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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 BRITISH COLUMBIA by GORDON ARTHUR LONG 5.A. U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, 1970 THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n the department of THEATRE We ac c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the r e q u i r e d standards THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October, 1974 In p resent ing t h i s thes is in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree tha t the L i b r a r y sha l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r reference and study. I f u r t h e r agree t h a t permission fo r ex tens ive copying o f t h i s t hes i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head o f my Department or by h i s rep resen ta t i ves . I t i s understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t hes i s f o r f i n a n c i a l ga in sha l l not be al lowed w i thou t my w r i t t e n permiss ion . Department of Theatre The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada Date October 9, 1974 i ABSTRACT This thesis comprises a d e s c r i p t i o n and analysis of selected theatre spaces used by community theatre groups i n B r i t i s h Columbia. Following preliminary research, sixteen examples were chosen from the approximately one hundred spaces used by these groups, as being a t y p i c a l cross-section of the a v a i l a b l e f a c i l i t i e s . These examples were surveyed by the author and, where possible, interviews were conducted with those people responsible for t h e i r design and/or operation. For purposes of a n a l y s i s , theatre spaces were d i -vided i n t o f i v e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s : 1 ) found space, 2 ) con-version, 3) gymnasium box, 4) multi-purpose auditorium, and 5) buildings designed exclu s i v e l y for t h e a t r i c a l production. In the f i n a l stage of i n v e s t i g a t i o n one example was chosen from each category f o r a more intensive survey. These f i v e spaces were then analyzed as to t h e i r s u i t a b i l i t y for am-ateur production. The method used was comparison of the data •,as. surveyed with c r i t e r i a established by: 1 ) l i t -erature on theatre architecture, 2 ) professional theatre personnel, and 3 ) community theatre personnel who had worked i n the sample b u i l d i n g . I t was possible to reach, from t h i s research, some general conclusions regarding spaces used by community theatre groups. The general 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 produc-t i o n . This problem was a t t r i b u t e d to a lack of funds and to a l a c k of 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 these spaces. A corresponding f a c t o r which was found to i n f l u -ence the q u a l i t y of community theatre production was the improper use of the spaces a v a i l a b l e . Again the problem could be t r a c e d to l a c k of knowledge of 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 gathered, i t was p o s s i b l e t o make general recommendations f o r those wishing to improve t h e i r theatre space or to c o n s t r u c t a new b u i l d i n g , and a l s o f o r government agencies wishing to be of a s s i s t a n c e to community th e a t r e groups. TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT i LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS i v CHAPTER I . INTRODUCTION 1 CHAPTER I I . CLASSIFICATION 7 CHAPTER I I I . FOUND SPACE 12 Genera l C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s ( 1 2 ) — O l d S t . Stephen's Church, West Vancouver (15) CHAPTER IV. CONVERSIONS 22 General C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s ( 2 2 ) — T h e Powerhouse T h e a t r e , Vernon (25) CHAPTER V. GYMNASIUM BOX 46 Gen e r a l C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s ( 4 6 ) — C y p r e s s Room, West Vancouver Community Centre (49) CHAPTER V I . MULTI-PURPOSE AUDITORIUMS. . 63 Gener a l C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s ( 6 3 ) — K e l o w n a Community Th e a t r e , Kelowna (65) CHAPTER V I I . BUILDINGS DESIGNED EXCLUSIVELY FOR THEATRICAL PRODUCTION 80 Gen e r a l C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s ( 8 0 ) — T h e York T h e a t r e , Vancouver (81) CHAPTER V I I I . 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 Design (99)—Recommendations (103) APPENDIX A 106 APPENDIX B 107 GLOSSARY 112 LIST OF ARCHITECTURAL SURVEYS 115 LIST OF LITERARY SOURCES 116 LIST OF INTERVIEWS 117 i v LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS I l l u s t r a t i o n I I I - l . Old St. Stephen's Church 17 III-2. Old St. Stephen's Church 20 III-3. Old St. Stephen's Church, basement 21 III-4. Old St. Stephen's Church, proscenium section 21 IV -1. Powerhouse Theatre, lobby 38 IV -2. Powerhouse Theatre, lobby entrance 38 IV -3. Powerhouse Theatre, t i c k e t o f f i c e and washrooms.. 39 IV -4. Powerhouse Theatre, auditorium 39 IV -5. Powerhouse Theatre, cross section 44 IV -6. Powerhouse Theatre, lower l e v e l plan 44 IV -7. Powerhouse Theatre, upper l e v e l plan 45 V -1. Arbutus Room, g r i d substitute system 56 V -2. Arbutus Room 57 V -3. Arbutus Room 57 V -4. Cypress Room 62 VI -1. Kelowna Community Theatre, stage area 78 VI -2. Kelowna Community Theatre, auditorium 79 VII-1. York Theatre 93 VII-2. York Theatre, basement 94 VII-3. York Theatre, balcony and dressing rooms 94 Fact Sheet 1. Old St. Stephen's Church, West Vancouver 18 2. The Powerhouse Theatre, Vernon 40 3. Cypress Room, West Vancouver Community C e n t r e . — 58 4. Kelowna Community Theatre, Kelowna 75 5. The York Theatre, Vancouver 90 V 1 CHAPTER I I n t r o d u c t i o n Man's a c t i v i t i e s f a l l i n t o two c a t e g o r i e s : those he p e r -forms i n or d e r t o p r o v i d e h i m s e l f w i t h the n e c e s s i t i e s o f l i f e , and those he performs p u r e l y f o r enjoyment. The l a t t e r , a l t h o u g h not o f primary importance, shape h i s l i f e and t h a t o f h i s f a m i l y i n many ways. T h i s type o f a c t i v i t y i s c a l l e d r e c r e a t i o n . The 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 t o the i n d i v i d u a l and the community has been r e c o g n i z e d f o r a l o n g time, and i s evidenced by the f a c t t h a t government agencies have been s e t up t o encour-age these f u n c t i o n s (e.g., the B r i t i s h Columbia Community Recrea-t i o n Branch). Modern s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s have d e f i n e d r e c r e a t i o n i n v a r i o u s ways, but a l l seem t o concur i n these r e s p e c t s : 1) the a c t i v i t y i s done i n l e i s u r e time, and 2) i t i s motiv a t e d by p e r s o n a l enjoyment o f the a c t i v i t y i t s e l f . In t r y i n g t o p l a c e q u a l i t a t i v e judgement on r e c r e a t i o n (to d e c i d e which a c t i v i t i e s s h ould be encouraged) a t h i r d p a r t i s added t o the 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 growth and development o f the 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 which f u l f i l l s a l l t h r e e o f these c r i t e r i a i s community t h e a t r e . Community t h e a t r e i s a Lynn 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 e c r e a t i o n , Ronald Press Co., New York, 1964, p. 3. 