  my  Columbia today e x i s t i n s i m i l a r circumstances to  e x p e r i e n c e d by no  Vernon  to the  year;  theatre  thus i t i s  However, t h i s  i s not  offi-  For business purposes i t i s the  Theatrical Arts  Theatre A s s o c i a t i o n .  i s a non-profit  organization  The  Centre  Society,  Theatrical  formed  strictly  26  f o r the purpose o f o p e r a t i n g  the t h e a t r e b u i l d i n g .  T h i s group  i s composed o f v o l u n t e e r d i r e c t o r s , u s u a l l y town businessmen. The  Vernon L i t t l e Theatre A s s o c i a t i o n i s r e s p o n s i b l e  f o r the production  o f p l a y s i n the t h e a t r e .  solely  T e c h n i c a l l y , they  must r e n t the b u i l d i n g from t h e T h e a t r i c a l A r t s C e n t r e S o c i e t y when they wish t o use i t .  In p r a c t i c e , however, membership i n  the two s o c i e t i e s o v e r l a p s  considerably,  Theatre,of  and the Vernon  Little  course, gets top p r i o r i t y when s c h e d u l i n g b u i l d i n g  rentals. The  u s u a l season c o n s i s t s o f t h r e e major p l a y s ,  aging n i n e n i g h t s r u n .  aver-  Any p r o f i t s from these go t o t h e Theat-  r i c a l A r t s Centre S o c i e t y t o pay f o r upkeep o f the b u i l d i n g , renovations, year.  and new equipment.  Upkeep averages $3,000 p e r  A l l c o n s t r u c t i o n and a r t i s t i c work i s done by v o l u n t e e r  l a b o u r from the c l u b members, e x c e p t i n g  one p a r t - t i m e  a c l u b member, who i s p a i d $80 p e r month.  The o n l y  janitor, financial  a s s i s t a n c e r e c e i v e d by the group i s i n the form o f a w a i v e r o f taxes from the c i t y . A major source o f income i s r e n t a l o f the b u i l d i n g f o r n o n - t h e a t r i c a l uses.  These i n c l u d e :  ballet, films,  church  s e r v i c e s , seminars, chamber music c o n c e r t s , f a s h i o n shows, l e c t u r e s , and d i s c u s s i o n s .  These f u n c t i o n s pay $30 t o $50  per n i g h t , depending on the n a t u r e o f the group and t h e day o f the week on which they use t h e b u i l d i n g . Mr.  Huggins, who i s one o f t h e a r c h i t e c t s who designed  the c o n v e r s i o n ,  f e e l s t h a t t h e optimum s i z e o f a b u i l d i n g  27  considered  f o r c o n v e r s i o n w o u l d be  height".  The  feet,  29  and  power s t a t i o n ,  an  ing.  thus  theatre.  The  structural  location Although  run  disturbance  S t a g e and  Stage  rower than I am  on  disadvantage  trains  the  can  build-  cause  con-  a performance.' ' 1  Machinery  proscenium of t h i s  t h e a t r e i s 24  t h e minimum p r e s c r i b e d b y  inclined  The  t r a c k runs beside  i n f r e q u e n t l y , the  during  28-by-45  strength of the b u i l d i n g  location.  i s that a railway they  was  good  i m p o s e d some r e s t r i c t i o n s  i t s central  siderable  The  conversion,  and  a s s e t , a s was  of the  before  feet high,  the r e s u l t i n g was  50-by-50 f e e t , with, "a  to b e l i e v e t h a t they  feet,  2 feet  B u r r i s M e y e r and  are  not  speaking  nar-  Cole. strictly  2 o f community allow  a  24  t h e a t r e when t h e y  say  26  feet.  Mr.  f o o t minimum f o r r e g u l a r drama, b u t  not  Wilcox  would  f o r opera  or  3 musicals.  B e l l et a l . consider  18  feet possible for a  community  4 group,  while  height  i s only  Corry,^  but  Corry  says  6 inches  Mr.  ^Huggins  24 less  feet  "is desirable".  than  Huggins p o i n t e d  the  out  12  feet  t h a t the  Proscenium  recommended structural  by  concrete  interview.  2 H. B u r r i s - J M e y e r and E . C o l e , T h e a t r e s and Auditoriums, R e i n h o l d P u b l i s h i n g C o r p o r a t i o n , New Y o r k , 1964, p . 164. 3 . . Wilcox interview.  4 Bell, 5  M a r s h a l l , and  S o u t h e r n , p.  27.  P . C o r r y , S t a g e P l a n n i n g , The S t r a n d E l e c t r i c E n g i n e e r i n g Co. L t d . , L o n d o n , 1965, p . 2 f .  and  28  beam which forms the top o f the a r c h r e s t r i c t s the throw o f l i g h t from the #1 F.O.H. The  1  depth of i n n e r s t a g e ,  recommendations.  Mr.  28 f e e t , exceeds a l l minimum  Wilcox suggests t h a t the minimum depth 2  o f a s e t f o r r e g u l a r drama i s 14 f e e t .  B u r n s - M e y e r and  c a u t i o n t h a t a t l e a s t 6 f e e t must be allowed l i g h t i n g behind  the s e t .  Cole  for crossover  and  T h i s means t h a t a t l e a s t 20 f e e t  must be a v a i l a b l e .  However "very few p l a y s can be performed 3 i n s e t s as meager as t h x s . . . " . C o r r y allows f o r a minimum 4  o f 24 f e e t .  The wing space of the Powerhouse T h e a t r e ,  com-  p l e t e l y r e s t r i c t e d by the o r i g i n a l w a l l s o f the s t r u c t u r e , t o t a l s o n l y 10 f e e t .  Most sources  prefer a t o t a l of at  the w i d t h o f the proscenium i n wing space, p l u s a few 5 f o r masking.  Even C o r r y , who  seems t o a l l o w f o r a  least  feet  smaller  t h e a t r e than most o t h e r s , would l i k e a minimum o f 8 f e e t on each side.** Although the 10 f o o t wide door upstage c e n t r e allows  for  'Huggins i n t e r v i e w . Wilcox interview. 'Burris-Meyer C o r r y , p.  and C o l e , p.  3.  ' B e l l , M a r s h a l l , and 'Corry, p.  178.  3.  Southern, p. 36;  P r a t t interview..  29 use o f some wagons and  l a r g e s e t p i e c e s which, can he  stored i n  the scene shop when not i n use, most of the s e t changes must be done by f l y i n g . fly  This i s unfortunate,  l o f t i s minimal.  were t o r e - d e s i g n would be  In f a c t , Mr.  as the h e i g h t of  Huggins s t a t e d  the b u i l d i n g , , one  of the f i r s t  t o extend the h e i g h t o f the loft." " 1  a f l y l o f t must be  the  t h a t i f he priorities  Corry  states that  2| times the h e i g h t of the proscenium f o r  2 good f l y i n g , 3 height.  w h i l e B e l l e t a l . would p r e f e r 3 times proscenium  While the 30 f e e t i n t h i s b u i l d i n g does j u s t  2| times the proscenium h e i g h t , call  the system i s o n l y what B e l l e t a l .  a " g r i d s u b s t i t u t e " — p u l l e y s b o l t e d t o beams—which i s 4  not as e f f i c i e n t as a complete g r i d system. access  total  There i s a l s o  t o t h i s area except by s e t t i n g up a s c a f f o l d .  g a l l e r i e s are 14 o f standard Mr.  The f l y  f e e t — j u s t - h i g h enough to a l l o w f o r the  masking  no  storage  flats.  Huggins c o n s i d e r s  t h e a t r e q u i t e s u f f i c i e n t , and  the l i g h t i n g equipment of indeed  this  i t f a r s u r p a s s e s the min-  imum s t a t e d by both Mr.  Norman Young, T e c h n i c a l D i r e c t o r o f 5 the F r e d e r i c Wood Theatre, and Mr. P r a t t . The o n l y flaw, an  Huggins  interview.  ^Corry, p. 3. 3 B e l l , M a r s h a l l , and Southern, p. 47. 4 I b i d , p. 52. 5 . Norman Young i n t e r v i e w , F r e d e r i c Wood T h e a t r e , U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, May 13, 1974; P r a t t i n t e r v i e w .  30  absence o f a patch p a n e l , w i l l be r e c t i f i e d i n the near f u t u r e . Sound equipment i s good, m o s t l y new, p a r t i a l l y due  o f course,  and  acoustics are excellent,  to the s m a l l s i z e o f the house.' ' 1  Because o f l i g h t r e f l e c t i n g p r o p e r t i e s , the  canvas-covered  f l a t s which are used f o r s t a n d a r d masking i n t h i s t h e a t r e 2 not as good as c l o t h drapes. shape and  The  t h a t they are  ini-  construct.  portable revolve i s a great asset to t h i s  as i t allows The  Thexr advantages are t h a t t h e i r  c o l o r can be changed e a s i l y , and  t i a l l y l e s s expensive to  are  theatre,  s e t changes which do not need much wing space.  p o s s i b i l i t y of t h r u s t o r end  s t a g i n g adds v e r s a t i l i t y ,  but  these forms are seldom used. The  stage f l o o r c o n s t r u c t i o n i s heavy plywood, covered  by a canvas ground c l o t h .  T h i s i s not as good as  softwood  p l a n k i n g , because the f l o o r g i v e s under l o a d s , a l l o w i n g c l o t h to bunch and  tear.  The  under the a c t o r ' s f e e t . type o f f l o o r i s q u i t e  stage a l s o tends t o sound h o l l o w  However c o s t i s a f a c t o r , and 3  this  inexpensive.  Another f a c t o r to be c o n s i d e r e d  i n the d e s i g n o f  stage i s i t s h e i g h t above s t r e e t l e v e l . 4  the advantage o f having  the l o a d i n g bay  Wilcox interview. interview. Southern, p.  Pratt points  a t the l e v e l o f a  Huggins i n t e r v i e w .  B e l l , M a r s h a l l , and  the  B e l l e t a l . say  the stage should be a t s t r e e t l e v e l , but Mr.  Pratt  the  24.  that out truck  deck, which i s about 4 f e e t ,  and the g r e a t advantage o f h a v i n g 2  a l e v e l path t o the stage from the l o a d i n g a r e a . 3 and C o l e a l s o p r e f e r t h i s h e i g h t .  Burris-Meyer  The stage o f the Powerhouse  Theatre i s 4 f e e t from the ground. A u d i t o r i u m and  Sightlines  Stage h e i g h t i s a l s o a c o n s i d e r a t i o n , as i t a f f e c t s l i n e s , combining w i t h the angle of a u d i t o r i u m rake t o audience v i s i b i l i t y . of  sight'  determine  B u r r i s - M e y e r and Cole recommend a h e i g h t  3 f e e t 6 i n c h e s above f l o o r l e v e l a t the f i r s t row,  a n g l e of rake c a l c u l a t e d by r a i s i n g each row 4 the s i g h t l i n e over the p r e c e d i n g row. minimum o f 3 f e e t 8 i n c h e s stage h e i g h t . ^  and  an  5 i n c h e s above  Corry would p r e f e r a In e i t h e r case the  2 f o o t 3 i n c h stage o f the Powerhouse T h e a t r e , combined w i t h a rake o f 5 inches per row comfortable v i s i b i l i t y . to  of s e a t s , p r o v i d e s l e s s than minimum  Mr.  Huggins s t a t e d t h a t he would  see the stage even lower, w i t h an i n c r e a s e d r a k e .  e r a t i o n o f a c r o s s s e c t i o n , however,(see I l l u s t r a t i o n  ConsidIV-5)  shows the d i f f i c u l t y o f adding rake a n g l e , because o f the c e i l i n g , and  I have s e r i o u s doubts  like  low  as t o whether the expense  would be worth i t .  "''Telephone i n t e r v i e w w i t h an u n i d e n t i f i e d employee o f T i l d e n Truck R e n t a l s , September 2, 1974. 2  Pratt interview. 3 B u r r i s - M e y e r and C o l e , p. 4  I b i d , p. 69. C o r r y , p. 3.  164.  32  The tion  i n the auditorium  recommended b y  apart, The  aisles  Burris-Meyer  2 i n c h e s more t h a n  c h a i r s were a c q u i r e d  s t r u c t e d o f wood and them q u i t e  Front  and  Cole.  "marginal  the  sides, a  Rows a r e 36  comfortable  p a d d e d s e a t s and  inches  spacing".'''  f r o m an o l d m o v i e h o u s e , a n d  metal with  posi-  are  backs.  conI  found  comfortable.  o f House The  the  a r e on  Services  lobby  easily  conforms i n s i z e  t o t h e minimum o f  500  2 square f e e t ever  the  required according  lack of  missions  the  f o y e r and  lobby  end  of  becomes c r o w d e d .  the narrow lobby,  Another problem w i t h is  quite audible  lifted are  i n the  t h e washrooms and o f the  How-  and  entrance  the  to house are  The  This  good.  telephone  t h e r e c e i v e r must  coat check area  t h e marquee.  original  and  i s small,  is a result  s t r u c t u r e , and  ticket  a l l at  t r a f f i c p a t t e r n i s not  auditorium,  inter-  Because the entrance,  t i c k e t booth i s t h a t the  during performance.  restrictions the  the  Cole.  l o u n g e s p a c e means t h a t d u r i n g  booth, coat check, t o i l e t s , one  t o B u r n s - M e y e r and  of  bell  be as  the  i t s proximity  to  street. Adequate p a r k i n g  Actor  i s provided  near the  theatre.  Spaces C a l c u l a t e d by  M e y e r and  Cole,  statistical  procedures  t h e m a i n d r e s s i n g room p r o v i d e s  1  Burris-Meyer  2  Ibid,  p.  the  51.  and  C o l e , p.  110  u s e d by  Burris-  space f o r  18  a c t o r s , but makeup f a c i l i t i e s ing  f o r only 8.  The a u x i l i a r y  dress-  room p r o v i d e s f o r 13 more a c t o r s , but the p o s i t i o n of  this  d r e s s i n g room over the a u d i t o r i u m d e t r a c t s from i t s u s e f u l n e s s . The a d j a c e n t t o i l e t s cannot be used d u r i n g performance because of  noise.  The washroom i n the main d r e s s i n g room a d j o i n s a  house w a l l , a l t h o u g h i n t h i s case the n o i s e i s minimized t h i c k n e s s o f the w a l l .  by  the  A more s e r i o u s problem w i t h the d r e s s i n g  rooms i s access to the stage, which Burris-Meyer s h o u l d be 5 f e e t wide, w i t h no s t a i r s .  and C o l e  suggest  On both p o i n t s t h i s  2  theatre f a l l s  short,  because the o n l y access i s a narrow  stair-  case . The  greenroom i s l a r g e r than the 300  r e q u i r e d by B u r r i s - M e y e r  and C o l e .  3  square  f o o t minimum  I t s a l t e r n a t e f u n c t i o n as  a dance r e h e a r s a l area makes i t a v e r y u s e f u l space. P r o d u c t i o n S e r v i c e s and  Operation  T h i s b u i l d i n g has a scene shop, a f a c i l i t y w i t h which few o f the spaces  surveyed were p r o v i d e d .  The group owns no  t o o l s , but depends on group members to p r o v i d e t h e i r C o n d i t i o n s a r e s i m i l a r i n the costume a r e a .  own.  A large, well  l i g h t e d space i s p r o v i d e d f o r work and  s t o r a g e , and  the  c o n s t r u c t i n g costumes p r o v i d e t h e i r own  equipment.  One  I n o t i c e d , however, was  Burris-Meyer 2  I b i d , p.  3  Ibid.  158.  persons point  t h a t the e x t r a l i g h t i n g p r o v i d e d f o r  and C o l e , p.  156.  34  the costume area  i s fluorescent.  T h i s can be a problem, because  f a b r i c c o l o u r i s a l t e r e d under d i f f e r e n t types o f l i g h t . i s a f a c t o r o f which the d e s i g n e r i n these  This  must be aware when working  conditions.  There i s l i t t l e space f o r p r o p e r t i e s c o n s t r u c t i o n i n t h i s b u i l d i n g , o n l y a storage p r o p e r t i e s are c o n s t r u c t e d the scene shop. facilities,  area.  I assume t h a t most s m a l l  i n members' homes, l a r g e r ones i n  Another disadvantage i s a l a c k o f  kitchen  which a r e d e s i r a b l e i n a p r o p e r t i e s room."*"  S t o r a g e space f o r scenery i s s m a l l , m o s t l y space i n the scene shop which would p r o b a b l y be b e t t e r used f o r t i o n purposes.  construc-  Standard masking f l a t s s t o r e under the f l y  g a l l e r i e s on stage, but  t h i s r e s t r i c t s the s m a l l wing space  available. The  p o s i t i o n s f o r o p e r a t i o n o f a performance seem t o  well situated. o f the s t a g e .  L i g h t i n g and  sound o p e r a t o r s  have a good view  Entrances t o the a c t i n g area a r e  restricted  to stage l e f t , but t h i s means t h a t the stage manager, who  is  s i t u a t e d down l e f t , has  It  v i s u a l c o n t r o l of a l l entrances.  i s a l s o c o n v e n i e n t t h a t a c t o r s can reach b o t h l o b b y and from back stage w i t h o u t going o u t s i d e t i o n s t o a l l work a r e a s ,  be  the b u i l d i n g .  house  Communica-  p l u s monitor speakers i n d r e s s i n g 2  rooms and  the lobby are a l s o an  asset.  Mrs. Sherry Darcus i n t e r v i e w , F r e d e r i c Wood T h e a t r e , U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, May 15, 1974. Pratt  interview.  35 Aesthetics One  o f the more important  aspects of t h i s t h e a t r e ,  one  which i s f r e q u e n t l y i g n o r e d by community b u i l d i n g d e s i g n e r s , i s the decor.  Both the lobby and  house Theatre  have been decorated  important  the a u d i t o r i u m  o f the Power-  t a s t e f u l l y , to give that  f e e l i n g t h a t t h i s i s not j u s t any b u i l d i n g , but  "special place" for theatre.  1  (See I l l u s t r a t i o n s IV-1  to  a IV-4).  Summary T h i s t h e a t r e i s one o f the foremost achievements o f commun i t y t h e a t r e i n B r i t i s h Columbia. i t best f u l f i l l s  Of the b u i l d i n g s surveyed,  the needs of amateur p r o d u c t i o n .  