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 production and those i n the audience receive pleasure. In turn, both are given the benefit of a c u l t u r a l experience, providing growth and development for the i n d i v i d u a l . Another way i n which community theatre aids personal growth i s i n the experience of cooperation which stems from the nature of the t h e a t r i c a l enterprise. Theatre i s unique among rec r e a t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s , be they sports or a r t s oriented, 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 , and a s p i r a t i o n s encompassed i n i t s r e a l i z a t i o n . The community theatre provides a meeting place f o r people from many l e v e l s and segments of society, (e.g., school teachers, carpenters, housewives, c h i l -dren, and senior c i t i z e n s ) allowing these people to work togeth-er towards a s i n g l e g o a l — t h e t h e a t r i c a l show. Although perhaps the theatre experience i s not dependent on a theatre b u i l d i n g , the community theatre groups, because of the demands of audiences, plays, and business arrangements, f i n d themselves i n the p o s i t i o n of needing a s p e c i f i c space. Thus i t i s highly desireable for the community theatre group to work i n a theatre. My research indicates that an i d e a l b u i l d i n g f o r many groups would be a two hundred seat proscenium theatre, with a raked auditorium, adequate f r o n t of house services, a f l y i n g system, and f a i r l y extensive production services. There are over 20,000 people involved i n producing plays at the community theatre l e v e l i n B r i t i s h Columbia, r e s i d i n g i n 70 towns throughout the province. About 400 productions 3 are s t a g e d each year, a t t r a c t i n g an audience of over 280,000.''" There can be l i t t l e doubt, then, as t o the number of people and the r e s e r v e of t a l e n t and enthusiasm a v a i l a b l e t o the community t h e a t r e movement. However, the f a c i l i t i e s a v a i l -a b l e i n which to house t h e a t r i c a l a c t i v i t i e s a r e , f o r the most p a r t , w o e f u l l y inadequate. Of the over 100 community t h e a t r e groups i n B.C., o n l y 2 are a b l e to use f a c i l i t i e s b u i l t s p e c i f -i c a l l y as t h e a t r e s - B u i l d i n g s converted t o t h e a t r e s from o t h e r uses account f o r 6 more, w h i l e the v a s t m a j o r i t y s t r u g g l e a l o n g i n community h a l l s , h i g h s c h o o l gymnasiums, o r any o t h e r spaces a v a i l a b l e t o them. Only 9 o f the t o t a l 100 c o m p l e t e l y c o n t r o l t h e i r t h e a t r e space and the number which a c t u a l l y own t h e i r 2 premises i s even l e s s . New t h e a t r e s b e i n g b u i l t by m u n i c i p a l and e d u c a t i o n a l a u t h o r i t i e s do l i t t l e t o a l l e v i a t e t h i s s i t u a -t i o n , because the i n t e r e s t s o f o t h e r groups cause the r e s u l t i n g b u i l d i n g s t o be u n s u i t e d f o r the work o f the community group. Alt h o u g h some r e s e a r c h has been done i n t o the types o f 3 spaces used by these groups, no m-depth study has y e t been made o f the a r c h i t e c t u r a l d e s i g n o f these b u i l d i n g s . The i n t e n t o f t h i s study i s t o i n v e s t i g a t e the problems p r e s e n t e d t o community t h e a t r e groups by the spaces they use. To Paddy Malcolm E n g l i s h , "A Report on the S t a t e of Non-p r o f e s s i o n a l Theatre i n B r i t i s h Columbia", u n p u b l i s h e d , p. 1. Idem, t o E r i c Broom, May 14, 1974. Idem, " B r i t i s h Columbia Community Theatre Q u e s t i o n n a i r e " , u n p u b l i s h e d . For a r e p r o d u c t i o n o f t h i s q u e s t i o n n a i r e , see Appendix A. 4 t h i s purpose, I w i l l analyze these spaces i n terms of how they f a c i l i t a t e the construction, rehearsal, and performance of a community theatre production. Community Theatre The term "community theatre" as used i n t h i s paper i s perhaps best defined by Paddy Malcolm English, former B.C. Drama Consultant. The term 'non-professional community theatre' could be defined as an a r t form practiced f o r pleasure and not for f i n a n c i a l gain, but rather as a community service and therefore e s s e n t i a l j n the c u l t u r a l growth of the people of t h i s Province. This d e f i n i t i o n , i t should be noted, excludes p r o f e s s i o n a l groups, semi-professional groups (e.g., those p a r t l y financed by Opp-o r t u n i t i e s f o r Youth and other government agencies, and those which pay some actors and technicians), and educational theatre (either within the school curriculum, or e x t r a - c u r r i c u l a r theatre under school supervision). The organizations performing community theatre term them-selves v a r i o u s l y as clubs, workshops, theatres, l i t t l e theatres, g u i l d s , and groups. For s i m p l i c i t y , I s h a l l use the term "group" i n t h i s study. I t i s pertinent to note that the members of community theatre groups work on productions f o r r e c r e a t i o n a l purposes, and that a vast majority of them have f u l l time jobs. Thus t h e i r motivation i s not the same as that of a p r o f e s s i o n a l , Idem, "Report on Non-professional Theatre", p. 1. 5 and neither i s t h e i r working p o t e n t i a l . The f a c t that these people have already 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 long, hard hours necessary for the rehearsal, con-s t r u c t i o n , and promotion of a large t h e a t r i c a l production. In such a s i t u a t i o n , the e f f i c i e n c y of the theatre space i n which they work i s doubly important. In addition, these amateur a r t -i s t s and technical people often lack the experience and t r a i n i n g which would enable them to cope e f f e c t i v e l y with l e s s than i d e a l f a c i l i t i e s . ^ " I experienced an example of t h i s at F e s t i v a l '74 i n Kelowna, where groups from various parts of the province were performing on the very wide stage of the Kelowna Community Theat-re. The f a c t that the technicians did not know how to success-f u l l y deal with t h i s width placed the actors i n the awkward p o s i t i o n of playing i n a s e t t i n g of d i f f e r e n t dimensions from that used for previous rehearsals or performances. They were often unable to adapt g r a c e f u l l y . Theatre Space The term "theatre space" could be broadly defined as any area used by the community theatre group f o r any t h e a t r i c a l function (e.g., performance, rehearsal, non-performance o r i e n t -ed theatre such as workshops and developmental drama, construc-t i o n and technical work, and storage of t h e a t r i c a l equipment). The buildings which I have surveyed and chosen as examples are ei t h e r spaces which are currently being, used by community theatre Idem, interview at F e s t i v a l '74, Kelowna, June 1974. 6 groups, or, 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 of b u i l d -ing types which are often used. These f i v e buildings w i l l be analyzed by comparison with c r i t e r i a established through research of sources of t e c h n i c a l t h e a t r i c a l knowledge. For a summary of these c r i t e r i a , see Appendix B, page 107 below. 7 CHAPTER I I C l a s s i f i c a t i o n A r c h i t e c t u r e In her " B r i t i s h Columbia Community Theatre Q u e s t i o n -n a i r e " , s e n t t o a l l community t h e a t r e groups i n the p r o v i n c e , Mrs. E n g l i s h asked v a r i o u s q u e s t i o n s r e g a r d i n g "work area"."'' From the answers o b t a i n e d , i t i s p o s s i b l e t o d i v i d e the spaces used i n t o f i v e g e n e r a l t y p e s : found space, gymnasium box, m u l t i - p u r p o s e a u d i t o r i u m , c o n v e r s i o n , and t h e a t r e . T h i s d i v i -s i o n i s made s t r i c t l y on the b a s i s o f the a r c h i t e c t u r a l n a t u r e o f the space. Found Space A found space i s , as i t s name would imply> a space t h a t i s used as i t i s found, and not changed i n any major way t o f a c i l i t a t e t h e a t r i c a l p r o d u c t i o n . I t has not been designed w i t h t h e a t r e p r o d u c t i o n i n mind, but was o r i g i n a l l y i n t e n d e d f o r some o t h e r purpose. A t e c h n i c i a n b u i l d i n g a f l a t i n h i s 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 l i v i n g room, o r a s c h o o l c l a s s r o o m used as a d r e s s i n g room, would a l l c l a s s i f y as use o f found space. In t h i s sense, p r o b a b l y a l l amateur groups i n the p r o v i n c e use found space i n some way. Another a s p e c t , however, i s the group t h a t uses found space as a performance a r e a . A group t h a t performs c h i l d r e n ' s E n g l i s h , "Community Theatre Q u e s t i o n n a i r e " . 8 theatre i n a kindergarten classroom or a group that performs i n an a r t g a l l e r y are also using found space. These groups are i n a minority, being only seven out of the f i f t y - f i v e groups who responded to the English questionnaire. For example, the Kitimat Community Theatre sometimes performs i n an open area i n the Municipal Museum. One of the V i c t o r i a groups, the Gallery Players, performs i n the lecture h a l l of the Provin-c i a l Museum.^" Gymnasium Box The gymnasium box i s by f a r the most frequently used of a l l the types, not because of i t s excellence as a t h e a t r i c a l space, but because of i t s a v a i l a b i l i t y . There are innumerable schools as well as many mu n i c i p a l i t i e s i n the province which 2 have t h i s type of f a c i l i t y . An exact number i s unavailable. This s t y l e of 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 sports, meetings, and banquets. I t has a box stage added at one end or perhaps one side to expand i t s f a c i l i t i e s . In some small towns, t h i s i s the only space a v a i l -able with any 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 of a l t e r n a t i v e s i s too c o s t l y . Of the groups surveyed, 40 per cent use a gymnasium box stage f o r a l l t h e i r productions, and English, to E r i c Broom. Mrs. Van Bassen, Secretary to Mr. S_mpson, Director of School Planning F a c i l i t i e s , Department of Education, V i c t o r i a , telephone, August 29, 1974. English interview. 9 a number of others use one on occasion.'*" I might point out that, despite t h i s heavy usage, everyone questioned condemns t h i s type of b u i l d i n g as being antagonistic to almost any t h e a t r i c a l en-deavour.^ Multi-Purpose Auditorium Another c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of b u i l d i n g which i s designed to f u l f i l l as many functions as possible i s the multi-purpose audit-orium. Unlike the gymnasium, t h i s type i s designed s p e c i f i c a l l y for functions which a t t r a c t an audience, i t has permanent seats, a raked f l o o r , and a better designed stage. In t h i s case also, community theatre productions are not catered to, because design accent i s placed on audience space, and not on the proscenium and behind i t . These buildings are usually owned by c i v i c or 3 educational a u t h o r i t i e s . Only f i v e groups xn the province use a b u i l d i n g of t h i s type with r e g u l a r i t y , one example being Theatre Kelowna. Conversion A very few community theatre groups have been able to im-prove t h e i r f a c i l i t i e s a great deal by finding 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 re-designed and changed i n major ways to adapt i t to t h e a t r i c a l Idem, to E r i c Broom. English interview; Doug Huggins interview, F e s t i v a l '74, Kelowna, 1974; P h i l i p S i l v e r interview, F e s t i v a l '74, Kelowna, 1974. English interview. 10 performance. Walls may be removed, a stage added, auditorium f l o o r raked, c e i l i n g raised, and doors added; renovations vary depending on the o r i g i n a l design of the b u i l d i n g and the needs of the group. Because t h i s kind of project requires a large monetary outlay and considerable organization and support, only the more advanced groups are able to consider a conversion, and only s i x f u l l conversions e x i s t , the Vagabond Theatre of New Westminster and the Langham Court Theatre of V i c t o r i a being examples. A few other 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 . ^ Buildings Designed Exclusively for T h e a t r i c a l Production This c l a s s i f i c a t i o n i s distinguished from other categor-ies, i n that i t i s designed s p e c i f i c a l l y with t h e a t r i c a l produc-t i o n i n mind. I t usually takes the form of a smaller (compared to the multi-purpose auditorium) proscenium theatre, with raked auditorium, permanent seating, front of house serv i c e s , a f l y i n g system, dressing rooms, and sometimes construction f a c i l i t i e s . This type i s also distinguished by being the smallest c l a s s i f i c a t i o n . Only two buildings out of the t o t a l surveyed f a l l i n t o t h i s category: one i n Prince George, and the other, the York Theatre, i n Vancouver. The North Vancouver Centennial Theatre i s so w e l l designed as a theatre as to 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 of i t s s i z e and i t s intended function, i t w i l l be considered a multi-purpose Idem, "Community Theatre Questionnaire". 11 auditorium for the purposes of t h i s study. Business Buildings can also be c l a s s i f i e d i n terms of t h e i r bus-iness operation, the pertinent factor being control of the bu i l d i n g , or, more s p e c i f i c a l l y , who i s i n charge of operation and scheduling. In t h i s study, a simple d i v i s i o n i s made, decided by whether the b u i l d i n g i s operated by the community theatre group or by another body. The actual ownership i s not always a fa c t o r . Often the b u i l d i n g i s owned by the muni-c i p a l i t y , and leased or donated to the group, who then operate as i f i t were t h e i r own. For example, the Prince George Theatre Workshop started to b u i l d t h e i r own theatre, but were unable to f i n i s h i t f o r f i n a n c i a l reasons. The c i v i c government has f i n i s h e d the project, and allows the group to run the b u i l d i n g . Both the Vagabond Theatre i n New Westminster and the Powerhouse Theatre i n Vernon are t e c h n i c a l l y owned by t h e i r respective c i t i e s , but are operated by the community theatre groups. The Kelowna Community Theatre and the James Cowan Theatre of Burnaby are 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 of the Powerhouse Theatre, and Mrs. English consider control of the space an extremely 2 important factor i n the operation of a communxty theatre group. English, to E r i c Broom. Huggins interview; English interview. 