The  only  major disadvantage i s a l a c k o f space imposed by the dimensions o f the o r i g i n a l b u i l d i n g .  However, c o n s i d e r a b l e  ingenuity  has been shown i n u t i l i z i n g the e x i s t i n g space, d e m o n s t r a t i n g what can be accomplished i n The  conversions.  proscenium dimensions are adequate, b u t would be  improved by added h e i g h t .  T h i s would f a c i l i t a t e b e t t e r  lighting  and c r e a t e a more a e s t h e t i c a l l y p l e a s i n g proscenium opening. The  stage p r o v i d e s s u f f i c i e n t a c t i n g area f o r the type o f  ductions  staged by t h i s group.  s h i f t i n g and s t o r a g e due  I t does not a l l o w  space f o r scenery.  t o a l a c k o f wing space and  pro-  adequate  This d e f i c i e n c y i s  f l y space.  The  problem i s  p a r t i a l l y o f f s e t by the l a r g e upstage c e n t r e door l e a d i n g t o the scene shop, and  Pratt  the p o r t a b l e r e v o l v i n g s t a g e .  interview.  36  The  s i g h t l i n e s i n t h i s b u i l d i n g are not o p t i m a l ,  due  to the s h a l l o w rake o f the a u d i t o r i u m and the low s t a g e . wise the a u d i t o r i u m i s c o m f o r t a b l e and p l e a s i n g t o the The lounge  Other-  eye.  lobby area i s much too s m a l l to p r o v i d e f o y e r and  space, and the c o n s t r u c t i o n o f p a t r o n s e r v i c e s a t one  causes c o n g e s t i o n . s e r i o u s thought  A g a i n the decor i s p l e a s a n t , e v i d e n c e o f  and a t t e n t i o n on the p a r t o f the b u i l d e r s .  A minor problem o f t h i s t h e a t r e i s due combination  end  to n o i s e .  The  o f t r a i n s , telephone b e l l s , and a c t o r s moving i n  the a u x i l i a r y d r e s s i n g room i s almost sure t o cause a d i s t u r bance a t some time d u r i n g performance. This theatre i s w e l l provided with production s e r v i c e areas by community t h e a t r e s t a n d a r d s .  The  scene  shop, costume  room, and greenroom/dance r e h e a r s a l a r e a a r e q u i t e s u f f i c i e n t f o r the p r o d u c t i o n s staged  here.  T h i s t h e a t r e i s a l s o much b e t t e r equipped the o t h e r s surveyed. new  than most o f  L i g h t i n g and sound equipment are mostly  and o f good q u a l i t y .  Communications between the stage  o t h e r p a r t s o f the b u i l d i n g are good.  The  lack of a  and  full  f l y i n g system i s one n o t a b l e d e f i c i e n c y . I t s h o u l d be noted t h a t some o f the s u c c e s s o f t h i s t h e a t r e i s due  to e f f i c i e n t business p r a c t i c e s .  a p r o f i t every y e a r .  T h i s i s due  The t h e a t r e c l u b shows  t o a v e r y a c t i v e group, and  a l s o t o a g r e a t number o f n o n - t h e a t r i c a l uses o f t h e b u i l d i n g . The d i v i s i o n o f the c l u b i n t o b u s i n e s s and a r t i s t i c s e c t i o n s a l s o seems t o work w e l l , as the b u s i n e s s i s handled by b u s i n e s s men,  and the a r t i s t i c and t e c h n i c a l work i s l e f t t o those whose  37 t a l e n t s l i e i n those In Mr.  areas.  Huggins' o p i n i o n , the e f f i c i e n c y o f t h e b u i l d i n g  i s s t r o n g l y t i e d to the q u a l i t y of p r o d u c t i o n .  He  finds i t  easy, f o r example, to a t t r a c t t e c h n i c a l workers, because o f the q u a l i t y of the equipment and work.  can  C o n t r o l o f the b u i l d i n g i s a l s o a f a c t o r , because i t  f a c i l i t a t e s scheduling and  spaces w i t h which they  long-running  shows.  of r e h e a r s a l s , s e t c o n s t r u c t i o n hours, He  f e e l s t h a t the presence o f a s u c -  c e s s f u l t h e a t r e i n the town b u i l d s both the group and i t s audience.  For example, f o r the opening n i g h t i n 1963  quired a personal  campaign t o s e l l the t i c k e t s .  opening n i g h t was  s o l d out immediately a t $10  Huggins i n t e r v i e w .  per  i t re-  I n 1973 seat.  the 1  39  40  FACT SHEET 2 The  Powerhouse T h e a t r e ,  Vernon  Style 1.  D e s i g n e d f o r end s t a g i n g , most f r e q u e n t l y u s e d a s proscenium, conversion to t h r u s t stage p o s s i b l e .  1.  Proscenium;  2.  Proscenium h e i g h t ; r e s t r i c t e d b y s t r u c t u r a l beam  3.  Stage height; canvas  4.  Forestage;  5.  Inner  6.  Wing s p a c e ; 6 f e e t s t a g e r i g h t , 4 f e e t s t a g e l e f t downstage, t a p e r i n g t o n o t h i n g upstage because o f shape o f b u i l d i n g  7.  G r i d ; 30 f e e t h i g h , w i t h 20 r o p e s e t s t i e d f l y g a l l e r i e s 14 f e e t h i g h on e i t h e r s i d e  8.  R e v o l v e ; hand p o w e r e d , p o r t a b l e , 24 f e e t i n d i a m e t e r , and c o s t $200 t o b u i l d , l a b o u r b e i n g v o l u n t e e r  9.  Upstage w a l l ; cyclorama  Stage  10.  Standard  24  f e e t w i d e , end  27  Projection  28  t o 11  inches, f l o o r ;  8 feet  stage;  s t a g i n g ; 32 feet  feet 6  wide  inches  f p l y covered  with  deep  feet  deep  covered  by  s c r e e n hung  a 27  foot  curved  o f f to  cloth  downstage  Masking  1.  Borders;  cloth  2.  Legs;  3.  Front curtain;  canvas covered  painted  flats  velour  Lighting 1.  Strand  2.  No  JTM  20  circuit  patch p a n e l — o n e  2 preset  i s being  board  installed  i n #2 F.O.H. a r e a  41  FACT SHEET  2—Continued  3.  2 F.O.H. p i p e s w i t h power l i n e s , one s m a l l p i p e on c e i l i n g o f house w i t h no power l i n e s  4.  3 upstage l i g h t p i p e s w i t h power l i n e s , flown  5.  2 follow  6.  No permanent catwalk  7.  House l i g h t s dimmable  8.  Instruments; a l l 500 Watt. 2 0 — S t r a n d PATT. 123 F r e s n e l s p o t l i g h t s ; 1 0 — S t r a n d PATT. 23 p r o f i l e s p o t l i g h t s ; 8 — S t r a n d PATT. 60 f l o o d l i g h t s  1.  2 tape decks, t u r n t a b l e ,  2.  Intercommunications from Stage Manager t o l i g h t c o n t r o l , sound c o n t r o l , b o t h f l y g a l l e r i e s  3.  M o n i t o r speakers from stage microphone t o d r e s s i n g room, sound both, f o y e r  spot p o s i t i o n s  i n #2 F.O.H.  Sound 6 channel m i x i n g board  L o a d i n g and Storage 1.  Loading i n t o scene shop through 8 f o o t high-by-7 wide door  2.  Scene shop t o stage through 10-by-10 f o o t c e n t e r e d i n upstage w a l l  3.  F l a t s t o r a g e on s t a g e and i n scene shop  4.  Prop s t o r a g e d o w n s t a i r s , i n shop  door,  Scene shop 1.  25-by-25 f e e t  2.  No t o o l s , b u t bench space, f l a t s t o r a g e space  foot  42 FACT SHEET 2 — C o n t i n u e d Dressing  rooms  1.  Main d r e s s i n g room over f o y e r , doubles as c l u b room  2.  8 m i r r o r s w i t h l i g h t s , one table  3.  One  4.  A u x i l i a r y d r e s s i n g room over r e a r o f house, 13 w i t h l i g h t s , 2 washrooms  toilet,  Greenroom, R e h e a r s a l 1.  one  s i n k , 20 f e e t of makeup  washroom o f f the main d r e s s i n g room mirrors  facilities  Greenroom under stage, doubles as r e h e a r s a l space and dance p r a c t i c e s p a c e — p r a c t i c e b a r s , 2 f u l l m i r r o r s , hardwood f l o o r  Costumes Area 1.  25-by-25 f e e t  2.  Fluorescent outlets  3.  Sewing t a b l e s  4.  R o l l i n g costume  5.  Large supply  l i g h t i n g , l a r g e number o f  electrical  racks  o f costumes  Properties 1.  No  s p e c i a l a r e a , minimal k i t c h e n  Auditorium 1.  191  seats  2.  5 f o o t t o t a l rake  3.  4 foot a i s l e at either side  facilities  43 FACT SHEET 2 — C o n t i n u e d 4.  Back row 38 f e e t from s t a g e , f r o n t row 3 f e e t 6 i n c h e s  F r o n t o f House S e r v i c e s 1.  Foyer, 500 square f e e t  2.  C o n c e s s i o n s t a n d / t i c k e t o f f i c e i n lobby  3.  Coat check under  4.  2 s m a l l washrooms  5.  Marquee 4-by-14 f e e t , covered  stairs  Performance O p e r a t i o n 1.  Stage Manager; stage l e f t  2.  C r o s s o v e r ; behind cyclorama  3.  Access t o lobby o r house; through scene shop and d o w n s t a i r s , o r through u p s t a i r s main d r e s s i n g room  4.  Sound and l i g h t c o n t r o l ; i n booth a t r e a r  5.  A c c e s s t o a c t i n g a r e a ; SL o n l y , o r one door t o f r o n t of house SL.  6.  Path f o r l o a d i n g i n ; through scene shop t o stage  Measurement i s from the f r o n t edge o f the f o r e s t a g e to the back o f the s e a t .  44  I l l u s t r a t i o n IV-5 Powerhouse T h e a t r e , c r o s s s e c t i o n  I l l u s t r a t i o n IV-6 Powerhouse T h e a t r e , lower l e v e l p l a n  V  46  CHAPTER V  Gymnasium  Box  General C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s The  gymnasium box  a multi-purpose recreational quets,  of  space.  This  the  term  "box"  for various  facilities,  quirements of  sports  banquets, the  uninterrupted  flat  floor  badminton,  smooth w a l l s , and  1  and  ban-  this  type  1)  2)  for sports  T h i s box  large dimensions i f i t i s to contain  least re-  an  s u c h as v o l l e y ceiling,  must a l s o be  a basketball court,  74-by-50 f e e t , w i t h  the  t o meet t h e  t o have a h i g h  a polished floor.  within  b u i l d i n g must h a v e  3)  i t i s necessary  dimensions of.which are  community  shape i s the  l a r g e s t space,  area,  of  reasons:  a rectangular  the  and  create  would i n d i c a t e , i t s r e c t a n g u l a r  to enclose  and  to  theatre.  characteristic  e x p e n s i v e way  ball  attempt  t o h o u s e many  i n a m i n i m a l way,  shape i s used  s c o p e o f community  i n an  s p o r t s , meetings, r e c e p t i o n s ,  primary a r c h i t e c t u r a l  s p a c e i s , as  nature.  and,  i s designed  I t i s intended  activities:  concerts, The  stage  at l e a s t  of  minimum  3 feet  of  2 clear end  space a l l around  w a l l but  sium.  the c o u r t .  The  sometimes i s s i t u a t e d a l o n g  I t i s usually high  i n order  stage one  to provide  i s usually in side of storage  the  the  gymna-  underneath  I n i t s t h e a t r i c a l mode t h i s a r e a becomes t h e a u d i t o r i u m . R a l p h F e r s t a y i n t e r v i e w , C e n t r e D i r e c t o r , West Vancouver Community C e n t r e , by t e l e p h o n e , August 28, 1974.  47  f o r c h a i r s and a t h l e t i c equipment, and to attempt the bad  s i g h t l i n e s caused by the f l a t  to a l l e v i a t e  floor.  Because t h e a t r i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s p l a y a s m a l l p a r t i n the o r i g i n a l p l a n n i n g of such b u i l d i n g s , the amount of t h e a t r i c a l equipment i s s m a l l . it  Lighting i s considered s u f f i c i e n t i f  i l l u m i n a t e s the stage.  existent.  The  f l y i n g system i s minimal or non-  The sound system i s designed f o r p u b l i c  address,  c o n s e q u e n t l y r e q u i r i n g o n l y c l o s e range microphones.  These  d i s a d v a n t a g e s , when a l l added t o g e t h e r i n the same b u i l d i n g , cause a s e r i o u s hindrance t o t h e a t r i c a l p r o d u c t i o n . One  p o s s i b l e advantage of t h i s type o f space i s t h a t i n  some c a s e s , due t o the width o f the gymnasium or t o the p l a c e ment o f the stage i n a s i d e w a l l , t h e r e i s s u f f i c i e n t room t o p r o v i d e good wing space.  T h i s i s t r u e o f the Arbutus Room i n  the West Vancouver Community Centre.  However, t h i s space i s  o f t e n used t o f a c i l i t a t e a wider proscenium. advantage i s thus negated, o f an o v e r l y wide a c t i n g Another  The  and the r e s u l t i s the  possible disadvantage  space.  advantage i s t h a t u s u a l l y these spaces are p a r t  o f a l a r g e r complex, e i t h e r a community c e n t r e o r a s c h o o l , and are p r o v i d e d w i t h a l a r g e number o f a u x i l i a r y spaces.  1  These  spaces can be used f o r d r e s s i n g rooms, s t o r a g e , and f r o n t o f house s e r v i c e s . a l t h o u g h they may  O f t e n gymnasiums have l a r g e d r e s s i n g rooms, be s h o r t on makeup spaces.  Often a  k i t c h e n i s a v a i l a b l e and p a r k i n g i s p r o v i d e d f o r .  E n g l i s h , t o E r i c Broom.  full  Sometimes,  48 i n s c h o o l s , complete shop f a c i l i t i e s  exist.  These b u i l d i n g s are almost i n v a r i a b l y owned and by a l o c a l government b o d y — e i t h e r municipality.  the s c h o o l board or  operated the  I f i t i s a c i v i c b u i l d i n g , then i t s o r i g i n a l  i n t e n t i o n i s f o r use as a r e c r e a t i o n a l space.  Community t h e a t r e  i s c o n s i d e r e d a r e c r e a t i o n a l a c t i v i t y , so the space i s a v a i l a b l e to the group, i f they can overcome the s c h e d u l i n g problems which o f t e n e x i s t .  1  The o f f i c i a l p o l i c y o f the B r i t i s h  Department o f E d u c a t i o n  Columbia  i s that school b u i l d i n g s should  be  2  a v a i l a b l e f o r p u b l i c r e c r e a t i o n a l purposes.  This p o l i c y i s  undermined by the f a c t t h a t s c h o o l a c t i v i t i e s have f i r s t  prior-  i t y , and a l s o t h a t the d e c i s i o n to a l l o w use o f f a c i l i t i e s i s l e f t to the s c h o o l board of each i n d i v i d u a l d i s t r i c t .  This  r e s u l t s i n v a r y i n g p o l i c i e s towards community t h e a t r e groups 3 throughout the p r o v i n c e .  For example, i n Quesnel, where t e a c h -  e r s a r e prominent members of the t h e a t r e group, t h e r e i s a minimum o f d i f f i c u l t y .  In other areas  t h i s i s not the  case.  High r e n t i s o f t e n the p r o h i b i t i n g f a c t o r , as i t i s i n Dawson Creek.  4  The main s c h e d u l i n g problem stems from the  theatrical  season f o l l o w e d by most groups, which c o n s i s t s o f f o u r p l a y s Ibid. Van  Bassen i n t e r v i e w .  English  interview.  Idem, to E r i c Broom.  spread  through the w i n t e r months." " 1  T h i s means t h a t the group  needs the space f o r s e v e r a l c o n s e c u t i v e  n i g h t s , t o cover  n i c a l setup, d r e s s r e h e a r s a l , and performances. o n l y happens a t w i d e l y  tech-  However, t h i s  spaced times throughout the y e a r .  most o t h e r r e c r e a t i o n a l groups schedule  Since  t h e i r use o f space f o r  the same n i g h t every week, a s c h e d u l i n g c o n f l i c t o c c u r s whenever the t h e a t r e group puts on a show.  For example, i f the  group r e q u i r e s Thursday through Saturday to run each  production,  the square dance c l u b meets every Thursday n i g h t , and c l u b p l a y s each F r i d a y , the l a t t e r two  the  bridge  c l u b s w i l l be turned  o f t h e i r space each week the t h e a t r e group p e r f o r m s . problem i s one  theatre  This -  o f the f a c t o r s which r e s t r i c t s groups u s i n g  type o f f a c i l i t y t o a v e r y s h o r t run f o r t h e i r shows. though t h i s problem may  be p a r t i a l l y circumvented by  out  this  Alholding  o n l y weekend performances, o t h e r problems a r i s e , such as  the  2  need to take down the s e t f o r the i n t e r v e n i n g time. Cypress Room, West Vancouver Community C e n t r e West Vancouver has a l a r g e community c e n t r e , w i t h many facilities:  a hockey r i n k , two  gymnasiums, a p l a y g r o u n d , a  l a p i d a r y and  s i l v e r s m i t h i n g room, an a r t room, and  number o f t e n e r a l a c t i v i t y rooms.  a large  3  T h i s whole complex i s c o n s t r u c t e d o f cement b l o c k s . Glue-laminated  wood beams p r o v i d e s t r u c t u r a l s u p p o r t  Idem, t o E r i c Broom. Ferstay  interview.  Ferstay interview; Personal  survey.  f o r the  50  roof.  The Arbutus Room i s a f u l l - s i z e gymnasium and t h e Cypress  Room, which i s used f o r p r o d u c t i o n by the West Vancouver T h e a t r e , i s a gymnasium o f about h a l f s i z e .  Little  However, t h e t h e a t -  r i c a l equipment i n t h e c e n t r e i s d i v i d e d between t h e s e two rooms. To p r e s e n t an adequate p i c t u r e o f t h e u s u a l f a c i l i t i e s o f a gymnasium box s t a g e , i t w i l l be necessary t o mention t h e Arbutus Room o f t e n i n t h e course o f t h i s  analysis.  