12 CHAPTER I I I Found Space General C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s Found space i s , by d e f i n i t i o n , a space which i s non-t h e a t r i c a l i n d e s i g n , but i s used i n i t s o r i g i n a l s t a t e by the community t h e a t r e group f o r a t h e a t r i c a l purpose. I t d i f f e r s from "found space" i n the u s u a l t h e a t r i c a l sense o f t h e word, i n t h a t the space i s not chosen because o f any i n t r i n s i c v a l u e o f i t s atmosphere, which would b e n e f i t the performance o f a s p e c i f i c p l a y . The found spaces used by community t h e a t r e groups a r e chosen because o f t h e i r a v a i l a b i l i t y , and any a r t i s -t i c b e n e f i t s r e s u l t i n g from the nature o f the space a r e r a r e . The t y p i c a l atmosphere o f the community t h e a t r e found space i s a t b e s t n e u t r a l , a t worst d e t r i m e n t a l , t o t h e t h e a t r i c a l p e r -formance. Found space i s d i s t i n g u i s h e d a l s o from c o n v e r s i o n space, (see Chapter IV below) i n t h a t the c o n v e r s i o n i s a b u i l d -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 i s adapted i n major ways t o make i t s u i t a b l e f o r t h e a t r i c a l performance. Found space i s used w i t h o u t s i g n i f i c a n t a d a p t a t i o n . F o r example, moving the desks i n a cl a s s r o o m t o make a c e n t r a l performance a r e a would be u t i l i z a t i o n o f found space; adding a r a k e d a u d i t o r i u m f l o o r t o a church h a l l would be c o n s i d e r e d c o n v e r s i o n . Of a l l the spaces used by t h e a t r e groups i n B r i t i s h Columbia, the found space c l a s s i f i c a t i o n i n c l u d e s the most v a r i e d forms, because i t i n c l u d e s any space found u s e f u l by the 13 group for any t h e a t r i c a l purpose. Such diverse spaces as garage workshops, school classrooms, a r t g a l l e r i e s , c i t y parks, base-ments, l i v i n g rooms, and streets are used by community theatre groups for the various a c t i v i t i e s included i n the production of t h e i r plays. Because of t h i s d i v e r s i t y , I w i l l disregard spaces not used for the three major functions of theatre: rehearsal, construction, and performance. The most prevalent feature of these spaces i s t h e i r non-theatrical nature. Because of t h i s , they are r e s t r i c t e d i n equipment of a l l t y p e s — l i g h t s , sound, f l y i n g systems—and i n space f o r actors, sets, and audience. L i g h t i n g i s usually general area i l l u m i n a t i o n , sound equipment i s non-existent and acoustics bad, and seating i s temporary, often wooden or metal stacking c h a i r s . 1 I t i s d i f f i c u l t to generalize on ownership and organiza-t i o n of found spaces, because the types of buildings d i f f e r so greatly. Homes of group members are often used. For example, i n Williams Lake,flats are stored i n a club member's basement. These spaces are, as a rule, free of charge. The Old St. Stephen's Church i s owned by the West Vancouver Mu n i c i p a l i t y , and i s ava i l a b l e f o r rent. The Kitimat group performs i n an open area i n the P r o v i n c i a l Museum. The main business c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of these spaces i s that i t seems, from information gathered by Mrs. English, that many groups f i n d even these minimal English, to E r i c Broom. 14 accommodations d i f f i c u l t to obtain and expensive to finance. For most c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s of spaces i t i s not d i f f i c u l t to f i n d a b u i l d i n g which i s representative of the type. In the found space category the d i v e r s i t y of forms makes i t of use to note a few general examples. A s p e c i f i c example, which w i l l be f u l l y analyzed, i s also included. Williams Lake The Williams Lake Players use a portable classroom which i s owned by the town council. This b u i l d i n g i s also used by several other community groups, for a c t i v i t i e s as varied as square dancing, pottery, music, and painting. The space i s 24-by-24 feet, with an 8 foot c e i l i n g . L i ghting equipment consists of two 500 Watt Fresnel s p o t l i g h t s and eight 150 Watt household f l o o d l i g h t s . Dimming of the l i g h t i n g i s provided by s i x 500 Watt, s o l i d state household dimmer switches on the wall by the entrance door. For performance, 120 people can be seated on stacking chairs borrowed from a nearby school. Each year, the Williams Lake Players rehearse and per-form 4 "workshop" plays i n t h i s b u i l d i n g . These plays are produced as an exercise for group members and are not strongly performance oriented. Once a year the group produces a f u l l -length play which i s rehearsed i n the found space area and performed i n a school gymnasium or church h a l l . This production 2 runs 3 nights, usually on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Idem, "Report on Non-professional Theatre". Harold G i l e s , telephone interview, J u l y 26, 1974. 15 Kelowna Theatre Kelowna i s much better equipped, having the Kelowna Community Theatre i n which to perform, and renting a former Forest Service complex f o r rehearsal and other a u x i l -i a r y space. This complex consists of 3 buildings: an o f f i c e b u i l d i n g , a storage area, and a garage, each approximately 34-by-40 feet. The o f f i c e has 4 rooms, including a kitchen with no sink. The former storage building has one room approximately 26-by-30 feet which the group uses as a green room and rehearsal space. There i s also a washroom, with a sink, and an a t t i c s t o r -age space i n t h i s b u i l d i n g . The garage b u i l d i n g has 4 v e h i c l e bays, 10-by-30 feet each, 2 of which are used as a scene shop, and 2 of which are storage. The group i s charged no rent f o r t h i s f a c i l i t y , but must pay $1,600 taxes per year. This cost, plus most of t h e i r other expenses, i s usually covered by the p r o f i t s from one musical comedy which they produce each year. This runs 5 days and a t t r a c t s large audiences. They also pro-duce 4 dramas per year which run 3 days each, and do not always pay f o r the cost of t h e i r own production. 1 Old St. Stephen's Church, West Vancouver This b u i l d i n g i s a former church, now d e s a n c t i f i e d and owned by the Municipality of West Vancouver as part of t h e i r r e c r e a t i o n complex. I t i s used for various functions, i n c l u d -i n g a r t showings, Red Cross i n s t r u c t i o n , Senior C i t i z e n s meetings, Mark Vaughan interview, Kelowna, August 16, 1974. 16 and the community Youth Theatre Program. The design of the build-ing i s partially performance oriented, in that i t contains an area with a f l a t floor 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 building i s taken up by auxiliary rooms. For complete architectural information see Fact Sheet 1. The Old St. Stephen's Church is one example of a number of buildings with good theatrical potential which are in exist-ence, but are not necessarily always available to theatre groups. The West Vancouver L i t t l e Theatre has tried to obtain complete control of this building to use exclusively as a theatre, but has to this date been unsuccessful. The main quality which recommends this building to the theatre technician is the large amount of auxiliary space a v a i l -able, consisting of a complete wing of two floors, plus under-stage storage space. Another advantage this building has over many found spaces is the "feel", or atmosphere of the interior. The white plaster walls and dark wood floor, panelling, and beams seem to make a re s t f u l , comfortable impression on the audience member, adding to the atmosphere of "special place" needed i n a theatre (see i l l u s t r a t i o n 1)."^ This building does not conform to Mr. Huggins' definition of a "building with potential", which in his opinion would be 2 approximately 50 feet square, with "good height". It also •••Ian Pratt interview, Frederic Wood Theatre, University of B r i t i s h Columbia, August 1974. Huggins interview. 17 has other d e f i c i e n c i e s . For example, as Mr. Wilcox pointed out, the white w a l l s would d e t r a c t from focus of audience attention."'" Therefore, t h i s b u i l d i n g would probably not be u s e f u l f o r a group d e s i r i n g to perform f u l l - s i z e p r o ductions, w i t h s e t s and elaborate l i g h t i n g . However, i t would be a s u f f i c i e n t space to perform the a t r e of a l i m i t e d form, such as workshop and experimental performances. I t would a l s o be very good space f o r a group to 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 could 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 t h e a t r e . """Richard Kent Wilcox i n t e r v i e w , F r e d e r i c Wood Theatre, U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, August 1974. I l l u s t r a t i o n I I I - l Old S t . Stephen's Church I 18 Style S t a g e FACT SHEET 1 Old St. Stephen's Church, West Vancouver 1. Proscenium 1. Proscenium; 24 feet wide, a Gothic-style arch 12 feet high at centre, 8 feet at sides 2. Stage height; 1 foot 3. Stage depth; 16 feet 6 inches 4. Wing space; 2 feet 6 inches each side 5. Height of c e i l i n g ; 15 feet at centre, 10 feet at sides 6. Floor; varnished f i r , no n a i l s or screws allowed 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 arch, switch on stage l e f t proscenium Sound 1. No equipment Loading and Storage 1. Loading; up 4 feet o f , s t a i r s , through house door, through ve s t i b u l e , and through house 2. Storage; ll-by-19 feet against upstage w a l l , lockable Dressing Rooms 1. None s p e c i f i c ; space a v a i l a b l e downstairs 19 FACT SHEET 1 — C o n t i n u e d 2. 2 t o i l e t s w i t h s i n k s ; o f f downstairs h a l l w a y 3. Red Cross room; c o u l d be Greenroom Wardrobe 1. Space a v a i l a b l e downstairs P r o p e r t i e s 1. No s p e c i f i c area; s t o r a g e i n upstage w a l l Scene shop 1. None House 1. 150 temporary s e a t s 2. 45-by-29 f e e t ; f l a t f l o o r 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 on door near main en t r a n c e , do not dim 4. Large numbar o f windows F r o n t o f House S e r v i c e s 1. 6-by-14 f o o t v e s t i b u l e 2. Red Cross room c o u l d be used as lounge 3. K i t c h e n f o r c o n c e s s i o n s a c r o s s hallway from Red Cross Room 4. 2 washroomsoff upper hallway; 1 t o i l e t and 1 s i n k i n each Performance O p e r a t i o n 1. Stage Manager; on stage l e f t 2. Access t o a c t i n g area; stage l e f t o n l y 20 V e s t i b u l e , 6 ' X 10' : i J I l l u s t r a t i o n I I I - 2 O l d S t . Stephen's Church A u d i t o r i u m , 45' X 29* Red C r o s s Room, 21' X 24 Up Stage, 16J* X 29 S t o r a g e , 11" X 21 Rehearsal Space 2 1 ' X 29' Up — f — Up Storage Under House Washroom r I Storage Storage-i Washroom 4. _ Furnace O f f i c e I l l u s t r a t i o n III-3 Old St. Stephen's Church, basement 22 CHAPTER IV Conversions General C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s Examples of theatres formed by the conversion of formerly non-theatrical spaces may be found i n several B r i t i s h Columbian communities. Six of the groups surveyed have completely converted buildings into theatres, and several 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 . F u l l conversions are: the Powerhouse Theatre i n Vernon, the Langham Court Theatre i n V i c t o r i a , the Vagabond Playhouse i n New Westminster, the White Rock L i t t l e Theatre i n White Rock, and the James Cowan Theatre i n Burnaby. Other less developed conversions are used by the Surrey L i t t l e Theatre, which performs i n an o l d church h a l l , and the St. Luke's Players i n V i c t o r i a , which owns a former church. The t y p i c a l conversion surveyed i s a multi-purpose h a l l , modified by simply expanding i t s f a c i l i t i e s to make a theatre. The Langham Court, the James Cowan Theatre, and the Surrey L i t t l e Theatre are of t h i s s o r t . The Powerhouse Theatre i s unique, i n that i t was converted from a completely non-theatrical space, namely an old power s t a t i o n . The process of conversion i s usually a gradual one, as the group obtains enough money to do a small amount of renovating at one time. I t i s probable that the Surrey L i t t l e Theatre and the St. Luke's Players are at an e a r l i e r stage of development at t h i s time, and could be f u l l y converted i n the future. 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 also had a recent updating of a former conversion. "^  The steps usually taken to render these spaces more per-formance oriented are: to rake the house f l o o r , usually i n l e v e l s , and provide permanent seating; to b u i l d a stage i f no stage e x i s t s ; to i n s t a l l a proscenium arch; to i n s t a l l a f l y i n g system of some sort; to provide some t h e a t r i c a l l i g h t i n g ; and to provide or remodel the lobby space, dressing rooms, shop space, kitchen and concessions, and costume, prop and scenery storage spaces. These are accomplished i n d i f f e r e n t degrees of completeness, depending on the group's p r i o r i t i e s . The f i n a l product of t h i s i s usually a theatre seating j u s t under two hundred patrons, (one exception i s the James Cowan Theatre, 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 not con-form to some of the standards of community theatres). There are ce 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 the conversion process, but I would say the r e s u l t i s a better p l a n t than most groups i n the province possess. There are c e r t a i n a r c h i t e c t u r a l problems which are common to most conversions. Because of a stage being added at one end of a h a l l , stage walls are only as wide as the seating area, thus giving extremely r e s t r i c t e d wing space. Not one group 2 has followed the recommendations of B e l l et a l . , who show a Mrs. H. C l i f f interview, Vagabond Theatre, June 27, 1974. S. B e l l , N. Marshall, and R. Southern, E s s e n t i a l s of Stage Planning, Frederick Muller Ltd., London, 1949, p. 22f. 24 converted h a l l with expanded wing space and f l y l o f t . The f l y l o f t i s often l e f t low because of i n s u f f i c i e n t height i n the o r i g -i n a l b u i l d i n g and thus the increased cost of providing i t . The loading area also suffers because of reluctance to cut new doors i n the b u i l d i n g when semi-sufficient ones already e x i s t . In t o t a l , then, t h i s usually r e s u l t s i n a bui l d i n g with a l l the f a c i l i t i e s needed f o r a small theatre, but r e s t r i c t e d i n s i z e . This i s not altogether bad. A small auditorium i s considered by some to be a desirable feature for the use of an amateur group. 