T h i s complex i s c i t y owned, and o p e r a t e d by a f u l l  time  Centre D i r e c t o r , w i t h a s t a f f o f a s s i s t a n t s , s e c r e t a r i e s , and janitors.  I t provides a f u l l  slate of recreational  i n c l u d i n g a Teen Drama program.  activities,  The Cypress Room c a n be r e n t e d  by any o u t s i d e group (such as t h e West Vancouver L i t t l e for  Theatre)  $100 p e r n i g h t , o r $10 p e r n i g h t f o r an extended p e r i o d .  As a c o n c e s s i o n t o the t h e a t r e group, when weekly s c h e d u l i n g i s t a k i n g p l a c e f o r t h e w i n t e r season, Thursdays l e f t free.  and F r i d a y s a r e  Then the group i s asked t o s t a t e which weeks they  w i l l be p e r f o r m i n g , and the days they a r e not u s i n g a r e then scheduled.  Apart from t h i s advantage,  t h e t h e a t r e group i s  t r e a t e d l i k e any o t h e r group which r e n t s t h e f a c i l i t i e s . T h i s seems t o be a w e l l - r u n , w e l l - e q u i p p e d However, as f a r as t h e a t r e i s concerned, space i n which t o work.  1  complex.  i t only provides a  There i s l i t t l e equipment t o work w i t h ,  and t h e space i s n o t designed w i t h t h e a t r e i n mind.  Given  these  d i s a d v a n t a g e s , the West Vancouver L i t t l e T h e a t r e would be b e t t e r a d v i s e d t o work i n t h e O l d S t . Stephen's Church  Ferstay interview.  (see Chapter I I I ) .  51 Stage and Stage Machinery The proscenium o f t h i s room i s 24 f e e t wide and 12 f e e t high.  T h i s i s s m a l l a c c o r d i n g t o most s o u r c e s .  1  I t i s restrict-  ed f u r t h e r by a permanent border and by t h e f r o n t c u r t a i n , does n o t r e t r a c t f u l l y when open.  which  I do not f e e l , however, t h a t  a s l i g h t l y s m a l l e r proscenium i s a g r e a t d i s a d v a n t a g e t o community  theatre. The 20 f o o t depth o f the i n n e r stage i s a b a r e minimum,  and most sources would p r e f e r 24 f e e t .  Wing space i s o n l y 5  f e e t on e i t h e r s i d e ; t h i s i s l e s s than h a l f o f what i s recommended (Note t h a t the Arbutus Room, w i t h a 30 f o o t proscenium i n a 62 f o o t wide h a l l , p r o v i d e s 16 f e e t o f wing space on each T h i s i s a p p r o x i m a t e l y the amount needed  side.  f o r good s c e n e r y s h i f t i n g .  The f o r e s t a g e i s j u s t wide enough t o a l l o w f o r s i d e a c c e s s s t e p s , which add some v e r s a t i l i t y t o the s t a g e .  A deeper  forestage  would be d e s t r u c t i v e t o t h e i n t i m a c y on which community t h e a t r e 3 thrives. There i s no f l y i n g system i n t h e Cypress Room, and t h e " g r i d s u b s t i t u t e " i n the Arbutus room (see I l l u s t r a t i o n V - l ) 4 i s a l s o minimal, as w e l l as b e i n g too low f o r a n y t h i n g except  C o r r y , p. 3; B u r r i s - M e y e r , and C o l e , p. 71; W i l c o x interview. C o r r y , p. 3; B e l l , M a r s h a l l , and Southern, p. 36; P r a t t interview. 'English i n t e r v i e w . B e l l , M a r s h a l l , and Southern, p. 52.  b a s i c masking." " 1  Windows i n t h e stage w a l l s make a b l a c k o u t  impossible.  Lack o f a f l y i n g system causes a c e r t a i n d i s a d v a n t a g e i n the hanging o f masking l e g s , b u t t h i s problem has been s o l v e d i n t h i s b u i l d i n g by c o n s t r u c t i o n o f c l o t h covered  flats.  These  do not look q u i t e t h e same as drapes, b u t w i t h f u l l n e s s sewn i n d u r i n g c o n s t r u c t i o n , they a r e c o n s i d e r a b l y b e t t e r t h a n p a i n t e d flats.  The t r a v e l l e r c u r t a i n upstage p r o v i d e s a c r o s s o v e r and  a background t o s u b s t i t u t e f o r a cyclorama o r a p l a s t e r e d upstage w a l l . L i g h t i n g and sound a r e areas where t h i s b u i l d i n g r e v e a l s i t s l a c k o f equipment.  There a r e o n l y two l i g h t i n g p i p e s ,  no e l e c t r i c c a b l e s t o them. all  The t h e a t r e group must  t h e i r own l i g h t i n g and sound equipment.  provide  Because o f t h e  shape and t e x t u r e o f the w a l l s , f l o o r and c e i l i n g ,  acoustics  are n o t good, i n s p i t e o f t h e r e l a t i v e l y s m a l l a r e a The  stage  with  f l o o r i s made o f v a r n i s h e d hardwood.  enclosed. This  m a t e r i a l i s n o t good f o r any t h e a t r i c a l s e t s which need t o be screwed t o t h e f l o o r , o r f o r dancing, too s l i p p e r y . Auditorium The  f o r which t h e v a r n i s h i s  2  and S i g h t l i n e s stage  i n the Cypress Room i s 4 f e e t h i g h .  This i s  C o r r y , p. 4. Roderick Ham, ed., Theatre P l a n n i n g , P r e s s , London, 1972, p. 70.  the A r c h i t e c t u r a l  53 h i g h e r than any o f my sources recommend by a t l e a s t 4 i n c h e s . Any s u p p o s i t i o n t h a t a f l a t a u d i t o r i u m f l o o r may be compensated f o r by b u i l d i n g a very h i g h s t a g e , up to 4 f e e t 6 i n c h e s and more, i s i l l - f o u n d e d . The remoteness o f t h e perched-up p l a y e r s i s u n s a t i s f a c t o r y , and t h e acuteness o f t h e angle s e r i o u s l y t i r e s the neck-muscles o f nearer s p e c t a t o r s ^ Too h i g h a stage i s p o s s i b l y worse than too low. The windows a l o n g t h e w a l l s , even though h i g h up and s m a l l , p r e v e n t a complete  b l a c k o u t o f the house.  The s t a c k i n g  c h a i r s a r e not as c o m f o r t a b l e as c o u l d be d e s i r e d . P r o d u c t i o n S e r v i c e s and O p e r a t i o n Loading i n t o the Cypress Room i s through t h e a u d i t o r i u m s i d e doors, which a r e j u s t above s t r e e t l e v e l , and up over t h e f r o n t o f the stage.  This r e s t r i c t s loading to the s i z e of object  t h a t can be brought  through a 5-by-7 f o o t door, and t o t h e weight  o f o b j e c t t h a t can be r a i s e d t o t h e 4 f o o t stage h e i g h t .  The  stage door i s r e s t r i c t e d because i t i s up a f l i g h t o f s t a i r s 3 the h a l l w a y , which i s n o t good.  from  The l a r g e door i n t h e c e n t r e  o f t h e upstage w a l l o f t h e Arbutus Room i s near t r u c k deck height, but i t s p o s i t i o n destroys the p o s s i b i l i t y o f a p l a s t e r back w a l l o r a permanent cyclorama. basement o f the Arbutus  Both s t o r a g e spaces, t h e  Room and the s t o r a g e room b e h i n d t h e  Cypress Room, a r e hampered by s m a l l access d o o r s .  B u r r i s - M e y e r and C o l e , p. 69; Corryv P- 3. B e l l , M a r s h a l l , and Southern, p. 26. B u r r i s - M e y e r and C o l e , p. 158.  54  There i s no equipment f o r the o p e r a t i o n o f a production.  theatrical  There i s no communications system, and no p l a c e  f o r l i g h t i n g and sound o p e r a t o r s except i n the a l r e a d y  minimal  wing space.  Work l i g h t switches and house l i g h t s w i t c h e s  are  stage r i g h t ,  but the o n l y stage access door i s stage l e f t .  This  l e a v e s the stage manager a c h o i c e of p o s i t i o n s , n e i t h e r of them ideal.  The o n l y advantage I can f i n d i s easy access t o both  lobby and house from  backstage.  Aesthetics The  s i z e and shape o f t h i s gymnasium do not l e n d  themselves  to the atmosphere which one would a s s o c i a t e w i t h t h e a t r e . l a r g e , b a r e , s u r f a c e s o f the w a l l s a r e not r e s t f u l t o the and would not a s s i s t the s t a g e .  i n f o c u s i n g the audience's  Of the b u i l d i n g s t h a t I surveyed,  The  eye,  attention  on  I found t h a t gen-  e r a l l y those d e c o r a t e d i n the warmer, d a r k e r c o l o r s were most conducive t o good atmosphere. o f decor e x p e r i e n c e d i n t h i s  I l l u s t r a t i o n V-2  shows t h e type  building.  Summary T h i s b u i l d i n g i s not a good proscenium  theatre.  w i t h a l a r g e expenditure on equipment, i t would s t i l l b a s i c d e s i g n problems which would r e n d e r t h e a t r i c a l d i f f i c u l t at best.  While proscenium  f o r the s h i f t i n g and s t o r a g e o f s c e n e r y .  have  production  and a c t i n g a r e a  a r e adequate o r s l i g h t l y s m a l l , t h e r e i s almost no  Even  dimensions  provision  Both wing space  and  55  upstage space are so s m a l l as to a l l o w l i t t l e more than masking of  the stage w a l l s .  Lack o f a f l y i n g system means t h a t t h e r e  i s almost no space i n any d i r e c t i o n to move scenery away from the audience  view.  S i g h t l i n e s i n the a u d i t o r i u m are bad because the i s f l a t and the stage i s too h i g h . not comfortable  The  floor  chairs provided are  and the decor l e a v e s much t o be d e s i r e d .  Be-  cause o f the shape o f the gymnasium a r e a , a c o u s t i c s a r e a l s o bad. P r o d u c t i o n s e r v i c e s and a c t o r spaces must be served by few rooms a d j o i n i n g the Cypress o r equipped  Room, n o i e o f which a r e  a  designed  to be scenery c o n s t r u c t i o n o r s t o r a g e a r e a s , d r e s s i n g  o r makeup rooms, o r r e h e a r s a l spaces. The b u i l d i n g i s w e l l s u p p l i e d w i t h f r o n t o f house s e r v i c e s . Washroom f a c i l i t i e s ,  lobby and f o y e r space, c o a t check, k i t c h e n ,  and t i c k e t o f f i c e a l l e x i s t . The Cypress equipment.  Room i s e s p e c i a l l y d e f i c i e n t i n t h e a t r i c a l  There i s no l i g h t i n g system, no sound system, no  communications system, and no f l y i n g system. of ing  The e x t r a expense  p r o v i d i n g necessary equipment must be c o n s i d e r e d when budgetf o r a production i n this The  building.  s c h e d u l i n g procedure  which a l l o w s the community t h e a t r e  group p r i o r i t y i s an advantage, and s h o u l d be r e p e a t e d i n o t h e r p a r t s o f the p r o v i n c e . revenue,  1  Because t h i s p o l i c y can c o s t the owner  a p o s i t i v e a t t i t u d e towards t h e a t r e i s r e q u i r e d on  Ferstay interview.  56  the  p a r t o f t h e o p e r a t o r o f such spaces.  the  case i n West Vancouver,  T h i s seems t o be  and i n t h i s way t h e s c h e d u l i n g  problems i n h e r e n t i n the community c e n t r e s i t u a t i o n have been s o l v e d by t h i s  group.  T h i s space c o u l d a l s o be improved by t h e i n s t a l l a t i o n of t h e a t r i c a l equipment,  but the s t r u c t u r a l inadequacies,  w h i c h a r e t h e main problems o f the b u i l d i n g , s t i l l r e m a i n .  This  space, i n i t s p r e s e n t form, p l a y s an i m p o r t a n t r o l e i n t h e nontheatrical  f u n c t i o n s o f t h e community c e n t r e .  Therefore, the  C y p r e s s room i s n o t a c a n d i d a t e f o r c o n v e r s i o n .  I n the l i g h t  o f t h i s problem, t h e West Vancouver L i t t l e T h e a t r e group  would  perhaps be b e t t e r a d v i s e d t o change t h e i r p r o d u c t i o n mode t o s u i t t h e space, o r t o f i n d a n o t h e r space  1  i n w h i c h t o work.  Ibid  Illustration V - l .  A r b u t u s Room, g r i d s u b s t i t u t e  system  57  58  FACT SHEET 3 Cypress Room, West Vancouver Community C e n t r e Style 1. Proscenium Stage 1.  Proscenium; 23 f e e t wide, 12 f e e t h i g h , b u t l i m i t e d by permanent drapes t o 19-by-10 f e e t  2.  F o r e s t a g e depth; 4 f e e t  3.  Inner stage depth; 20 f e e t  4.  Stage h e i g h t ; 4 f e e t  5.  Stage m a t e r i a l ; v a r n i s h e d hardwood, no t r a p s , no screws a l l o w e d  6.  Wing space; 5 f e e t each s i d e . Arbutus Room has 16 f e e t each s i d e on a 30 f o o t proscenium  7.  C e i l i n g ; 20 f e e t h i g h , g l u e - l a m i n a t e d beams, no fly-, system. Arbutus Room has " g r i d s u b s t i t u t e " system, w i t h p u l l e y s t i e d t o beams, rope s e t s  8.  Back w a l l o f s t a g e ; cement, covered by drape  9.  Only o b s t r u c t i o n backstage i s t h e chimney i n upstage l e f t corner  Standard Masking 1.  Front curtain material; rep, t r a v e l l e r a t rear also rep  2.  Legs; f l a t s w i t h c l o t h c o v e r i n g  3.  B o r d e r s ; c l o t h , dead hung t o c e i l i n g  Lighting 1.  1 F.O.H. p i p e on c e i l i n g beam w i t h power c a b l e  2.  1 upstage l i g h t p i p e , no power c a b l e  1  B e l l , M a r s h a l l , and Southern, p. 5 2 .  59 FACT SHEET  3—Continued  3.  F o l l o w spot p o s i t i o n s ;  none  4.  Trees; 2 a v a i l a b l e  5.  No dimmers, no p a t c h p a n e l , 7 c i r c u i t s  6.  House; not dimable  7.  Instruments; none. Arbutus Room has 8 — 5 0 0 Watt F r e s n e l l s p o t l i g h t s , 2 — 5 0 0 Watt e l i p s o i d a l r e f l e c t o r spotlights-, 5—-R40 f l o o d l i g h t s  1.  No equipment. Arbutus Room has 2 a m p l i f i e r s , 5 microphones, 4 microphone o u t l e t s downstage c e n t r e , 1 l a r g e speaker system "  Sound  Loading and Storage 1.  Loading; through a u d i t o r i u m doors, 5 f e e t wide-by7 feet high  2.  Arbutus Room has 10 f o o t 6 i n c h e s wide-by-7 f o o t h i g h door upstage c e n t r e , a t 5 f e e t above ground outside. No p l a t f o r m o r c o v e r o v e r l o a d i n g a r e a , but paved road  3.  Storage area; 168 square f o o t room, 10 f e e t h i g h  4.  Arbutus Room has basement under s t a g e , 30 f e e t square, 10 f e e t deep; entrance through t r a p door, upstage r i g h t  D r e s s i n g Rooms 1.  One room 25 feet-by-20 f e e t a c r o s s h a l l from s t a g e , maple room  2.  One s i n k , one c l o s e t  3.  Other rooms i n b u i l d i n g , a l s o many t o i l e t s w i t h but none a d j a c e n t t o stage  4.  Mirrors,  makeup l i g h t s ;  none  sinks,  FACT SHEET Greenroom, R e h e a r s a l  3—Continued  facilities  None, b u t s p a c e  available  None, but space  available  1.  None, but space  available  2.  F u l l kitchen  1.  Costumes 1.  Properties  Scene  facilities  shop 1.  None  Auditorium 1.  Dimensions;  2.  S e a t i n g ; a b o u t 200 t e m p o r a r y made o f wood a n d m e t a l  3.  Windows;  F r o n t o f House  50 f e e t  long,  35 f e e t w i d e , seats,  flat  floor  stacking  chairs  but not a v a i l a b l e — m u s t  s e t up  c a n n o t be b l a c k e d o u t  Facilities  1.  L o b b y ; 12 f e e t - b y - 5 0  2.  F o y e r ; 25 f e e t  3.  Coat check;  4.  Large t i c k e t o f f i c e , a temporary t a b l e  5.  A r t room n e a r b y  feet  square  room  available  f o r displays  Performance O p e r a t i o n 1.  S t a g e manager; e i t h e r  2.  Work l i g h t  side  switches; stage r i g h t  61 FACT SHEET  3—Continued  3.  C r o s s o v e r ; behind r e a r  curtain  4.  Access t o s t a g e ; one door, c e n t r e stage l e f t up s t a i r s from h a l l w a y  5.  Access t o lobby and house;  6.  Communication system, cue l i g h t s , l i g h t i n g ; none  wall,  through h a l l w a y  62 I l l u s t r a t i o n V-4  Cypress  Room  200  Up  Storage Square F e e t  M a p l e Room 25' X 20'  Up Stage,  18' X 35'  ^ Up  Up  1  T 1 Washroom  Lobby  Up  Office Down t o Foyer Cypress .50*  Room  X 35' Washroom Lobby  Coat  Kitchen  Check  (Down t o Art Room __5 T  i  1" = 10'  63  CHAPTER VI Multi-purpose General  Auditoriums  Characteristics  Many communities have b u i l t a u d i t o r i u m f a c i l i t i e s t o meet a wide spectrum  o f r e c r e a t i o n a l needs.  a r e i n t e n d e d t o be used  f o r meetings,  l e c t u r e s , r e c i t a l s , speeches,  These b u i l d i n g s  r a l l i e s , presentations,  and t h e a t r e .  These f u n c t i o n s  a l l have s i m i l a r b a s i c needs i n terms o f the b u i l d i n g occupy:  1) s s a t i n g o f some s o r t ,  i b l e t o the s e a t e d audience, on t h a t performance a r e a .  and  hoping  they  2) a performance area 3) a focus o f the  vis-  audience  Because o f t h i s s i m i l a r i t y , the m u l t i -  purpose a u d i t o r i u m w i l l have c e r t a i n f e a t u r e s i n common w i t h b u i l d i n g designed e x c l u s i v e l y f o r t h e a t r i c a l p r o d u c t i o n . both cases the b a s i c needs a r e answered by a raked w i t h permanent s e a t i n g f a c i n g a r a i s e d s t a g e .  