1 However, i t i s very r e s t r i c t i n g i n other areas, such as dressing rooms. These theatres are usually run by the community theatre group, although often owned by the c i t y . Again, the James Cowan Theatre i s the only exception, being both owned and run by the c i t y of Burnaby. Once a group has a converted space, they tend towards producing more ambitious seasons of plays. I suppose t h i s i s natural, since they have, f i r s t , the f a c i l i t i e s required for f u l l - s c a l e productions, and second, the well developed b u s i -ness organization necessary to cope with the ownership s i t u a t i o n . The control of a good theatre gives these groups another advan-t a g e — t h e longer running show. These groups are able to mount large productions which, because of scheduling a b i l i t y , u sually run seven to ten days. The average of a l l groups i n the province i s s i x days run per play, many groups performing three days or l e s s . English interview; Huggins interview. English, "Report on Non-professional Theatre". 25 The Powerhouse Theatre, Vernon I have chosen the Powerhouse Theatre o f Vernon f o r my example not because i t i s t y p i c a l , but as a demonstration o f what can be a c h i e v e d i n the l i n e of c o n v e r t e d spaces. Many groups i n B r i t i s h Columbia today e x i s t i n s i m i l a r c i r c u m s t a n c e s t o those e x p e r i e n c e d by the Vernon L i t t l e T h e a t r e group i n 1962; they owned no b u i l d i n g , and were l o o k i n g f o r a clubhouse o r r e h e a r s a l space to use. They s t o r e d t h e i r equipment i n one room o f the Scout H a l l , and performed i n a s c h o o l gymnasium. They a c q u i r e d the o l d Vernon Power S t a t i o n , and i n v e s t e d $25 thousand i n a c o n v e r s i o n p r o j e c t . The Powerhouse T h e a t r e f i r s t opened i n November o f 1963. I t c o n t a i n e d a 150-seat raked a u d i t o r i u m , a f o y e r , a clubroom, costume s t o r a g e , a stage tower, and a scene shop. Equipment i n c l u d e d a l i g h t i n g system and a f l y i n g system o f 18 rope s e t s . In 1973, w i t h a f u r t h e r $15 thousand and more work by v o l u n t e e r s , the b u i l d i n g was expanded. They extended the f o y e r , stage and shop, and added 41 s e a t s , d r e s s i n g rooms, and a new costume area. New l i g h t i n g equipment, a new f l y i n g system, and a p o r t a b l e r e v o l v e were a l s o added. For f u l l i n f o r m a t i o n , see F a c t Sheet 2. T h i s t h e a t r e i s c i t y owned, but l e a s e d t o the t h e a t r e group f o r the nominal fee o f one d o l l a r per y e a r ; thus i t i s c o m p l e t e l y c o n t r o l l e d by the group. However, t h i s i s not o f f i -c i a l l y a u n i f i e d t h e a t r e c l u b . F o r b u s i n e s s purposes i t i s d i v i d e d i n t o two s e c t i o n s : 1) the T h e a t r i c a l A r t s Centre S o c i e t y , and 2) the Vernon L i t t l e Theatre A s s o c i a t i o n . The T h e a t r i c a l A r t s Centre S o c i e t y i s a n o n - p r o f i t o r g a n i z a t i o n formed s t r i c t l y 26 for the purpose of operating the theatre b u i l d i n g . This group i s composed of volunteer d i r e c t o r s , usually town businessmen. The Vernon L i t t l e Theatre Association i s responsible s o l e l y f o r the production of plays i n the theatre. Technically, they must rent the b u i l d i n g from the T h e a t r i c a l Arts Centre Society when they wish to 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 overlaps considerably, and the Vernon L i t t l e Theatre,of course, gets top p r i o r i t y when scheduling b u i l d i n g r e n t a l s . The usual season consists of three major plays, aver-aging nine nights run. Any p r o f i t s from these go to the Theat-r i c a l Arts Centre Society to pay f o r upkeep of the b u i l d i n g , renovations, and new equipment. Upkeep averages $3,000 per year. A l l construction and a r t i s t i c work i s done by volunteer labour from the club members, excepting one part-time j a n i t o r , a club member, who i s paid $80 per month. The only f i n a n c i a l assistance received by the group i s i n the form of a waiver of taxes from the c i t y . A major source of income i s r e n t a l of the b u i l d i n g f o r non-theatrical uses. These include: b a l l e t , f i l m s , church serv i c e s , seminars, chamber music concerts, fashion shows, lec t u r e s , and discussions. These functions pay $30 to $50 per night, depending on the nature of the group and the day of the week on which they use the b u i l d i n g . Mr. Huggins, who i s one of the a r c h i t e c t s who designed the conversion, f e e l s that the optimum siz e of a b u i l d i n g 27 c o n s i d e r e d f o r c o n v e r s i o n would be 50-by-50 f e e t , with, "a good h e i g h t " . The power s t a t i o n , b e f o r e c o n v e r s i o n , was 28-by-45 f e e t , and 29 f e e t h i g h , and thus imposed some r e s t r i c t i o n s on the r e s u l t i n g t h e a t r e . The s t r u c t u r a l s t r e n g t h o f t h e b u i l d i n g was an a s s e t , as was i t s c e n t r a l l o c a t i o n . The disadvantage o f the l o c a t i o n i s t h a t a r a i l w a y t r a c k runs b e s i d e the b u i l d -i n g . Although they run i n f r e q u e n t l y , the t r a i n s can cause con-s i d e r a b l e d i s t u r b a n c e d u r i n g a performance.' 1' Stage and Stage Machinery The proscenium o f t h i s t h e a t r e i s 24 f e e t , 2 f e e t n a r -rower than the minimum p r e s c r i b e d by B u r r i s Meyer and C o l e . I am i n c l i n e d t o b e l i e v e t h a t they are not s p e a k i n g s t r i c t l y 2 o f community t h e a t r e when they say 26 f e e t . Mr. W i l c o x would a l l o w a 24 f o o t minimum f o r r e g u l a r drama, but not f o r opera o r 3 m u s i c a l s . B e l l e t a l . c o n s i d e r 18 f e e t p o s s i b l e f o r a community 4 group, w h i l e C o r r y says 24 f e e t " i s d e s i r a b l e " . Proscenium h e i g h t i s o n l y 6 i n c h e s l e s s than the 12 f e e t recommended by C o r r y , ^ but Mr. Huggins p o i n t e d out t h a t the s t r u c t u r a l c o n c r e t e ^Huggins i n t e r v i e w . 2 H. Burris-JMeyer and E. C o l e , T h e a t r e s and A u d i t o r i u m s , 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 York, 1964, p. 164. 3 . . Wilcox i n t e r v i e w . 4 B e l l , M a r s h a l l , and Southern, p. 27. 5 P . C o r r y , Stage P l a n n i n g , The S t r a n d E l e c t r i c and E n g i n e e r i n g Co. L t d . , London, 1965, p. 2 f . 