the  In  auditorium  However, because  o f the d i f f e r e n c e i n the nature o f the t h e a t r i c a l p r o d u c t i o n from t h a t o f the o t h e r f u n c t i o n s mentioned above, the i t y between the two  similar-  types ends a t t h i s b a s i c l e v e l .  The a c c e n t i n the t h e a t r i c a l show i s on the show i t s e l f . U s u a l l y a l a r g e number of a c t o r s a r e i n v o l v e d , w i t h costumes, p r o p e r t i e s , and stage crew.  scenery,  Because o f t h i s , i n a  b u i l d i n g designed f o r t h e a t r e , a g r e a t e r a c c e n t i s p l a c e d on the d e s i g n of the stage a r e a .  Most o f the f u n c t i o n s the m u l t i -  purpose a u d i t o r i u m serves are more concerned  w i t h the  audience,  with comparatively l i t t l e p h y s i c a l preparation r e q u i r e d f o r those i n v o l v e d i n what c o u l d l o o s e l y be c a l l e d the performance.  64 In the m u l t i - p u r p o s e  a u d i t o r i u m , the accent i n d e s i g n i s on  the s e a t i n g a r e a , t o t h e d e t r i m e n t o f the stage a r e a , and  con-  s e q u e n t l y on the a b i l i t y o f the b u i l d i n g t o house t h e a t r i c a l productions.  The  seating capacity i s usually quite large,  (e.g., the Kelowna Community Theatre; 863 Community Centre; Theatre;  718  1,070  s e a t s , the Vernon  s e a t s , the North Vancouver C e n t e n n i a l  seats) as i s the proscenium  (Kelowna; 48  Vernon; 50 f e e t , North Vancouver; 36 f e e t ) . expected  l a r g e audiences,  such as l o b b y space, and washrooms.  1  feet,  Because o f the  f r o n t o f house s e r v i c e s a r e p r o v i d e d ,  t i c k e t o f f i c e , c o a t check, c o n c e s s i o n s ,  Stage space i s t y p i c a l l y s h o r t o f f l y i n g  ment, wing space,  and a u x i l i a r y rooms.  F o r example, the Vernon  Community Centre has no wing space a t a l l , i n i t s f l y i n g system.  equip-  and o n l y 6 rope s e t s  These b u i l d i n g s u s u a l l y have a p o l i s h e d  hardwood stage f l o o r , and do not a l l o w stage screws o r  nails  to be d r i v e n i n . The r e a s o n these b u i l d i n g s a r e designed  t o accommodate  so many a c t i v i t i e s i s t h a t they a r e o f t e n b u i l t by and e d u c a t i o n a l a u t h o r i t i e s .  Because they a r e owned and  ated by the same a u t h o r i t i e s as the gymnasium box, tended  f o r somewhat the same purposes,  problems a r i s e  (see Chapter  V, p. 4 7 f ) .  h i g h e r than f o r the gymnasium box, the p r o v i n c e .  municipal oper-  and a r e i n -  the same s c h e d u l i n g R e n t a l s a r e even  a l t h o u g h they v a r y  throughout  In Dawson Creek, the h i g h s c h o o l has a very  good m u l t i - p u r p o s e  Personal  a u d i t o r i u m , but the l o c a l t h e a t r e group  surveys.  65 has t r o u b l e o b t a i n i n g i t f o r performances, very h i g h .  and f i n d s the r e n t  1  Kelowna Community Theatre, Kelowna T h i s b u i l d i n g was b u i l t i n 1962 as a combined p r o j e c t o f the l o c a l t h e a t r e group and the c i v i c c o u n c i l . t i o n p r o v i d e d d r e s s i n g rooms and s t o r a g e space.  I n 1964 an a d d i I t i s a large  a u d i t o r i u m by community t h e a t r e s t a n d a r d s , w i t h "raked  floor,  good s i g h t l i n e s , e x c e l l e n t a c o u s t i c s , and t h e n e c e s s a r y min2 imum o f d r e s s i n g rooms and r e h e a r s a l space". community a c t i v i t i e s , i n g rock  I t houses many  from community t h e a t r e one-acts t o v i s i t -  singers.  A l t h o u g h i t works w e l l f o r m u s i c a l t h e a t r e and a C h r i s t mas pantomime, t h i s b u i l d i n g i s n o t r e a l l y s u i t e d f o r normal community t h e a t r e p r o d u c t i o n s , due t o i t s s i z e and l a c k o f equipment. Stage and Stage  Machinery  The proscenium  i n t h i s a u d i t o r i u m i s 48 f e e t wide.  T h i s i s 8 f e e t more than B u r r i s - M e y e r and C o l e c o n s i d e r a r e a sonable maximum, and they a r e speaking o f p r o f e s s i o n a l t h e a t r e . C o r r y g i v e s a maximum o f 28 f e e t , w h i l e Mr. W i l c o x c o n s i d e r s 3  over 32 f e e t t o o l a r g e f o r r e g u l a r drama.  E n g l i s h , t o E r i c Broom. " B l u e p r i n t f o r a Community Theatre"., P e r f o r m i n g A r t s i n Canada V o l . 6 No. 1, p. 28f. B u r r i s - M e y e r and C o l e , p. 71; C o r r y , p. 2; Wilcox interview.  The  35 f o o t i n n e r stage depth i s more than  a c c o r d i n g t o a l l my sources.  sufficient,  The u s u a l minimum g i v e n i s 24 f e e t ,  w i t h 20 f e e t the a b s o l u t e lower l i m i t .  1  T h i s depth makes up  f o r the l a c k o f wing space t o some degree, but does n o t e l i m i n a t e the problem.  Wing space i s 16 f e e t on each s i d e .  This  total  o f 32 f e e t i s much l e s s than the w i d t h o f the proscenium. comfortable  scene s h i f t i n g , the w i d t h o f the proscenium p l u s 2  a few f e e t f o r masking i s t h e t o t a l The  recommended.  f o r e s t a g e i s very deep; an a c t o r s t a n d i n g on the  proscenium l i n e i s 13 f e e t from the n e a r e s t s p e c t a t o r . 3 makes a c t o r - a u d i e n c e The scenium.  i n t i m a c y almost  This  impossible.  g r i d h e i g h t i s 39 f e e t , o n l y twice t h a t o f the p r o However, i f the proscenium were masked down t o a  workable h e i g h t o f about 12 f e e t  4  t h e g r i d h e i g h t would then be  over the amount B e l l e t a l . r e q u i r e , which i s 3 times height.  For  the proscenium  The f l y i n g system, which i s what B e l l e t a l . c a l l  s u b s t i t u t e " i s a h a l f measure which i s r e s t r i c t i n g . ^  "grid  The winches  used t o supplement the rope s e t s by h a n d l i n g t h e l i g h t i n g  pipes  B u r r i s - M e y e r and C o l e , p. 71; B e l l , M a r s h a l l , and Southern, p. 36; C o r r y , p. 3; Wilcox i n t e r v i e w . 2  B e l l , M a r s h a l l , and Southern, p. 36; C o r r y , p. 3; P r a t t interview.  3 English interview. 4  C o r r y , p. 3.  g  B e l l , M a r s h a l l , and Southern, p. 47. ^ I b i d , p. 52.  are some h e l p , but a g a i n are a h a l f measure.  S i n c e the width  of the stage means heavy scenery which makes rope s e t s awkward, a complete The  change t o counterweights  i s indicated  here.  1  l i g h t i n g system i s much more e l a b o r a t e than the  min-  2  imum r e q u i r e d t o l i g h t a simple show,  but thxs does not mean  t h a t i t i s s u f f i c i e n t t o l i g h t a stage a r e a o f almost 5,000 square mer  feet.  The patch p a n e l has been w i r e d so t h a t each dim-  connects t o o n l y two o u t l e t s i n s t e a d o f f o u r , h a l v i n g t h e  number o f instruments which can be connected t o each  circuit.  T h i s i s t o guard a g a i n s t i n e x p e r i e n c e d t e c h n i c i a n s o v e r l o a d i n g circuits.  Another  problem, f o r which t h e r e seems no  i s d i f f i c u l t access t o the F.O.H. l i g h t i n g The sound system  .  solution,  .  positions.  i s q u i t e workable f o r p u b l i c  3  address,  but i s not o f the type u s e f u l f o r a m p l i f y i n g a c t o r s on s t a g e . The a c o u s t i c s i n t h i s a u d i t o r i u m a r e s u r p r i s i n g l y good, con4 sidermg  i t s size.  The stage f l o o r i s c o n s t r u c t e d o f softwood,  and  stage  screws may  be used i f necessary, a l t h o u g h the p r a c t i c e i s d i s -  couraged.  Most of my  i a l , but Roderick Ham  sources c o n s i d e r softwood  the b e s t mater-  p o i n t s out the s u p e r i o r wear r e s i s t a n c e  Pratt interview. P r a t t i n t e r v i e w ; Young i n t e r v i e w . L l o y d Hooper i n t e r v i e w , Kelowna Community T h e a t r e , August 17, 1974. English interview.  68 o f hardwood. The  1  standard masking i n t h i s a u d i t o r i u m i s good.  corduroy m a t e r i a l o f the l e g s i s s u f f i c i e n t l y l i g h t  The  absorbing,  and the hanging p o s i t i o n s a l l o w complete masking f o r s i g h t l i n e s from a l l p a r t s o f the Auditorium  and  auditorium.  Sightlines  The  stage h e i g h t , 3 f e e t 4 i n c h e s , i s s l i g h t l y lower . . 2 than the minimum 3 f e e t 6 i n c h e s recommended. This height, combined w i t h a minimal rake o f a u d i t o r i u m ,  (11 f e e t i n 26 rows  o f seats) c r e a t e s poor v i s i b i l i t y i n the r e a r h a l f o f the house. Adding t o t h i s problem i s the extreme depth o f the  auditorium.  I t i s 87 f e e t from the l a s t row o f s e a t s t o the c u r t a i n Burris-Meyer  and C o l e p r e f e r a 50 f o o t depth o f house,  say 75 f e e t i s maximum.  and  They are c o n s i d e r i n g p r o f e s s i o n a l t h e -  a t r e s , w i t h presumably b e t t e r designed with trained v o i c e s .  line.  a c o u s t i c s and  actors  " D e t a i l s o f a c t o r s ' makeup and  facial  e x p r e s s i o n are not p l a i n l y r e c o g n i z a b l e a t d i s t a n c e s o f more 4 than 50 f e e t from the s t a g e " . l a s t row  Thus an audience member i n the  o f the Kelowna Community Theatre c o u l d n e i t h e r hear  nor see the performance o f even a good p r o f e s s i o n a l a c t o r on the  stage.  Ham,  p.  70.  C o r r y , p. 3; B u r r i s - M e y e r  and C o l e , p.  Burris-Meyer  70f.  I b i d , p.  67.  and C o l e , p.  70.  69 Another v i s u a l problem i s due orchestra p i t floor. Burris-Meyer  to the h e i g h t of  By c a l c u l a t i o n s based on the methods o f  and C o l e , i n t h i s a u d i t o r i u m a conductor  cause an o b s t r u c t i o n of audience view u n l e s s he was feet  tall.  the  would  under 5  1  S e a t i n g i s permanent. with f a b r i c upholstery.  C h a i r s are c o n s t r u c t e d o f m e t a l  Rows a r e 34 inches a p a r t .  This i s  equal to the minimum d i s t a n c e recommended by B u r r i s - M e y e r  and  Cole. F r o n t o f House S e r v i c e s Lobby space i s much s m a l l e r than the amount r e q u i r e d for  an a u d i t o r i u m of such l a r g e c a p a c i t y .  from B u r r i s - M e y e r  By c a l c u l a t i o n s  and C o l e , t h i s b u i l d i n g should have a  com3  b i n e d lobby, The  f o y e r , and  e x i s t i n g 1,040  lounge space o f 8,630 square f e e t .  square f e e t i s supplemented i n summer by  outdoor lawn space, but i n w i n t e r inside. box at  There are no permanent c o n c e s s i o n s ,  office facilities,  patrons  t i c k e t taking, or  and a l l these a c t i v i t i e s must take  temporary t a b l e s , which congest The  The  f r e e z i n g weather keeps  place  the s m a l l lobby space f u r t h e r . 4  c e n t r a l l o c a t i o n o f t h i s b u i l d i n g i s v e r y good.  community c e n t r e complex o f which i t i s a p a r t p r o v i d e s " I b i d , p. 144. 2 Burris-Meyer and C o l e , p. 3 I b i d , p. 53. 4 English interview.  an  59.  70  s u f f i c i e n t parking  nearby.  A c t o r Spaces B u r r i s - M e y e r and C o l e recommend 16 square f e e t o f d r e s s i n g room space per a c t o r .  A t t h i s r a t e , the Kelowna Community  Theatre can accommodate a c a s t o f 22.  T o i l e t s must be one  every 6 persons, and t h i s l i m i t s c o m f o r t a b l e c a s t s i z e t o  to 24.  The d i v i s i o n o f d r e s s i n g rooms by removable p a r t i t i o n s seems to be a good i d e a .  T h i s compares f a v o r a b l y t o many b u i l d i n g s  surveyed which had o n l y a s i n g l e room f o r a l l a c t o r s t o d r e s s in. Access t o the stage i s bad by B u r r i s - M e y e r and  Cole's  s t a n d a r d s , as they would p r e f e r a 5 f o o t wide a c c e s s w i t h no s t a i r s .  In t h i s b u i l d i n g a c t o r s must decend a s t a i r w a y  3 f e e t wide. There i s a room b e s i d e the d r e s s i n g rooms which can  be  used as a green room, but i t i s much s m a l l e r than t h e minimum 3 300 square f e e t r e q u i r e d . P r o d u c t i o n S e r v i c e s and The  Operation  l a c k o f scene shop i s a d i s t i n c t d i s a d v a n t a g e ,  as  i s the l a c k o f costumes and p r o p e r t i e s a r e a s . There i s o n l y one room t h a t must be s i t u a t e d immediately a d j a c e n t t o the stage and a t stage l e v e l — t h e p r o p e r t y room, b e i n g as i t i s the o n l y stage o f f i c e which i s  B u r r i s - M e y e r and C o l e , p. 2  I b i d , p.  158.  3  I b i d , p.  158.  156f.  1  71 c o n t i n u a l l y i n use d u r i n g the performance. I t s minimum dimensions may be s e t a t 12 f t . square. I t must cont a i n i t s own gas or e l e c t r i c pc-int, r u n n i n g water and a s i n k , and ample s h e l f space. Not one space surveyed had a p r o p e r t i e s room which f u l f i l l e d these s p e c i f i c a t i o n s , and the Kelowna Community T h e a t r e  was  no e x c e p t i o n . I t would be i m p o s s i b l e t o put a l l the f a c i l i t i e s p r o v i d e d i n t o the undesignated rooms a v a i l a b l e .  not  This building  seems v e r y p o o r l y equipped w i t h p r o d u c t i o n s e r v i c e s . Storage f a c i l i t i e s  i n t h i s b u i l d i n g seem t o have been  designed w i t h o t h e r than t h e a t r i c a l purposes  i n mind.  A certain  amount o f s t o r a g e i s a v a i l a b l e , but i t i s r e s t r i c t e d t o the s i z e o f o b j e c t t h a t can pass through the access door, feet.  7-by—?  T h i s i s f i n e f o r c h a i r s and t a b l e s , but would be a g r e a t  h i n d r a n c e t o l a r g e f l a t s or s e t p i e c e s . n o t l a r g e , o n l y 7 f e e t wide. 8-by-12 f e e t .  Loading doors are a l s o  B u r r i s - M e y e r and Cole recommend  The stage i s a t ground l e v e l , and the l o a d i n g 3  area i s not covered or paved, both o f which a r e d i s a d v a n t a g e s . When o p e r a t i n g a show, the stage manager stands stage and has v i s u a l c o n t r o l o f one e n t r a n c e and the f l y i n g operator.  system  The patch p a n e l i s b e s i d e him, which i s handy i n  case o f emergencies,  but takes up wing space.  B e l l , M a r s h a l l , and Southern, p. B u r r i s - M e y e r and C o l e , p.  The  lighting  87.  164.  B e l l , M a r s h a l l , and Southern, p. 24; B u r r i s - M e y e r C o l e , p. 164; P r a t t i n t e r v i e w .  and  right,  72  o p e r a t o r may be e i t h e r i n the booth a t t h e r e a r o f t h e house, or  b e s i d e t h e stage manager, because t h e l i g h t i n g c o n s o l e i s  portable.  T h i s i s an advantage,  The intercommunication speakers  system  because i t adds  versatility.  i s u s e f u l , as a r e t h e monitor  i n the d r e s s i n g rooms and backstage.  Access t o the  stage i s good, because o f the two doors i n t h e ends o f t h e upstage w a l l , and t h e double proscenium  doors.  Crossover  space  i s a v a i l a b l e , e i t h e r behind the s e t , behind t h e back w a l l , o r through t h e u p s t a i r s d r e s s i n g room a r e a .  Access t o house o r  lobby must be a c h i e v e d by l e a v i n g t h e b u i l d i n g and w a l k i n g to  t h e f r o n t , which i s a d i s a d v a n t a g e .  around  1  Aesthetics T h i s b u i l d i n g i s s i t u a t e d near a l a k e , and t h e view from the lobby i s q u i t e p l e a s a n t .  The i n t e r i o r , a l t h o u g h mostly  cement b l o c k , i s d e c o r a t e d i n browns and oranges,  and g i v e s 2  a " d e l i g h t f u l atmosphere as w e l l as a warm a c o u s t i c s sense." However t h e g r e a t s i z e o f t h e a u d i t o r i u m and proscenium  do n o t  a l l o w f o r any sense o f i n t i m a c y w i t h t h e p e r f o r m e r s , and must be v e r y i n t i m i d a t i n g t o t h e amateur a c t o r . Summary T h i s a u d i t o r i u m i s j u s t t o o b i g f o r t h e average t h e a t r e group. ing  I n e x p e r i e n c e d a c t o r s w i l l have d i f f i c u l t y  i n such a l a r g e a u d i t o r i u m .  community project-  T e c h n i c i a n s w i l l have d i f f i c u l t y  Pratt interview. " B l u e p r i n t f o r a Community T h e a t r e " .  73 w i t h such a l a r g e stage, and the c o s t o f f i l l i n g such a stage w i t h scenery w i l l  p r o b a b l y be too h i g h .  The proscenium  i s too wide by a l l p r a c t i c a l  and i s a l s o p o o r l y p r o p o r t i o n e d .  standards,  The good depth o f stage i s  c o u n t e r b a l a n c e d by a d e f i c i e n c y o f wing space and f l y tower h e i g h t , making scenery s h i f t i n g d i f f i c u l t .  The f o r e s t a g e i s  o v e r l y deep. The  stage i s too low and the a u d i t o r i u m rake too g r a d u a l  to  p r o v i d e good s i g h t l i n e s .  of  the house, means t h a t v i s i b i l i t y  orium i s poor.  Otherwise  T h i s f a c t o r , combined w i t h the  depth  from the r e a r o f the a u d i t -  the a u d i t o r i u m i s f a i r l y  comfortable  and p l e a s a n t , and the good a c o u s t i c s compensate somewhat f o r i t s large size.  The lobby i s much l e s s e n j o y a b l e .  t h e t i c a l l y p l e a s i n g but i s much too s m a l l .  I t i s aes-  The washrooms a r e  the o n l y f r o n t o f house s e r v i c e s which are adequate. The  1964  a d d i t i o n t o the b u i l d i n g has p r o v i d e d adequate  d r e s s i n g rooms and some s t o r a g e space, but o t h e r f a c i l i t i e s lacking. or  are  There i s no scene shop, p r o p e r t i e s a r e a , costumes a r e a ,  r e h e a r s a l space. T h i s b u i l d i n g i s not equipped  t o optimum s t a n d a r d s .  The l i g h t i n g system i s b e t t e r than most a v a i l a b l e t o community t h e a t r e groups, The  although b a r e l y adequate f o r such a l a r g e stage.  sound system i s o f good q u a l i t y , b u t n o t a d a p t a b l e t o t h e -  a t r i c a l use.  The  f l y i n g system i s inadequate.  T h i s b u i l d i n g i s owned by the C i t y o f Kelowna, b u t the t h e a t r e group was project.  s t r o n g l y i n v o l v e d w i t h the i n i t i a l b u i l d i n g  Because o f t h i s h i s t o r y o f c l o s e c o o p e r a t i o n , g e n e r a l  74  b u s i n e s s d e a l i n g s are smooth.  However, the group f i n d s  rental  so h i g h as to make i t i m p o s s i b l e t o r e n t f o r more than the  final  r e h e a r s a l s and the performances. The main problem i n the d e s i g n o f t h i s b u i l d i n g i s one o r i g i n a l concept.  of  In an attempt t o c o n s t r u c t a b u i l d i n g w h i c h  would h o l d as l a r g e an audience  as p o s s i b l e , and y e t c o s t as  l i t t l e as p o s s i b l e t o b u i l d , they n e g l e c t e d most t h e a t r i c a l r e quirements .  They d i d not r e a l i z e t h a t  "...an a u d i t o r i u m almost never succeeds i n remaining o n l y an a u d i t o r i u m . Sooner o r l a t e r , somebody uses i t f o r a t h e a t r e and i t s e f f e c t i v e n e s s as^a t h e a t r e i s the u l t i mate measure o f i t s u s e f u l n e s s . What they c o n s t r u c t e d was  not a t h e a t r e , but an a u d i t o r i u m  of  r e s t r i c t e d u s e f u l n e s s , e s p e c i a l l y where community t h e a t r e i s concerned.  I f Theatre Kelowna had no o t h e r space t o use f o r  r e h e a r s a l and c o n s t r u c t i o n , t h e i r p r o d u c t i o n p r o c e s s would be hindered. from  As  i t i s , t h e i r performance c o n d i t i o n s a r e s t i l l  ideal.  Burris-Meyer  and C o l e , P r e f a c e , p. v i .  far  FACT SHEET 4 Kelowna Community Theatre Style 1.  A l a r g e proscenium  theatre  1.  Proscenium;  2.  F o r e s t a g e depth; when r a i s e d  3.  Stage h e i g h t ; 3 f e e t 4 i n c h e s  4.  O r c h e s t r a p i t ; 51 f e e t wide, 5 f e e t below stage when lowered  5.  Inner stage depth;  6.  Wing space; 16 f e e t each  7.  O b s t r u c t i o n s ; p i n r a i l 2 f e e t o f f stage r i g h t patch p a n e l on stage r i g h t proscenium w a l l  8.  G r i d h e i g h t ; 39 f e e t 6 i n c h e s  9.  F l y i n g system; 20 s e t s o f s t e e l c a b l e s , 4 winches, no counterweights, no g r i d , j u s t p u l l e y s b o l t e d t o beams.  Stage 48 f e e t wide, 18 f e e t 6 i n c h e s h i g h 5 f e e t p l u s 10 f o o t o r c h e s t r a c o v e r  level  35 f e e t 6 i n c h e s  10.  Stage f l o o r ; softwood,  11.  Cyclorama;  12.  Basement; none  13.  Proscenium flat  side wall,  screws allowed i f n e c e s s a r y  cloth  doors; 2 on each s i d e , masked by movable  Standard Masking 1.  F u l l s e t o f b l a c k l e g s and b o r d e r s o f c o r d u r o y  2.  Front curtain of velour  Lighting 1.  Board; 12 c i r c u i t , portable  2 p r e s e t Scrimmer, 8 non-dims,  76 FACT SHEET  4—Continued  2.  Patch; on stage r i g h t proscenium  wall  3.  1 F.O.H. p i p e on a beam over the house, 18  4.  2 upstage p i p e s w i t h 8 c i r c u i t s on  5.  1 proscenium p i p e , 4 c i r c u i t s  6.  2 T r o u p e r e t t e f o l l o w spots i n l i g h t i n g  7.  Instruments; 48, mostly  1.  C o n t r o l ; stage r i g h t  2.  Equipment; 100 Watt ampl'ifier, mixer, 4 microphones  circuits  each  booth  spotlights  Sound  Loading and  Storage  1.  Loading door;  11 f e e t h i g h , 7 f e e t wide  2.  L e v e l w i t h ground;  3.  Storage room; backstage, 14-by-36 f e e t  parking l o t , gravel  D r e s s i n g Rooms 1.  U p s t a i r s , 2 p r i v a t e , one w i t h removable p a r t i t i o n s  2.  T o t a l 354 square  3.  A l l w i t h m i r r o r s and c o u n t e r s , c l o s e t  4.  Green room; 15-by-15 f e e t  5.  Access t o stage; on both s i d e s , down a s t a i r w a y  feet space  Scene shop, P r o p e r t i e s , Costumes 1.  No s p e c i f i c  space  Auditorium 1.  Seats; 863, permanent, c l o t h u p h o l s t e r e d  77 FACT SHEET 2.  4—Continued  Rake; 11 f e e t 6 i n c h e s over 72 f o o t depth o f house  F r o n t o f House S e r v i c e s 1.  Lobby; 1,040  square  feet  2.  Cloak room, no t i c k e t  3.  M a t e r i a l s ; g l a s s and-wood, some cement b l o c k showing  4.  View; y a t c h c l u b , l a k e  5.  Washrooms; l a r g e , 4 s i n k s , 4 t o i l e t s  6.  C o n c e s s i o n s , k i t c h e n ; none  office  Production Operation 1.  Stage Manager; s t a g e r i g h t  2.  Intercommunications l i g h t i n g booth  3.  M o n i t o r speakers; backstage, u p s t a i r s  4.  C r o s s o v e r ; through s t o r a g e a r e a backstage o r through d r e s s i n g rooms u p s t a i r s  5.  Access t o house; through proscenium doors o n l y  6.  A c c e s s t o lobby; o u t s i d e b u i l d i n g o n l y  t o stage l e f t , o r c h e s t r a p i t , , and d o w n s t a i r s  78 I l l u s t r a t i o n VI-1 Kelowna Community T h e a t r e , stage a r e a  1964 a d d i t i o n , 14' X 73', second first Up-  floor  3[  s: WasHrooms  floor  Office!  Storage, 14' X 36'  Up  79  I l l u s t r a t i o n V I - 2 Kelowna Community T h e a t r e , a u d i t o r i u m Stage  test <  1" =  16  80  CHAPTER VII B u i l d i n g s Designed E x c l u s i v e l y for T h e a t r i c a l Production General  Characteristics  Only two community t h e a t r e groups i n t h i s p r o v i n c e a r e f o r t u n a t e enough to work i n a b u i l d i n g which c o u l d be f i e d as a l e g i t i m a t e t h e a t r e .  These groups a r e :  1)  classithe  Vancouver L i t t l e Theatre A s s o c i a t i o n , which owns t h e York Thea t r e , and  2) the P r i n c e George Theatre Workshop, which  r e c e n t l y f i n i s h e d c o n s t r u c t i o n o f i t s own  has  building.  As t h e r e a r e o n l y two b u i l d i n g s i n t h i s c a t e g o r y , the P r i n c e George b u i l d i n g i s not completely  and  finished, i t i s  d i f f i c u l t to g e n e r a l i z e on p h y s i c a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s .  However,  because o f the i n t e n t i o n o f the d e s i g n , i t i s p o s s i b l e to compare these b u i l d i n g s t o t h e a t r e s designed  f o r non-amateur use,  such  as the Playhouse Theatre, i n Vancouver, o r the F r e d e r i c Wood T h e a t r e , a t the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia.  These b u i l d -  i n g s are t y p i f i e d by raked a u d i t o r i u m s , permanent s e a t i n g , f r o n t o f house f a c i l i t i e s ,  a proscenium stage, f l y i n g  and a c e r t a i n amount o f space f o r p r o d u c t i o n I t may  system,  services.  be noted t h a t these c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s a r e the same  as those o f the multi-purpose  auditorium, (see Chapter  The d i f f e r e n c e l i e s i n t h a t the d e s i g n e r o f the a u d i t o r i u m c o n c e n t r a t e s on the audience a t r e d e s i g n e r understands  VI  above).  multi-purpose  space, w h i l e the t h e -  the n e c e s s i t y to p r o v i d e  sufficient  81  space and equipment f o r performance and r e l a t e d o p e r a t i o n s . Both the York Theatre  and the P r i n c e George  Theatre  Workshop a r e c o n t r o l l e d by the community t h e a t r e group. York Theatre  i s owned o u t r i g h t by the Vancouver L i t t l e  Association.  The Theatre  The P r i n c e George Theatre Workshop s t a r t e d t o  c o n s t r u c t t h e i r own b u i l d i n g , but r a n o u t o f funds b e f o r e completion,  c i v i c government f i n i s h e d the p r o j e c t and now  owns t h e b u i l d i n g , b u t i t i s operated  by the t h e a t r e group.  F o r both groups, e x t r a income t o cover upkeep o f t h e i r b u i l d i n g i s o b t a i n e d by r e n t i n g t o o t h e r groups and t o n o n - t h e a t r i c a l functions.  Because o f t h i s , such f a c i l i t i e s as a movie  and p r o j e c t i o n booth a r e a g r e a t The York Theatre,  asset.  screen  1  Vancouver  The York Theatre was b u i l t i n 1912 as a b u r l e s q u e and v a u d e v i l l e house.  Legend has i t t h a t a miner who made h i s  fortune a t B a r k e r v i l l e b u i l t i t f o r h i s f a v o r i t e queen t o perform i n .  Unfortunately,  scene and s p o i l e d a l l h i s p l a n s .  burlesque  h i s w i f e appeared on t h e  Perhaps t h i s i s t h e reason  the t h e a t r e was used f o r armament s t o r a g e d u r i n g World War I , and was i n an u n f i n i s h e d s t a t e when the Vancouver L i t t l e Theatre obtained  i t i n 1923.  orium was p r o p e r l y covered  The o r i g i n a l d i r t f l o o r o f the a u d i t d u r i n g World War I I when t h e t h e a t r e  group, f o r l a c k o f male a c t o r s , stopped producing the b u i l d i n g f o r the showing o f f i l m s .  and r e n t e d  I n the e a r l y 1950's  R i c h a r d Spenser telephone i n t e r v i e w , September 21, 1974; E l l e n P o o l e telephone i n t e r v i e w , September 20, 1974.  82 the b o i l e r room under the stage was made i n t o d r e s s i n g rooms and s t o r a g e space, and s t a i r c a s e s were b u i l t down t o t h a t a r e a . A t some time the proscenium 4 feet.  1  has been narrowed by a p p r o x i m a t e l y  A r e c e n t a d d i t i o n has p r o v i d e d an extended  lobby, a  greenroom, and a l a r g e s t o r a g e room. Stage and Stage  Machinery  The proscenium  width o f t h e York Theatre i s 24 f e e t .  T h i s i s 2 f e e t s m a l l e r than B u r r i s - M e y e r and Cole  recommend.  2  Mr. Wilcox a l l o w s a 24 f o o t a b s o l u t e minimum.  The a r c h h e i g h t 3  i s masked t o 14 f e e t , which i s j u s t h i g h e r than C o r r y The  20 f o o t depth o f the i n n e r stage i s a g a i n j u s t  wishes.  sufficient,  u s i n g the c a l c u l a t i o n o f a 14 f o o t depth o f s e t and a 6 f o o t 4 . . 5 space behind i t . C o r r y would suggest a 24 f o o t minimum. Wing space t o t a l s t h e width o f the proscenium  exactly.  This  l e a v e s no space f o r masking i f wagons c o n t a i n i n g a s e t t h e f u l l width o f t h e s t a g e a r e t o be s t o r e d d u r i n g performance. p a t c h p a n e l stage r i g h t causes an o b s t r u c t i o n . of  9 f e e t h e l p s t o overcome the problem  Forestage  row o f s e a t s t o the proscenium  I t i s 18 f e e t  line.  Ibid. B u r r i s - M e y e r and C o l e , p. 71; Wilcox i n t e r v i e w . C o r r y , p. 2. B u r r i s - M e y e r and C o l e , p. 71; Wilcox i n t e r v i e w . C o r r y , p. 3.  depth  caused by t h e s h a l l o w  i n n e r s t a g e , b u t tends t o a l i e n a t e the audience. from the f i r s t  The  83 The  York Theatre  which c o n t a i n e d  was one o f the few b u i l d i n g s  a f u l l g r i d system.  surveyed  The 35 f o o t c l e a r h e i g h t  under the g r i d i s e x a c t l y 2| times the proscenium h e i g h t , t h e a b s o l u t e minimum e f f i c i e n t h e i g h t . versatile,  Rope f l y i n g systems a r e  1  and i n t h i s b u i l d i n g the ropes a r e supplemented by 2  counterweights f o r the l i g h t i n g p i p e s , which i s h e l p f u l .  The  16 f o o t f l y g a l l e r i e s a r e e x a c t l y minimum, because a 14 f o o t 3 proscenium needs 16 f o o t f l a t s t o mask p r o p e r l y . The p l a s t e r upstage w a l l i s the next b e s t s u b s t i t u t e f o r a p l a s t e r cyclorama, e s p e c i a l l y t h e r e i s no room f o r a backstage The  i n t h i s shallow  s t a g e , where  crossover.  new l i g h t i n g system now b e i n g i n s t a l l e d i s q u i t e  s u f f i c i e n t t o l i g h t a simple  show.  However, we must  remember  t h a t t h i s i s a f a i r l y l a r g e t h e a t r e , i n a l a r g e c i t y , where audiences have o t h e r entertainment competition  p r o d u c t i o n standards  to l i g h t i n g .  t o choose from.  Due t o t h i s  must be h i g h e r and t h i s a p p l i e s  The number o f pipes a v a i l a b l e f o r hanging  i s s u f f i c i e n t , and most a r e equipped w i t h power c a b l e s . l i g h t i n g b r i d g e behind  as t h e o t h e r  The  the proscenium i s an a s s e t which n o t  many o f the b u i l d i n g s surveyed instruments.  lights  have.  The group owns 30 l i g h t i n g  T h i s number i s s u b j e c t t o the same  qualifications  l i g h t i n g equipment; i t i s o n l y s u f f i c i e n t f o r  C o r r y , p. 3; B e l l , M a r s h a l l , and Southern, p. 47. Pratt  interview.  B e l l , M a r s h a l l , and Southern, p. 48.  84 minimum standards o f  lighting.  1  There i s no sound equipment i n t h i s t h e a t r e . r e q u i r e d i s e i t h e r borrowed or r e n t e d .  Equipment  A c o u s t i c s seem good,  a l t h o u g h I d i d not e x p e r i e n c e the sound q u a l i t y w i t h a  full  audience. The cover.  stage f l o o r i s made of plywood w i t h a g r o u n d c l o t h  T h i s causes  Powerhouse Theatre A u d i t o r i u m and  s i m i l a r problems t o those found i n the (see p. 30  above).  Sightlines  S i g h t l i n e s are not good i n t h i s t h e a t r e .  The  stage i s  4 f e e t h i g h , and the a u d i t o r i u m rake i s o n l y 3 f e e t o v e r 14 rows. To g i v e minimum a c c e p t a b l e s i g h t l i n e s , the stage s h o u l d be 4 2 i n c h e s lower a t l e a s t , and the rake s h o u l d be over 5 f e e t . Balcony rake i s 9 inches per row,  but t h i s i s r e q u i r e d because  o f i t s e l e v a t i o n above the s t a g e .  The narrow proscenium, com-  b i n e d w i t h the r e l a t i v e l y wide house, produces s i g h t l i n e s which narrow the a c t i n g a r e a upstage The opening. who  (see I l l u s t r a t i o n V I I - 1 ) .  a i s l e s are a l i g n e d p e r p e n d i c u l a r t o the  proscenium  T h i s i s not recommended by B u r r i s - M e y e r and 3  prefer radial  Cole,  aisles.  Seats i n t h i s t h e a t r e are c o m f o r t a b l e , but a r e i n rows o n l y 33 i n c h e s a p a r t , one  i n c h l e s s than t h a t recommended f o r  Pratt interview. B e l l , M a r s h a l l , and Southern, C o l e , p. 69; C o r r y , p. 3. B u r r i s - M e y e r and C o l e , p.  66.  p. 26; B u r r i s - M e y e r  and  85 marginal comfort.  1  The t o t a l depth o f t h e house, 46 f e e t , i s  under the 50 f o o t comfortable maximum allowed, but t h e 9 f o o t 2  f o r e s t a g e makes the t o t a l over t h a t amount. i s used,  I f an o r c h e s t r a  the conductor w i l l be a s i g h t o b s t r u c t i o n because o f  l a c k o f depth o f t h e o r c h e s t r a a r e a . F r o n t o f House S e r v i c e s The  lobby o f t h i s t h e a t r e p r o v i d e s l e s s than one square 3  f o o t o f f l o o r space p e r s e a t .  