28 beam which forms the top of the arch r e s t r i c t s the throw of l i g h t from the #1 F.O.H.1 The depth of inner stage, 28 feet, exceeds a l l minimum recommendations. Mr. Wilcox suggests that the minimum depth 2 of a set for regular drama i s 14 feet. Burns-Meyer and Cole caution that at l e a s t 6 feet must be allowed for crossover and l i g h t i n g behind the set. This means that at l e a s t 20 feet must be a v a i l a b l e . However "very few plays can be performed 3 i n sets as meager as thxs...". Corry allows f o r a minimum 4 of 24 f e e t . The wing space of the Powerhouse Theatre, 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 walls of the structure, t o t a l s only 10 feet. Most sources prefer a t o t a l of at l e a s t the width of the proscenium i n wing space, plus a few feet 5 f o r masking. Even Corry, who seems to allow for a smaller theatre than most others, would l i k e a minimum of 8 feet on each side.** Although the 10 foot wide door upstage centre allows f o r 'Huggins interview. Wilcox interview. 'Burris-Meyer and Cole, p. 178. Corry, p. 3. 'Bell, Marshall, and Southern, p. 36; Pratt interview.. 'Corry, p. 3. 29 use of some wagons and large set pieces which, can he stored i n the scene shop when not i n use, most of the set changes must be done by f l y i n g . This i s unfortunate, as the height of the f l y l o f t i s minimal. In f a c t , Mr. Huggins stated that i f he were to re-design the building,, one of the f i r s t p r i o r i t i e s would be to extend the height of the loft." 1" Corry states that a f l y l o f t must be 2| times the height of the proscenium f o r 2 good f l y i n g , while B e l l et a l . would prefer 3 times proscenium 3 height. While the 30 feet i n t h i s b u i l d i n g does j u s t t o t a l 2| times the proscenium height, the system i s only what B e l l e t a l . c a l l a " g r i d s u b s t i t u t e " 4 — p u l l e y s bolted to beams—which i s not as e f f i c i e n t as a complete g r i d system. There i s also no access to t h i s area except by s e t t i n g up a s c a f f o l d . The f l y g a l l e r i e s are 14 f e e t — j u s t - h i g h enough to allow f o r the storage of standard masking f l a t s . Mr. Huggins considers the l i g h t i n g equipment of t h i s theatre quite s u f f i c i e n t , and indeed i t f a r surpasses the min-imum stated by both Mr. Norman Young, Technical Director of 5 the Frederic Wood Theatre, and Mr. Pratt. The only flaw, an Huggins interview. ^Corry, p. 3. 3 B e l l , Marshall, and Southern, p. 47. 4 Ibid, p. 52. 5 . Norman Young interview, Frederic Wood Theatre, University of B r i t i s h Columbia, May 13, 1974; P r a t t interview. 30 absence of a patch panel, w i l l be r e c t i f i e d i n the near future. Sound equipment i s good, mostly new, and acoustics are excellent, p a r t i a l l y due of course, to the small s i z e of the house.'1' Because of l i g h t r e f l e c t i n g properties, the canvas-covered f l a t s which are used for standard masking i n t h i s theatre are 2 not as good as c l o t h drapes. Thexr advantages are that t h e i r shape and color can be changed e a s i l y , and that they are i n i -t i a l l y l e s s expensive to construct. The portable revolve i s a great asset to t h i s theatre, as i t allows set changes which do not need much wing space. The p o s s i b i l i t y of thrust or end staging 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 construction i s heavy plywood, covered by a canvas ground c l o t h . This i s not as good as softwood planking, because the f l o o r gives under loads, allowing the c l o t h to bunch and tear. The stage also tends to sound hollow under the actor's feet. However cost i s a f a c t o r , and t h i s 3 type of f l o o r i s quite inexpensive. Another factor to be considered i n the design of the stage i s i t s height above s t r e e t l e v e l . B e l l e t a l . say that 4 the stage should be at s t r e e t l e v e l , but Mr. P r a t t points out the advantage of having the loading bay at the l e v e l of a truck Huggins interview. Wilcox interview. Pratt interview. B e l l , Marshall, and Southern, p. 24. deck, which i s about 4 feet, and the great advantage of having 2 a l e v e l path to the stage from the loading area. Burris-Meyer 3 and Cole also prefer t h i s height. The stage of the Powerhouse Theatre i s 4 feet from the ground. Auditorium and Sightlines Stage height i s also a consideration, as i t a f f e c t s sight' l i n e s , combining with the angle of auditorium rake to determine audience v i s i b i l i t y . Burris-Meyer and Cole recommend a height of 3 feet 6 inches above f l o o r l e v e l at the f i r s t row, and an angle of rake calculated by r a i s i n g each row 5 inches above 4 the sight l i n e over the preceding row. Corry would prefer a minimum of 3 feet 8 inches stage height.^ In e i t h e r case the 2 foot 3 inch stage of the Powerhouse Theatre, combined with a rake of 5 inches per row of seats, provides less than minimum comfortable v i s i b i l i t y . Mr. Huggins stated that he would l i k e to see the stage even lower, with an increased rake. Consid-eration of a cross section, however,(see I l l u s t r a t i o n IV-5) shows the d i f f i c u l t y of adding rake angle, because of the low c e i l i n g , and I have serious doubts as to whether the expense would be worth i t . "''Telephone interview with an u n i d e n t i f i e d employee of T i l d e n Truck Rentals, September 2, 1974. 2 Pratt interview. 3 Burris-Meyer and Cole, p. 164. 4 I b i d , p. 69. Corry, p. 3. 32 The a i s l e s i n the a u d i t o r i u m a r e on the s i d e s , a p o s i -t i o n recommended by B u r r i s - M e y e r and C o l e . Rows ar e 36 i n c h e s a p a r t , 2 inches more than the "marginal c o m f o r t a b l e spacing".''' The c h a i r s were a c q u i r e d from an o l d movie house, and a r e con-s t r u c t e d o f wood and metal w i t h padded s e a t s and backs. I found them q u i t e c o m f o r t a b l e . F r o n t o f House S e r v i c e s The lobby e a s i l y conforms i n s i z e t o the minimum o f 500 2 square f e e t r e q u i r e d a c c o r d i n g t o B u r n s - M e y e r and C o l e . How-ever the l a c k o f f o y e r and lounge space means t h a t d u r i n g i n t e r -m i s s i o n s the lobby becomes crowded. Because the e n t r a n c e , t i c k e t booth, c o a t check, t o i l e t s , and entrance t o house a r e a l l a t one end o f the narrow lobby, the t r a f f i c p a t t e r n i s not good. Another problem w i t h the t i c k e t booth i s t h a t the t e l e p h o n e b e l l i s q u i t e a u d i b l e i n the a u d i t o r i u m , and the r e c e i v e r must be l i f t e d d u r i n g performance. The c o a t check a r e a i s s m a l l , as are the washrooms and the marquee. T h i s i s a r e s u l t o f 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 , and i t s p r o x i m i t y t o the s t r e e t . Adequate p a r k i n g i s p r o v i d e d near the t h e a t r e . A c t o r Spaces C a l c u l a t e d by the s t a t i s t i c a l procedures used by B u r r i s -Meyer and C o l e , the main d r e s s i n g room p r o v i d e s space f o r 18 1 B u r r i s - M e y e r and C o l e , p. 110 2 I b i d , p. 51. actors, but makeup f a c i l i t i e s for only 8. The a u x i l i a r y dress-ing room provides for 13 more actors, but the p o s i t i o n of t h i s dressing room over the auditorium detracts from i t s usefulness. The adjacent t o i l e t s cannot be used during performance because of noise. The washroom i n the main dressing room adjoins a house wal l , although i n t h i s case the noise i s minimized by the thickness of the w a l l . A more serious problem with the dressing rooms i s access to the stage, which Burris-Meyer and Cole suggest should be 5 feet wide, with no s t a i r s . On both points t h i s 2 theatre f a l l s short, because the only access i s a narrow s t a i r -case . The greenroom i s larger than the 300 square foot minimum required by Burris-Meyer and C o l e . 