The new greenroom, i f used  as a lounge, would add 800 square  feet to this.  The double  s e t o f entrance doors h e l p s e s t a b l i s h a good f l o w o f t r a f f i c , but c o n g e s t i o n i s p r o b a b l y e x p e r i e n c e d around t h e c o n c e s s i o n s t a n d / c o a t check.  T h i s booth  i s d i r e c t l y between t h e entrance  to the green room and t h e s t a i r s t o t h e balcony and washrooms. The men's washroom i s v e r y s m a l l , o n l y 60 square  feet,  and t h e number o f u r i n a l s and t o i l e t s i s f a r below t h e number 4 recommended f o r a house t h i s s i z e .  The women's washroom a l s o  has t o o few t o i l e t s , b u t a s m a l l powder room i s added. P a r k i n g i s a g r e a t problem f o r t h i s t h e a t r e , because t h e r e a r e no p a r k i n g l o t s i n t h i s r e s i d e n t i a l A c t o r Space Although  district.  i t i s n o t mentioned s p e c i f i c a l l y i n my s o u r c e s ,  I b i d , p. 110. 2  I b i d , p. 6 6 f . 3 I b i d , p. 53. 4 Ham, p. 224.  86 I s u s p e c t t h a t t h e r e i s some disadvantage  i n having a s i n g l e  d r e s s i n g room f o r a l l performers, male o r female, s t a r , o r extra.  The 427 square f e e t a v a i l a b l e i n t h i s t h e a t r e s h o u l d  accommodate 25 a c t o r s a t 16 square f e e t p e r p e r s o n .  However  t h e r e i s o n l y makeup space f o r 8, i f 30 i n c h e s o f t a b l e p e r person i s a l l o w e d .  The absence o f costumes a r e a s u g g e s t s  1  the d r e s s i n g room i s used f o r t h i s f u n c t i o n a l s o , it  further.  that  restricting  The greenroom i s good f o r a lounge, b u t as a  w a i t i n g a r e a f o r a c t o r s i t i s n o t u s e f u l , because t h e r e i s no access p r o v i d e d between t h a t a r e a and t h e s t a g e . P r o d u c t i o n S e r v i c e s and O p e r a t i o n There i s no scene shop i n t h i s t h e a t r e , and s e t s must be b u i l t and s t o r e d on the s t a g e .  The p r o p e r t i e s room i s n o t  as c l o s e t o t h e stage as B e l l e t a l . would l i k e , not l a r g e enough.  and i t i s  However, i t does have bench space, a s i n k , 2  and good  lighting.  The l o a d i n g door i s i n a good p o s i t i o n , a t one end o f the upstage w a l l , but; i t i s o n l y h a l f the s i z e i t s h o u l d be. L o a d i n g and stage a r e a t ground l e v e l .  The newly b u i l t  storage  space i s a good i d e a , b u t i t i s r e s t r i c t e d by h a v i n g o n l y a 5 f o o t wide door f o r a c c e s s . The stage manager o p e r a t e s from stage r i g h t .  He i s i n a  ^ B u r r i s - M e y e r and C o l e , p. 157. 2 B e l l , M a r s h a l l , and Southern, p. 87; Darcus i n t e r v i e w . 3 B u r r i s - M e y e r and C o l e , p. 164.  87 good p o s i t i o n , c l o s e t o the p a t c h p a n e l , one stage and  the loading d o o r .  1  entrance,  Lack o f intercommunications  must be  a s e r i o u s problem i n t h i s t h e a t r e , e s p e c i a l l y w i t h c u e i n g o f o p e r a t o r s on t h e f l y g a l l e r i e s . The o n l y c r o s s o v e r space i s through t h e d r e s s i n g rooms, n e c e s s i t a t i n g the use o f two narrow f l i g h t s o f s t a i r s , which i s a hindrance.  Burris-Meyer  and Cole would p r e f e r a 5 f o o t 2  wide passage from d r e s s i n g rooms t o s t a g e . One a r e a i n which t h i s t h e a t r e i s w e l l s u p p l i e d i s a c c e s s t o t h e a c t i n g a r e a from backstage. on each s i d e , one a t audience stage  There a r e 2 proscenium  doors  f l o o r l e v e l , and one j u s t above  level.  Aesthetics The o r i g i n a l d e s i g n o f t h i s b u i l d i n g p r o v i d e s very  little  d e c o r a t i o n , e x t e r i o r o r i n t e r i o r , e x c e p t i n g a s m a l l amount o f r e l i e f work on t h e proscenium.  The Vancouver L i t t l e  Theatre  A s s o c i a t i o n has done some r e c e n t d e c o r a t i v e work, and t h e lobby i s now q u i t e p l e a s a n t , although some o f t h e new c o n c r e t e b l o c k structure s t i l l  shows.  A few t h e a t r i c a l p o s t e r s and p i c t u r e s  h e l p t h e atmosphere. Summary The York Theatre compares f a v o u r a b l y w i t h most  spaces  used by community t h e a t r e groups, the reason b e i n g t h a t i t was  Pratt interview. Burris-Meyer  and C o l e , p. 158.  88  o r i g i n a l l y designed as a t h e a t r e . many o f i t s dimensions The proscenium of  I t s main problem  i s that  are minimal. dimensions  stage i s the a b s o l u t e minimum.  c i e n t f o r good scenery s h i f t i n g .  are adequate,  but the  depth  Wing space i s almost  suffi-  The f l y tower i s e x a c t l y  the  minimum a l l o w a b l e h e i g h t . S i g h t l i n e s are not good, because a h i g h s t a g e has been c o n s t r u c t e d to compensate f o r a s h a l l o w a u d i t o r i u m r a k e . b a l c o n y c o m p l i c a t e s the s i g h t l i n e problem.  The  The main f l o o r  rake  cannot be i n c r e a s e d , as the balcony would then i n t e r f e r e w i t h the s i g h t l i n e from the r e a r o f the house t o the top.  However, the balcony i s an  proscenium  advantage.  "The most important advantage o f a m u l t i - t i e r a u d i t orium i s t h a t the number o f s e a t s can be i n c r e a s e d w i t h o u t ^ i n c r e a s i n g unduly t h e i r d i s t a n c e from the stage." Seats i n t h i s t h e a t r e are c o m f o r t a b l e , but the rows are too c l o s e t o g e t h e r t o p r o v i d e enough l e g room. F r o n t o f house s e r v i c e s are not s u f f i c i e n t , due of  space.  to l a c k  The lobby i s too s m a l l , the washrooms a r e minute,  and the audience t r a f f i c p a t t e r n i s poor. P r o d u c t i o n s e r v i c e s s u f f e r g r e a t l y from l a c k o f space. The new  a d d i t i o n o f s t o r a g e space i s o f some h e l p , b u t a scene  shop and a s e p a r a t e costume room would be a g r e a t a s s e t . T h i s t h e a t r e l a c k s equipment.  The new  lighting  system  w i l l h e l p t h i s s i t u a t i o n , but the l a c k o f sound equipment and intercommunication  Ham,  p.  26.  system i s not good.  89 I t h i n k the main p o i n t t o be made about the Vancouver L i t t l e Theatre A s s o c i a t i o n i s t h a t , a l t h o u g h f l u c t u a t i n g  in  s i z e and enthusiasm, t h i s group has s u r v i v e d f o r f i f t y - t h r e e years.  The ownership o f a t h e a t r e i n which t o work has  n i t e l y c o n t r i b u t e d to t h i s  longevity.  1  Mrs. C. Roberts i n t e r v i e w , J u l y 28,  1974.  defi-  90 FACT SHEET 5 The York  Theatre  Style 1.  Proscenium  1.  Proscenium width; 24 f e e t , masked to 14 f e e t  2.  Forestage  3.  Stage h e i g h t ; 4 f e e t  4.  Inner stage depth; 20  5.  Wing space; 12 f e e t each s i d e  6.  G r i d h e i g h t ; 35  7.  F l y i n g system; 20 rope s e t s ,  8.  Back w a l l ;  plaster  9.  Projection  s c r e e n ; hung downstage  Stage h e i g h t ; 16 f e e t permanently  depth; 9 f e e t a t c e n t r e , 6 f e e t a t s i d e s  feet  feet  10.  Floor;  11.  O b s t r u c t i o n s i n wings; patch p a n e l , 4 f e e t downstage r i g h t  Standard  plywood w i t h c l o t h  3 counterweight  sets  cover square  Masking  1.  House c u r t a i n ;  red velour  2.  Wings and b o r d e r s ; b l a c k v e l o u r  3.  T r a v e l l e r ; black velour  Lighting 1.  Board; a new 12 c i r c u i t board b e i n g i n s t a l l e d , 6 circuit auxilliary  2.  F.O.H. area; one p i p e w i t h power c a b l e s , 2 p i p e s w a l l s w i t h no c a b l e s  on  91 FACT SHEET  5—Continued  3.  Upstage; 3 l i g h t p i p e s w i t h power c a b l e s , 1 permanent l i g h t i n g bridge  4.  C o n t r o l ; i n booth a t r e a r o f house above b a l c o n y  5.  F o l l o w spot; one p o s i t i o n i n booth  6.  Instruments; 8 f l o o d l i g h t s , 8 F r e s n e l 14 o t h e r s p o t l i g h t s . M o s t l y 500 Watt  7.  House l i g h t s ;  1.  No  spotlights,  dimmable  Sound  Loading and  equipment  Storage  1.  Loading; 7 f o o t high-by-6 right rear wall  f o o t wide door i n stage  2.  Door a t s t r e e t l e v e l , o u t s i d e not paved o r covered  3.  Storage; 30-by-20 f o o t room a d j a c e n t t o stage  4.  P r o p e r t i e s and L i g h t i n g s t o r a g e ; d o w n s t a i r s  D r e s s i n g Rooms 1.  One l a r g e room; 24 f e e t o f m i r r o r and t a b l e c l o s e t space  space,  2.  Toilets;  3.  S i n k s ; one i n k i t c h e n  4.  Greenroom/lounge under c o n s t r u c t i o n a d j a c e n t t o lobby  2  Scene shop 1.  None  Properties 1.  Space; 8-by-6 f o o t room, s i n k and s h e l f e l e c t r i c a l outlets  space,  92 FACT SHEET  5—Continued  Costumes 1.  No space s p e c i f i c a l l y p r o v i d e d  1.  451 s e a t s , 14 rows, rows on 33 i n c h c e n t r e s  2.  Rake; 3 f e e t  3.  Balcony rake; 9 i n c h e s per row, 10 rows  4.  S e a t s ; wood, u p h o l s t e r e d  5.  Balcony; s t a r t s 16 f e e t from edge o f s t a g e  House  F r o n t o f House  total  services  1.  Lobby; 300 square f e e t  2.  Small c o a t check f a c i l i t y under s t a i r s t o b a l c o n y  3.  C o n c e s s i o n s ; w i t h s i n k and Coke machine, b u t s m a l l  4.  T i c k e t o f f i c e ; by door, 4-by-6  5.  Washrooms; u p s t a i r s , men's; 5-by-12 f e e t , one t o i l e t , 2 u r i n a l s ; women's; 5-by-8 f e e t , 2 t o i l e t s , powder room; 9-by-8 f e e t  feet  Performance O p e r a t i o n 1.  Stage manager; stage r i g h t  2.  Intercommunication t o basement o n l y  3.  M o n i t o r speakers; none  4.  C r o s s o v e r ; through basement, o r behind t r a v e l l e r at rear  5.  Access t o lobby; none i n s i d e b u i l d i n g  6.  Access t o a c t i n g a r e a ; 2 proscenium doors 3 f e e t above stage l e v e l , 2 proscenium doors a t a u d i t o r i u m f l o o r l e v e l , 2 doors upstage on e i t h e r s i d e  94 Toilets  Downstage  o  i  D r e s s i n g Room  | KKiittceh e n  Props  427 Square F e e t cr  n  n  Furnace  Up  |  Makeup  I l l u s t r a t i o n VII-2 York T h e a t r e , Basement.of s t a g e .  I l l u s t r a t i o n VII-3 York T h e a t r e , Balcony and d r e s s i n g rooms,  Up Balcony  Office  Aisle  T Powder Room  VP  washroom! Washroom  Film Projection Costume Storage Under  L i g h t and Sound Booth  1"=  10  95  CHAPTER  VIII  Conclusions U t i l i z a t i o n o f Space An i n t e r e s t i n g f a c t which became c l e a r from the i n f o r m a t i o n g a t h e r e d i n t h i s survey i s t h a t the mode o f p r o d u c t i o n o f v i r t u a l l y a l l community t h e a t r e groups i n B r i t i s h i s performance o r i e n t e d i n the proscenium s t y l e .  Columbia  This  t i v e p r a c t i c e w i l l undoubtedly have an e f f e c t on any  restric-  conclusions  reached as to the e f f i c i e n c y o f the spaces used by t h e s e groups. From my  s u r v e y o f the r e p r e s e n t a t i v e sample o f 16 com-  munity t h e a t r e spaces and from o t h e r r e s e a r c h , one f a c t becomes clear.  A h i g h percentage o f the spaces used by community t h e -  a t r e groups i n t h i s p r o v i n c e are not s a t i s f a c t o r y .  This opinion  i s g e n e r a l l y h e l d by those working i n community t h e a t r e and i s s u b s t a n t i a t e d by my  research. Existing  Facilities  Found spaces a r e used by a l l groups, f o r such as p r o p e r t i e s and costume c o n s t r u c t i o n and e a r l y  activities  rehearsals.  However, 7 out o f the 55 groups from which I have i n f o r m a t i o n , o r about 15%, use found space e x c l u s i v e l y , i n c l u d i n g c o n s t r u c t i o n , and p e r f o r m a n c e .  1  rehearsal,  Most groups c o n s i d e r found  'Although t h e r e are over 100 t h e a t r e groups, the l e t t e r from Mrs. E n g l i s h to E r i c Broom o n l y d e a l s w i t h 55.  96  space disadvantageous as a performance  space.  These  buildings  u s u a l l y have l i t t l e i n the way o f t h e a t r i c a l equipment o r auxiliary  space, and a r e o f t e n u n s u i t a b l e i n s i z e , shape, o r f o r  a e s t h e t i c reasons.  However, these problems  can be overcome  by c a r e f u l p l a n n i n g o f t h e mode o f p r o d u c t i o n t o s u i t t h e space. T h i s can, i n f a c t , become an advantage t o the i m a g i n a t i v e t h e a t r e group.  F o r example, a c h i l d r e n ' s t h e a t r e group  intention-  a l l y molding t h e i r p r o d u c t i o n t o be performed i n s c h o o l  class-  rooms w i l l account f o r t h e t h e a t r i c a l i n a d e q u a c i e s o f those rooms during, t h e i r r e h e a r s a l time. not  The spaces used w i l l  then  a f f e c t the q u a l i t y of production. As found spaces a r e n o t u s u a l l y owned by t h e t h e a t r e  group, s c h e d u l i n g i s o f t e n a problem.  The b e t t e r spaces p r e -  sent t h e worst s c h e d u l i n g problems, as they a r e i n demand by o t h e r community groups.  S c h e d u l i n g which causes a f r e q u e n t  change o f performance l o c a t i o n causes many problems, one o f t h e worst b e i n g a p u b l i c i t y d i s a d v a n t a g e .  I t i s b e t t e r , from the  p o i n t o f view o f a t t r a c t i n g an audience, t o h o l d every performance i n the same p l a c e .  1  Because o f i t s i n c l u s i o n i n so many s c h o o l and r e c r e a tional facilities,  t h e gymnasium box i s t h e space most a v a i l -  a b l e t o t h e a t r e groups i n t h e p r o v i n c e .  I t i s used by 20 groups,  a p p r o x i m a t e l y 40% o f t h e t o t a l o f 55 from which I have i n f o r m a tion.  The f a c t t h a t i t resembles a proscenium t h e a t r e  attempts a t proscenium s t y l e p r o d u c t i o n s .  English  interview.  invites  A c t u a l l y , used as  97  a proscenium  t h e a t r e , the poor  h i g h s t a g e , and  than  t h o s e p r o v i d e d by  problems which are almost  a variety suited  multi-purpose  t o performance  insurmountable  found  audience  pose  contains a l l better  This i s mainly space  and  failings  i n common.  The  the needs o f  community  are less  t h e a t r e group.  wing space,  these buildings Of  The viding  T h i s i s about  a t r e s from o t h e r  ing  space  to lack  of the  atrical  Because  as  perform-  total.  f o r t h e a t r i c a l productions are converted to  a d v a n t a g e i n t h e c o n v e r s i o n o f an  t o a t h e a t r e by  This w i l l  result  p r o d u c t i o n than  community  prothose the-  spaces.  t h e community  of  i n a b u i l d i n g more a m e n a b l e t o  the  t h e a t r e groups.  facilities The  used  reason  exist-  t h e a t r e group i s  the u l t i m a t e users o f the b u i l d i n g are i n c o n t r o l  design.  of  difficult.  type of b u i l d i n g  as t h e a t r e s , o r those  significant  building  that  10%  this  area,  ade-  o n l y b u i l d i n g s w h i c h come r e a s o n a b l y c l o s e t o  specifically  The  5 used  of  the  than  production services.  a r e community owned, s c h e d u l i n g i s  an e f f i c i e n t  designed  facilities  equipment, and  the groups surveyed,  ance space.  of  Stage  b u t t h e most s i m p l e p r o d u c t i o n s , due  flying  better  auditorium  although comfortable, i s too l a r g e to s u i t  f o r any  group.  t h e r e a r e some e x c e p t i o n s , b u i l d i n g s  type have c e r t a i n  quate  floor,  these  space)  are almost  t h e gymnasium b o x e s .  b e c a u s e t h e y p r o v i d e more c o m f o r t a b l e  this  (although  t o the amateur  These b u i l d i n g s  than  Although  auditorium  auditorium c l a s s i f i c a t i o n  of buildings.  sightlines.  flat  lack of production services,  are usually better  The  acoustics,  by  the the-  the m a j o r i t y  the t h e a t r e groups  98 are a b l e to f i n a n c e these o p e r a t i o n s  completely  i s t h a t , due  the e x i s t e n c e o f a b a s i c s t r u c t u r e , c o s t s are c o n s i d e r a b l y than i n the b u i l d i n g of a new  structure.  lower  Even so, o n l y the more  a f f l u e n t groups can a f f o r d t h i s p r o c e s s , and even these hampered by l a c k o f funds.  to  are  They w i l l o f t e n encounter a problem  i n f i n d i n g a b u i l d i n g s u i t a b l e f o r conversion.  Often  i n g must be done i n stages and by amateur l a b o u r .  remodel-  Because o f  these problems, some of the r e s t r i c t i o n s o f the o r i g i n a l s t r u c t u r e may  remain.  Only 5 f u l l c o n v e r s i o n s  10% o r l e s s o f the groups surveyed The  t h e a t r e which was  e x i s t , meaning t h a t  use t h i s type o f space.  b u i l t w i t h no o t h e r f u n c t i o n s i n  mind i s the b e s t space, but o n l y 2 of these are used by community t h e a t r e g r o u p s .  1  An  i n t e r e s t i n g p o i n t i s t h a t one  these b u i l d i n g s i s over 60 years o l d .  The  o t h e r was  of  started  by the community t h e a t r e group, but they were unable t o  finance  i t s completion.  T h i s means t h a t no community t h e a t r e group i n  the p r o v i n c e has  succeeded i n c o n s t r u c t i n g i t s own  the l a s t h a l f c e n t u r y . than i d e a l , due  theatre i n  Even the t h e a t r e s t h a t e x i s t are  t o l a c k o f funds and  to a lack of  e x p e r t i s e on the p a r t o f the b u i l d e r s .  less  theatrical  Unfortunately,  the  short-  c u t s which o f t e n must be taken prove c o s t l y t o r e c t i f y a t a l a t e r date.  Even the b e s t t h e a t r e spaces a v a i l a b l e to community  t h e a t r e groups have i n s u f f i c i e n t wing space, f l y space, production s e r v i c e s .  E n g l i s h , to E r i c Broom.  and  99 Building  Design  While the reason o f t e n g i v e n f o r the l a c k o f good t h e a t r e spaces i s a l a c k of funds, i n a d e q u a c i e s i n p l a n n i n g and d e s i g n are c o n t r i b u t i n g f a c t o r s .  A b u i l d i n g which i s p r o p e r l y  designed can o f t e n be c o n s t r u c t e d f o r the same p r i c e as a p o o r l y designed s t r u c t u r e , and the b e t t e r d e s i g n p r o v i d e s a more e f f i c i e n t space.  F o r example, the Powerhouse Theatre i s a much  b e t t e r space f o r community t h e a t r e than the Kelowna Community Theatre.  The t o t a l c o s t o f the Powerhouse T h e a t r e was  h a l f t h a t o f the Kelowna b u i l d i n g .  1  T h i s i s not t o say  the Kelowna Community T h e a t r e i s not a u s e f u l  less  than  that  building—only  t h a t i t i s not a good space f o r community t h e a t r e groups. N a t u r a l l y t h e r e are many problems i n v o l v e d i n the d e s i g n of  such a complex s t r u c t u r e as a t h e a t r e .  compounded i n the case o f a community-built  These problems a r e p r o j e c t i n which  most o f the people i n v o l v e d w i l l be p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n such a p r o j e c t f o r the f i r s t  time.  There are p r o b a b l y few a r c h i t e c t s i n t h i s p r o v i n c e are e x p e r i e n c e d t h e a t r e d e s i g n e r s . i s u s u a l l y chosen  Because a l o c a l  who  architect  f o r a community p r o j e c t o f t h i s s o r t , i t i s  even l e s s l i k e l y t h a t he w i l l have d e s i g n e d many t h e a t r e s before.  Because o f h i s i n e x p e r i e n c e , the average  unable t o p r o v i d e the r e q u i r e d guidance  architect i s  for his client.  such areas as v e n t i l a t i o n , i n s u l a t i o n , and w i r i n g , the t e c t has  little difficulty.  In archi-  In these r e q u i r e m e n t s , t h e a t r e s  Huggins i n t e r v i e w ; " B l u e p r i n t f o r a Community T h e a t r e " .  100  are s i m i l a r t o o t h e r b u i l d i n g s .  I t i s i n the s p e c i f i c a l l y  a t r i c a l a r e a s , those d e a l t w i t h i n t h i s study, t h a t the t e c t ' s i n e x p e r i e n c e proves The  c l i e n t , who  a  the-  archi-  disadvantage.  i s o f t e n a r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f the munic-  i p a l o r p r o v i n c i a l government, i s l i k e w i s e not an e x p e r t on atre design.  The  the-  average town c o u n c i l o r o r s c h o o l t r u s t e e i s  l i m i t e d i n h i s t h e a t r i c a l knowledge t o the e x p e r i e n c e o f b e i n g a member o f the audience.  In h i s c o n c e p t i o n , a t h e a t r e i s a  l a r g e s e a t i n g a r e a w i t h a stage f o r performers and a lobby o u t s i d e f o r the audience.  and washrooms  H i s f i r s t problem, when  he t r i e s to d e s i g n what he f u l l y i n t e n d s t o be a t h e a t r e , i s one o f p r i o r i t i e s .  F i r s t , he wants a b u i l d i n g which w i l l  a c e r t a i n number o f people. f o r d e d becomes a s t a g e .  Any  seat  e x t r a space which can be a f -  He has no concept  o f backstage  require-  ments, so he n e g l e c t s them. A second c o n c e p t u a l mistake C o l e term the "psychology  i s what B u r r i s - M e y e r  o f minima".  1  T h i s i s a tendency t o  d e s i g n the s m a l l e s t dimensions a l l o w a b l e , and buy e s t p r i c e a v a i l a b l e , to the e x c l u s i o n o f almost siderations.  Lack o f e x p e r i e n c e  and  f o r the low-  a l l o t h e r con-  i n t h e a t r i c a l work makes the  d e s i g n e r b l i n d t o the problems he i s c r e a t i n g . Another m i s c o n c e p t i o n "proscenium t h e a t r e " .  i s the b e l i e f t h a t " t h e a t r e " means  T h i s i s not n e c e s s a r i l y a u n i v e r s a l t r u t h ,  but community b u i l d i n g d e s i g n e r s i n t h i s p r o v i n c e seem t o t h i n k it  is.  Every b u i l d i n g I surveyed had some k i n d o f proscenium.  Burris-Meyer  and C o l e , p.  356.  101  except f o r some found spaces, which were not d e s i g n e d as A f o u r t h problem i s the d e s i r e t o d e s i g n will  fulfill  a b u i l d i n g which  as many community r e c r e a t i o n a l needs as  A b u i l d i n g designed w i t h a m u l t i t u d e i n mind w i l l probably not be  theatres.  possible.  o f uses,as w e l l as  theatre,  a good t h e a t r e , and w i l l not  t i o n w e l l f o r many o f the o t h e r purposes f o r which i t was The  Cypress Room i s a good example o f t h i s .  proscenium stage, presentations,  and  does not  I t i s a very  f u n c t i o n w e l l f o r meetings  because o f the poor a c o u s t i c s and  a b l e temporary s e a t i n g .  I f the two  had been designed w i t h o u t s t a g e s , expensive to b u i l d .  funcintended. poor and  the uncomfort-  gymnasiums i n t h i s  complex  they would have been l e s s  I f the money thus saved had been used to  b u i l d a s m a l l t h e a t r e , the complex would be very w e l l equipped, b o t h f o r t h e a t r e and Thus we conceived ally  f o r i t s other  functions.  see t h a t from the o u t s e t the d e s i g n  i n such a manner i s not adequate.  The  a b u i l d i n g w i t h inadequacies o f space and  s u i t e d to the needs o f community t h e a t r e  of buildings  r e s u l t i s usu-  equipment, i l l  groups.  Sometimes, because o f t h e i r s u p e r i o r t h e a t r i c a l  experi-  ence, community t h e a t r e p e r s o n n e l are i n v i t e d t o a s s i s t i n the design  process.  The  e x p e r i e n c e o f these people i s o f t e n l i m i t e d  t o community t h e a t r e , o r to o b s e r v i n g theatre.  p r o f e s s i o n a l proscenium  F o r them, the same problems a r i s e as f o r c i v i c  Even i f the community t h e a t r e  representative  knows what i s r e -  q u i r e d f o r a t h e a t r e , h i s l a c k o f knowledge o f the d e f e a t s him. t o stand  He  leaders.  priorities  does not know the p o i n t a t which i t i s n e c e s s a r y  f a s t , and  demand t h a t a c e r t a i n area be made no  smaller.  102  He does not know where i t i s p o s s i b l e t o c u t c o r n e r s and money w i t h o u t  save  s e r i o u s l y damaging the e f f i c i e n c y o f the b u i l d i n g .  I f the t h e a t r e group i s a c t i v e and  f o r t u n a t e enough to  be a b l e to f i n a n c e the b u i l d i n g p r o c e s s , and thus be i n complete c o n t r o l o f the d e s i g n i n g , they have a g r e a t advantage.  This  i s borne out by the f a c t t h a t some o f the b e t t e r spaces  used  are c o n v e r s i o n s designed  and c a r r i e d out by the groups them-  s e l v e s , w h i l e very few government-constructed found t o be good t h e a t r e s .  b u i l d i n g s were  However, even i n t h i s case a l a c k  o f t h e a t r i c a l e x p e r t i s e can cause a waste o f funds and  effort.  I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note t h a t the b u i l d i n g s which are t h e a t r i c a l i n design  (e.g., good c o n v e r s i o n s , t h e a t r e s )  tend  to be the ones which make the most revenue from n o n - t h e a t r i c a l uses.  Superior a d m i n i s t r a t i o n i s , of course, p a r t i a l l y  s i b l e f o r t h i s , but b u i l d i n g d e s i g n i s important.  The  responPower-  house Theatre i n Vernon i s a good example o f such a b u i l d i n g , and  the C e n t e n n i a l Theatre i n North Vancouver i s a n o t h e r .  Al-  though I have c l a s s i f i e d the C e n t e n n i a l T h e a t r e as a m u l t i purpose a u d i t o r i u m , and i t was i t s o r i g i n a l d e s i g n concept was needs.  The  designed  t o house many f u n c t i o n s ,  i n f l u e n c e d s t r o n g l y by  theatrical  r e s u l t i s t h a t almost every community t h e a t r e group  i n the Vancouver a r e a wants to use the C e n t e n n i a l T h e a t r e . a c o u s t i c s are good enough t h a t CBC  Its  Radio o f t e n r e n t s the space  f o r use as a m u s i c a l r e c o r d i n g s t u d i o . A b u i l d i n g w e l l designed  as a t h e a t r e w i l l be  efficient,  a l l o w i n g the t h e a t r e group t o spend more time and e f f o r t  on  improving  attract  the q u a l i t y of p r o d u c t i o n .  Better productions  103 l a r g e r audiences,  and  the i n c r e a s e d revenue o b t a i n e d  can  be  turned back i n t o b e t t e r equipment and b e t t e r p r o d u c t i o n s . t h i s way, and  a good t h e a t r e b u i l d s both the community t h e a t r e group  community t h e a t r e audience, and  r e c r e a t i o n a l f a c i l i t i e s o f any The is  In  i s a g r e a t a s s e t t o the  community.  c o n c l u s i o n I draw from t h i s i s , t h a t i f a b u i l d i n g  r e q u i r e d f o r many performance-type uses, i t i s b e s t to  w i t h t h e a t r i c a l p r o d u c t i o n as a top p r i o r i t y .  The  b u i l d i n g , i f i t s a t i s f i e s t h e a t r i c a l needs, w i l l  design  resulting  s a t i s f y most  of the o t h e r f u n c t i o n s as w e l l . Recommendations I n t e r v i e w s w i t h community t h e a t r e p e r s o n n e l improvement o f t h e i r t h e a t r e f a c i l i t i e s of p r i o r i t i e s .  i s h i g h on t h e i r  To date there i s no c e n t r a l source  i n f o r m a t i o n t h a t would a s s i s t these groups. grammes Branch L i b r a r y has very n i c a l aspects of theatre.  The  of  list  expert  Community Pro-  i n f o r m a t i o n on the  tech-  Most o f the source m a t e r i a l a v a i l a b l e  through t h i s l i b r a r y predates to  little  indicate that  1950.  I t would be o f g r e a t b e n e f i t  t h e a t r e groups i f the p r o v i n c i a l government were t o e s t a b l i s h  a c e n t r a l i n f o r m a t i o n source which might p r o v i d e q u i d e l i n e s i n the v a r i o u s areas o f t e c h n i c a l t h e a t r e , i n c l u d i n g : and  c o n s t r u c t i o n o f new  o f e x i s t i n g space, and  theatres,  1) the  2) the a d a p t a t i o n o r  3) a l t e r n a t i v e ways o f u t i l i z i n g  c i e n t spaces such as the gymnasium box. t h e a t r e groups i n t e r e s t e d i n improving  design  conversion ineffi-  In a d d i t i o n , community t h e i r f a c i l i t i e s would  f i n d i t h e l p f u l t o i n v e s t i g a t e o t h e r o u t s i d e sources  of  tion.  their builders  Other community t h e a t r e s have been b u i l t , and  informa-  104 and u s e r s w i l l have o p i n i o n s as to the problems i n c u r r e d . f e s s i o n a l t h e a t r e workers and are b o t h good sources  Pro-  l i t e r a t u r e on t h e a t r e a r c h i t e c t u r e  o f i n f o r m a t i o n on needs and  I t i s not enough to look a t another b u i l d i n g and  priorities. copy i t s d e s i g n  f e a t u r e s ; i t i s a l s o necessary  to o b t a i n i n f o r m a t i o n on  shortcomings of the b u i l d i n g .  T h i s i n f o r m a t i o n can come from  p e r s o n n e l who  have worked i n the b u i l d i n g .  For example,  Vernon L i t t l e Theatre A s s o c i a t i o n mounts ambitious i n the Powerhouse T h e a t r e : which has  the  the  productions  o n l y 10 f e e t o f wing space.  To assume from t h i s t h a t 10 f e e t i s s u f f i c i e n t wing space f o r a t h e a t r e would be a m i s t a k e . Even those  groups unable t o f i n a n c e more adequate  i t i e s a t t h i s time c o u l d upgrade the q u a l i t y o f t h e i r through more i m a g i n a t i v e use o f t h e i r p r e s e n t opmental drama, mime, and p r o d u c t i o n s can be good r e c r e a t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s , to stage them i n spaces completely atre.  productions  facilities.  of experimental and  facil-  Devel-  works  i t i s often possible  u n s u i t e d t o proscenium t h e -  Even a simple break from the proscenium s t y l e c o u l d  helpful.  F o r example, a group working i n a gymnasium box  be might  be b e t t e r o f f to i g n o r e the s t a g e , and use o n l y the f l a t f l o o r area. and  They c o u l d s e t up a t h r u s t s t a g e , o r t h e a t r e i n the round,  s o l v e many o f the v i s u a l , a c o u s t i c a l , and  i n h e r e n t i n the gymnasium box  building.  f i n a n c i a l problems  I have seen t h i s  pro-  cedure work s u c c e s s f u l l y f o r p r o f e s s i o n a l t o u r i n g shows, and especially for children's theatre.  I t would not even be  s a r y to change the type o f drama chosen.  To the b e s t o f  necesour  p r e s e n t knowledge, Shakespeare d i d not w r i t e f o r the proscenium stage.  105  To accomplish, a proscenium s t y l e performance, e s p e c i a l l y i n a b u i l d i n g which i s not a good proscenium t h e a t r e , an e x t r a expense o f time and money.  requires  For a community  theatre  group, which has n e i t h e r time nor money t o waste, t h i s can have a d e t r i m e n t a l e f f e c t on the q u a l i t y o f performance.  The c o n -  c l u s i o n I draw from t h i s i s , t h a t a l t h o u g h the spaces a v a i l a b l e are below s t a n d a r d , b e t t e r p r o d u c t i o n s v e r s a t i l i t y of production  style.  c o u l d be a c h i e v e d  by a  T h i s i s another a r e a i n which  the p r o v i n c i a l government c o u l d s e t up a c e n t r a l i n f o r m a t i o n s o u r c e which c o u l d be used t o good  advantage.  T h i s study c l e a r l y shows t h a t t h e spaces used by community t h e a t r e groups i n t h i s p r o v i n c e  are not s u f f i c i e n t , but t h a t  some o f t h e problems which a r i s e because o f t h i s c o u l d be s o l v e d by a b e t t e r command o f t h e a t r i c a l t e c h n i c a l knowledge, with a v e r s a t i l i t y o f production  style.  I t can o n l y be hoped  t h a t b u i l d e r s o f f u t u r e community t h e a t r e spaces w i l l some o f the recommendations  combined  follow  made i n t h i s paper, and a v o i d some  o f the m i s t a k e s which have been r e v e a l e d i n e x i s t i n g b u i l d i n g s . T h i s w i l l do much t o improve the spaces a v a i l a b l e t o community t h e a t r e groups i n the f u t u r e .  a>  > BRITISH COLUMBIA COMMUNITY THEATRE  QUESTIONNAIRE  Please fill in (in pencil) as much as you can. The consultant will help you complete Information and odd additional data on first visit to your area.  n 0 3 3  0  TECHNICAL  H  1-3  Rented working area?. , Rehearsal Area?. . Meeting room?. .Hall?. . School classroom?. . Collaga?. . City or town building?. . Members house?.  ,tr (0  rt-  iD  w rt H-  Procenium Curtain. Workshop Area  Proscenium  Apron.  0  .Thrush  H-  Wing Space. Cyclorama. , Storage. , Costume Dept.  .Fly Area.  Borders  Floor Cloth.  PJ  h ro  0  W  ro O  r+  H0  |3  •*  to  H  H-  cr  SOUNO Turntable'  0  fl)rt H-  C  STAGE AREA  a Hi  ft)3  O  Elevated.. Other.  5 HM  Availability (specify).  Size Flexible  o 0 0J  INFORMATION  Theatre Company or Group's Work Area. PLEASE answer Yes or No. Your own quarters?. School auditorium?Orhers:  ro  H-  Speakers.  Tape Deck  tn P-  .Other  O  LIGHTING Control Panel Dimmers _ — — Battens Spots(sUe) Tresnels Use of B.C.D.A. Lighting Equipment  0  No. of Circuits No. of Outlets Dressing Room(s) Other How Often  No. of light?. Arnat  Floods.  § &  H-  O  107 Appendix  B.  A r c h i t e c t u r a l C r i t e r i a f o r a Community T h e a t r e  These c r i t e r i a were e s t a b l i s h e d from i n f o r m a t i o n g a t h e r e d from t h r e e s o u r c e s :  1) l i t e r a t u r e on t h e a t r e  2) p r o f e s s i o n a l t h e a t r e p e r s o n n e l , and personnel.  architecture,  3) community t h e a t r e  T h i s i n f o r m a t i o n was used as a b a s i s f o r t h e a n a l y s i s  o f t h e t h e a t r e spaces surveyed. Style 1.  A 200-seat proscenium s t y l e t h e a t r e would b e s t s e r v e most groups  1.  Proscenium; maximum width; 32 f e e t , maximum h e i g h t ; 16 f e e t , minimum width; 24 f e e t , minimum h e i g h t 10 f e e t . P r o p o r t i o n s should be p l e a s i n g t o t h e eye  2.  Stage h e i g h t ; most sources agree t o 3 f e e t 6 i n c h e s  3.  F l o o r m a t e r i a l ; edge g r a i n softwood i s p r o b a b l y b e s t . Plywood w i t h canvas g r o u n d c l o t h i s a cheaper a l t e r n a t i v e  4.  F o r e s t a g e depth; maximum; 4 f e e t , no minimum  5.  Inner stage depth; minimum; 20 f e e t , no maximum  6.  Wing space; optimum t o t a l e q u a l t o proscenium w i d t h p l u s a few f e e t each s i d e f o r masking, no maximum  7.  G r i d h e i g h t ; minimum; 2| times proscenium h e i g h t , optimum; 3 times proscenium h e i g h t  8.  F l y i n g system; minimum; 20 rope s e t s . are d e s i r a b l e  9.  Note t h a t scenery s h i f t i n g and s t o r a g e spaces a r e i n t e r d e p e n d e n t (e.g., an e x t r a depth o f stage would a l l o w f o r l e s s wing space.)  Stage  Counterweights  10.  Cyclorama; a permanent p l a s t e r cyclorama w i t h a c r o s s over behind i t i s good, b u t c l o t h i s more v e r s a t i l e , and l e s s e x p e n s i v e .  11.  P r o j e c t i o n s c r e e t i s an advantage, downstage  12.  I t i s d e s i r a b l e t o have no o b s t r u c t i o n s i n t h e wings  s h o u l d be flown  108  Standard  Masking  1.  B o r d e r s , wings, and a f r o n t c u r t a i n are d e s i r a b l e  2.  M a t e r i a l ; v e l o u r i s good, corduroy next b e s t  Lighting 1.  L i g h t i n g needs are v a r i a b l e , depending on uses o f the b u i l d i n g and f i n a n c e s of the b u i l d e r . Such f a c t o r s as e l e c t r i c a l s e r v i c e to the b u i l d i n g , t h e i n s t a l l m e n t o f permanent or temporary w i r i n g f o r the c i r c u i t s , and c i t y bylaws must a l l be c o n s i d e r e d . A l i g h t i n g c o n t r o l board such as the Strand JTM, which has 20 dimmers and a two scene preset> seems adequate f o r community theatre l i g h t i n g  2.  Patch p a n e l ; d e s i r a b l e , but not n e c e s s a r y . e a s i l y a c c e s s i b l e i n case of emergencies  3.  F.O.H. p i p e s ; 2 d e s i r a b l e , w i t h power l i n e s  4.  Upstage l i g h t p i p e s ; 3 d e s i r a b l e , f l o w n , w i t h power lines. A permanent l i g h t i n g b r i d g e j u s t upstage o f the proscenium i s an advantage  5.  F o l l o w spot p o s i t i o n s ; 2 d e s i r a b l e  6.  House l i g h t s ;  7.  Instruments; minimum of 15 f o r a simple p r o d u c t i o n i n found space. For a proscenium t h e a t r e , minimum o f 30, more would be d e s i r a b l e . An assortment o f F r e s n e l s p o t l i g h t s , e l i p s o i d a l r e f l e c t o r s p o t l i g h t s , and f l o o d lights  1.  A tape r e c o r d e r connected t o a loudspeaker system i s a workable minimum. A tape deck, t u r n t a b l e , and a 4 channel mixing board would be good  Should  be  dimmable  Sound  Loading and  Storage  1.  Optimum l o a d i n g i s i n t o the scene shop through an 8-by-12 f o o t door, and from the scene shop to the stage by the same s i z e door, o r l a r g e r . Minimum s i z e of l o a d i n g doors i s 6-by-7 f e e t  2.  F l a t s t o r a g e should be c l o s e t o the s t a g e a r e a , but not o b s t r u c t i n g the wing space  3.  P r o p e r t i e s s t o r a g e ; should be l o c k a b l e . 5-by-7 f o o t door f o r access  Minimum of  109 4.  As much s t o r a g e space as can be a f f o r d e d s h o u l d provided  5.  Stage and shop f l o o r s h o u l d be 4 f e e t above ground level  6.  Loading  area should be paved and  be  covered  Scene Shop 1.  Minimum; 500  square  f e e t , no maximum  2.  Bench space should be  3.  A l a r g e number o f e l e c t r i c a l o u t l e t s s h o u l d be e v e n l y around the room  provided spread  Properties 1.  Minimum; 100  square  f e e t , no maximum  2.  A t l e a s t one l a r g e t a b l e , s h e l f space, some l o c k i n g cupboards  3.  Kitchen f a c i l i t i e s d e s i r a b l e ; stove, r e f r i g e r a t o r  4.  Sink  5.  Flammables s t o r a g e and d i s p o s a l d e s i r a b l e  6.  Good v e n t i l a t i o n  necessary  necessary  Costumes Area 1.  Minimum; 400  square  f e e t , no maximum  2.  B r i g h t l i g h t i n g , p r e f e r a b l y incandescent  3.  Two  4.  A l a r g e number o f e l e c t r i c a l o u t l e t s d e s i r a b l e  large tables desirable  D r e s s i n g Rooms 1.  A t l e a s t 2. Optimum; 16 square f e e t f o r each a c t o r - t o t a l approximately 320 square f e e t  2.  D r e s s i n g t a b l e s w i t h m i r r o r s , optimum; 30 i n c h e s f o r each a c t o r — t o t a l 40 f e e t  110 3.  Washrooms; a t l e a s t 2, w i t h t o i l e t s , m i r r o r s , and basins. Two showers d e s i r a b l e  4.  D r e s s i n g s rooms should be near the s t a g e , a t stage level  Greenroom, R e h e a r s a l  Facilities  1.  Greenroom; between d r e s s i n g rooms and s t a g e , 300 feet desirable  2.  Greenroom can be a r e h e a r s a l space  square  Auditorium 1.  Approximately  200  seats  2.  Rows; s h o u l d be a minimum o f 34 i n c h e s a p a r t  3.  S e a t s ; should be u p h o l s t e r e d , permanently f i x e d t o the f l o o r , minimum; 20 i n c h e s wide  4.  A i s l e s ; s h o u l d be a t the s i d e s o f the a u d i t o r i u m , minimum; 4 f e e t wide  5.  Minimum rake f o r the house row o f s e a t i n g  s h o u l d be 5 i n c h e s p e r  F r o n t o f House S e r v i c e s 1.  Optimum l o b b y , f o y e r , and lounge feet  space; 1600  square  2.  C o n c e s s i o n stand, c o a t check, t i c k e t o f f i c e ; d e s i r a b l e  3.  P a t r o n s e r v i c e s s h o u l d be spread around lobby a r e a to p r o v i d e smooth t r a f f i c flow  4.  Washrooms; 2, w i t h a minimum o f one t o i l e t , 2 u r i n a l s i n the men's, 2 t o i l e t s i n the women's. One s i n k per t o i l e t s h o u l d be p r o v i d e d . Check c i t y bylaws f o r regulations  Performance O p e r a t i o n 1.  A stage manager's p o s i t i o n s h o u l d be p r o v i d e d , on the s i d e o f the stage which c o n t r o l s as many e n t r a n c e s t o the s t a g e a r e a as p o s s i b l e . Work l i g h t s s h o u l d be c o n t r o l l e d from here as w e l l as from the l i g h t i n g booth  Ill  2.  C r o s s o v e r s ; a t l e a s t one, p r e f e r a b l y o u t s i d e the stage a r e a , but behind the cycloraraa i f n e c e s s a r y  3.  S h e l t e r e d access to the lobby and the house from backstage i s d e s i r a b l e  4.  Sound and l i g h t c o n t r o l booth should be p r o v i d e d , p r e f e r a b l y a t the r e a r o f the house, w i t h a good view o f the stage  5.  A t l e a s t 2 access doors t o the stage a r e a are n e c e s s a r y , w i t h a c l e a r p a t h from the d r e s s i n g rooms, optimum width; 5 f e e t , no s t a i r s  6.  Intercommunications between stage manager and l i g h t i n g necessary, between stage manager and d r e s s i n g rooms d e s i r a b l e  7.  Monitor speakers; i n greenroom, d r e s s i n g rooms, and lobby d e s i r a b l e  112  Glossary AUDITORIUM: Area where audience s i t s . a l s o House. Not t o be confused w i t h m u l t i - p u r p o s e a u d i t o r i u m , Chapter V I . BACKSTAGE:  Behind the proscenium,  o u t s i d e the a c t i n g a r e a .  BORDERS: M a t e r i a l used t o mask the upper p a r t o f the stage the view of the audience.  from  COUNTERWEIGHT: Permanent system t o a l l o w weight t o be added t o the o f f s t a g e end o f the f l y i n g ropes t o o f f s e t the weight o f the s c e n e r y . CURTAIN LINE: L i n e marking p o s i t i o n o f c u r t a i n when c l o s e d , a l s o Proscenium L i n e . CYCLORAMA: A backdrop, s i m u l a t e the sky. DEAD HUNG: DEPTH:  e i t h e r permanent o r temporary,  T i e d o f f t o g r i d , not a b l e t o be r a i s e d o r  H o r i z o n t a l d i s t a n c e i n the upstage  used  to  lowered.  t o downstage d i r e c t i o n .  DIMMER: Device which c o n t r o l s the amount o f power r e a c h i n g a l i g h t i n g instrument. END  STAGING: S t a g i n g i n which t h e r e i s no proscenium, so the w a l l s o f the house c o n t i n u e i n t o the w a l l s o f the s e t .  FLAT:  A u n i t o f scenery o f two d i m e n s i o n a l n a t u r e , c o n s i s t i n g o f a frame o f wood o r metal covered by a f l a t m a t e r i a l such as c l o t h .  FLY GALLERY: A p l a t f o r m above the stage f l o o r l e v e l used f o r o p e r a t i o n o f the f l y i n g system. FLYING SYSTEM: Equipment used t o r a i s e scenery from above. U s u a l l y c o n s i s t s o f ropes o r w i r e s r u n n i n g over p u l l e y s , sometimes w i t h counterweights. F.O.H. PIPES: L i g h t i n g p i p e s hung i n f r o n t o f the proscenium. Numbered s t a r t i n g a t the proscenium, moving towards the r e a r o f the house, e.g., #1 F.O.H. FORESTAGE: The p a r t o f the stage i n f r o n t o f the c u r t a i n a l s o Apron.  line,  FOYER: Area where audience member buys t i c k e t , w a i t s f o r f r i e n d s . Separated from lobby by door where t i c k e t s are t a k e n . FRONT OF HOUSE SERVICES: F a c i l i t i e s which p r o v i d e f o r the comf o r t and s e r v i c e o f the audience.  113  GREENROOM (GREEN ROOM): A c t o r s ' lounge, f o r w a i t i n g between cues o r r e c e i v i n g g u e s t s . GRID:  S t r u c t u r a l framework near the top o f the stage house f o r s u p p o r t i n g the f l y i n g system.  HOUSE:  see A u d i t o r i u m .  INNER STAGE: line.  That p a r t o f t h e stage a r e a behind t h e c u r t a i n  INTERCOMMUNICATION SYSTEM: Telephone a l l o w i n g communication between p r o d u c t i o n t e c h n i c i a n s and s t a f f and s t a g e manager, a l s o Intercom. LEGS:  F l a t s o r drapes hung p a r a l l e l t o the c u r t a i n l i n e t o mask the wing space from audience.  LIGHTING BOOTH:  Room f o r o p e r a t o r o f l i g h t i n g c o n t r o l  board.  LIGHTING CONTROL BOARD: A panel w i t h i n d i v i d u a l c o n t r o l s f o r each dimmer i n the l i g h t i n g system. LIGHTING INSTRUMENTS: - Lamps used t o i l l u m i n a t e t h e s t a g e . LIGHTING SYSTEM: E l e c t r i c a l system a l l o w i n g i l l u m i n a t i o n and c o n t r o l o f i l l u m i n a t i o n o f the t h e a t r e , e s p e c i a l l y the s t a g e . LIGHT PIPE: A metal b a r , u s u a l l y h o r i z o n t a l , used t o mount l i g h t i n g instruments. LIGHT TREE: V e r t i c a l metal bar w i t h a f l o o r s t a n d , used t o mount l i g h t i n g i n s t u r m e n t s . LOBBY: Area where p a t r o n w a i t s t o e n t e r a u d i t o r i u m a f t e r h i s t i c k e t to the t i c k e t taker.  giving  LOUNGE: Area where p a t r o n r e l a x e s d u r i n g i n t e r m i s s i o n . May have b a r f a c i l i t i e s . In a s m a l l t h e a t r e , t h i s i s o f t e n the same space as t h e lobby. MARQUEE:  Covered  a r e a o u t s i d e t h e a t r e door.  MONITOR SPEAKERS: Loudspeakers connected t o a s t a g e p i c k u p microphone t o a l l o w sound from t h e stage t o r e a c h backstage a r e a s . OFFSTAGE: ONSTAGE:  Away from the a c t i n g a r e a . Towards the a c t i n g a r e a .  PATCH PANEL: A p a n e l which allows i n t e r c o n n e c t i n g o f and dimmers o f l i g h t i n g system.  outlets  114  PRODUCTION SERVICES: Spaces and equipment which a r e used f o r the c o n s t r u c t i o n and p r e p a r a t i o n o f t h e t h e a t r i c a l show. PROPERTIES: Stage f u r n i t u r e , s e t d r e s s i n g , and a l l used by a c t o r s . PROSCENIUM:  articles  The frame s e p a r a t i n g stage from a u d i t o r i u m .  REVOLVE: A stage f l o o r c o n s t r u c t e d l i k e a t u r n t a b l e t o a l l o w the q u i c k s u b s t i t u t i o n o f one s e t f o r a n o t h e r . ROPE SET: One u n i t o f a f l y i n g system which uses ropes f o r l i f t i n g s c e n e r y . U s u a l l y c o n s i s t s o f a t l e a s t two ropes with the necessary p u l l e y s . RUN:  The number o f days on which a p l a y i s performed.  SEASON:  The annual p e r i o d when the t h e a t r e i s most a c t i v e .  SOUND BOOTH:  Room o c c u p i e d by t h e o p e r a t o r o f t h e sound  system.  SOUND SYSTEM: System f o r a m p l i f y i n g sounds made on s t a g e , e i t h e r a c t o r s ' v o i c e s o r sound e f f e c t s o r b o t h . STAGE DIRECTIONS: . Downstage; towards t h e audience. Stage L e f t , R i g h t ; towards t h e l e f t and r i g h t , of an a c t o r f a c i n g the audience. Upstage; away from t h e audience.  respectively,  THRUST STAGE: A stage w i t h a v e r y deep f o r e s t a g e , which extends i n t o the audience so they view i t from t h r e e s i d e s . TRUCK DECK: The p a r t o f a t r u c k upon which t h e l o a d or the f l o o r o f t h e box o f a v a n . WIDTH:  rests,  H o r i z o n t a l measurement p a r a l l e l t o the c u r t a i n  line.  WING SPACE: Stage f l o o r areas o f f s t a g e o f t h e a c t i n g a r e a t o the l e f t and r i g h t . a l s o Wings.  115  L i s t o f A r c h i t e c t u r a l Surveys A. By t h e Author The Arbutus Room, West Vancouver Community C e n t r e . The B e a c o n s f i e l d Elementary School Gymnasium, Vancouver. The C e n t e n n i a l T h e a t r e , North Vancouver. The Cypress Room, West Vancouver Community C e n t r e . The G l a d s t o n e Secondary S c h o o l A u d i t o r i u m , Vancouver. The James Cowan T h e a t r e , Burnaby. The Kelowna Community T h e a t r e , Kelowna. The Lakes D i s t r i c t Secondary S c h o o l Gymnasium, Burns Lake. The Langham C o u r t T h e a t r e , V i c t o r i a . The O l d S t . Stephen's Church, West Vancouver. The Powerhouse T h e a t r e , Vernon. The Vagabond T h e a t r e , New Westminster. The Vernon Community C e n t r e , Vernon. The W i l l i a m s Lake Secondary S c h o o l Gymnasium, W i l l i a m s Lake. The W i l l i a m s Lake Community A r t Room, W i l l i a m s Lake. The York T h e a t r e , Vancouver. B. From Other I n f o r m a t i o n The P r i n c e George Community T h e a t r e , P r i n c e George, from R i c h a r d Spenser o f P r i n c e George. Telephone i n t e r v i e w .  116  L i s t of L i t e r a r y  Sources  A u d i t o r i u m and Stage. Community Drama (Dept. o f Victoria. B a s i c Equipment f o r the Small Stage. London. 1951. Bell,  Education)  B r i t i s h Drama League.  S., M a r s h a l l , N., and Southern, R. E s s e n t i a l s of Stage P l a n n i n g . F r e d e r i c k M u l l e r L t d . London. 1949.  " B l u e p r i n t f o r a Community T h e a t r e " . Performing A r t s i n Canada. V o l . 6, No. 1, 28f. Bowmann, W., and B a l l , R. Theatre Language. T h e a t r e A r t s Books. New York. 1961. 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