3 Its alternate function as a dance rehearsal area makes i t a very useful space. Production Services and Operation This b u i l d i n g has a scene shop, a f a c i l i t y with which few of the spaces surveyed were provided. The group owns no t o o l s , but depends on group members to provide t h e i r own. Conditions are s i m i l a r i n the costume area. A large, well l i g h t e d space i s provided for work and storage, and the persons constructing costumes provide t h e i r own equipment. One point I noticed, however, was that the extra l i g h t i n g provided f o r Burris-Meyer and Cole, p. 156. 2 I b i d , p. 158. 3 I b i d . 34 the costume area i s fluorescent. This can be a problem, because f a b r i c colour i s a l t e r e d under d i f f e r e n t types of l i g h t . This i s a f a c t o r of which the designer must be aware when working i n these conditions. There i s l i t t l e space for properties construction i n t h i s b u i l d i n g , only a storage area. I assume that most small properties are constructed i n members' homes, l a r g e r ones i n the scene shop. Another disadvantage i s a lack of kitchen f a c i l i t i e s , which are desirable i n a properties room."*" Storage space f o r scenery i s small, mostly space i n the scene shop which would probably be better used f o r construc-t i o n purposes. Standard masking f l a t s store 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 small wing space av a i l a b l e . The positions for operation of a performance seem to be w e l l situated. Lighting and sound operators have a good view of the stage. Entrances to the acting area are r e s t r i c t e d to stage l e f t , but t h i s means that the stage manager, who i s situated down l e f t , has v i s u a l control of a l l entrances. I t i s also convenient that actors can reach both lobby and house from back stage without going outside the b u i l d i n g . Communica-tions to a l l work areas, plus monitor speakers i n dressing 2 rooms and the lobby are also an asset. Mrs. Sherry Darcus interview, Frederic Wood Theatre, University of B r i t i s h Columbia, May 15, 1974. Pratt interview. 35 Aesthetics One of the more important aspects of t h i s theatre, one which i s frequently ignored by community b u i l d i n g designers, i s the decor. Both the lobby and the auditorium of the Power-house Theatre have been decorated t a s t e f u l l y , to give that important f e e l i n g that t h i s i s not j u s t any b u i l d i n g , but a " s p e c i a l place" for t h e a t r e . 1 (See I l l u s t r a t i o n s IV-1 to IV-4). Summary This theatre i s one of the foremost achievements of commu-n i t y theatre i n B r i t i s h Columbia. Of the buildings surveyed, i t best f u l f i l l s the needs of amateur production. The only major disadvantage i s a lack of space imposed by the dimensions of the o r i g i n a l b u i l d i n g . However, considerable 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, demonstrating what can be accomplished i n conversions. The proscenium dimensions are adequate, but would be improved by added height. This would f a c i l i t a t e better l i g h t i n g and create a more a e s t h e t i c a l l y pleasing proscenium opening. The stage provides s u f f i c i e n t acting area for the type of pro-ductions staged by t h i s group. I t does not allow adequate s h i f t i n g and storage space f o r scenery. This d e f i c i e n c y i s due to a lack of wing space and 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 large upstage centre door leading to the scene shop, and the portable revolving stage. Pratt interview. 36 The sight l i n e s i n t h i s b u i l d i n g are not optimal, due to the shallow rake of the auditorium and the low stage. Other-wise the auditorium i s comfortable and pleasing to the eye. The lobby area i s much too small to provide foyer and lounge space, and the construction of patron services at one end causes congestion. Again the decor i s pleasant, evidence of serious thought and attention on the part of the b u i l d e r s . A minor problem of t h i s theatre i s due to noise. The combination of t r a i n s , telephone b e l l s , and actors moving i n the a u x i l i a r y dressing room i s almost sure to cause a d i s t u r -bance at some time during performance. This theatre i s well provided with production service areas by community theatre standards. The scene shop, costume room, and greenroom/dance rehearsal area are quite s u f f i c i e n t f o r the productions staged here. This theatre i s also much better equipped than most of the others surveyed. Lighting and sound equipment are mostly new and of good q u a l i t y . Communications between the stage and other parts of the b u i l d i n g are good. The lack of a f u l l f l y i n g system i s one notable defi c i e n c y . I t should be noted that some of the success of t h i s theatre i s due to e f f i c i e n t business p r a c t i c e s . The theatre club shows a p r o f i t every year. This i s due to a very active group, and also to a great number of non-theatrical uses of the b u i l d i n g . The d i v i s i o n of the club into business and a r t i s t i c sections also seems to work we l l , as the business i s handled by business-men, and the a r t i s t i c and technical work i s l e f t to those whose 37 talents l i e i n those areas. In Mr. Huggins' opinion, the e f f i c i e n c y of the b u i l d i n g i s strongly t i e d to the q u a l i t y of production. He finds i t easy, f o r example, to a t t r a c t technical workers, because of the q u a l i t y of the equipment and spaces with which they can work. Control of the b u i l d i n g i s also a f a c t o r , because i t f a c i l i t a t e s scheduling of rehearsals, set construction hours, and long-running shows. He f e e l s that the presence of a suc-c e s s f u l theatre i n the town builds both the group and i t s audience. For example, for the opening night i n 1963 i t r e -quired a personal campaign to s e l l the t i c k e t s . In 1973 the opening night was sold out immediately at $10 per s e a t . 1 Huggins interview. 39 40 S t y l e FACT SHEET 2 The Powerhouse Theatre, Vernon 1. Designed f o r end s t a g i n g , most f r e q u e n t l y used as proscenium, c o n v e r s i o n to t h r u s t stage p o s s i b l e . Stage 1. Proscenium; 24 f e e t wide, end s t a g i n g ; 32 f e e t wide 2. Proscenium h e i g h t ; r e s t r i c t e d to 11 f e e t 6 i n c h e s by s t r u c t u r a l beam 3. Stage h e i g h t ; 27 i n c h e s , f l o o r ; f p l y covered w i t h canvas 4. Forestage; 8 f e e t deep 5. Inner stage; 28 f e e t deep 6. Wing space; 6 f e e t stage r i g h t , 4 f e e t stage l e f t downstage, t a p e r i n g to 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 rope s e t s t i e d o f f to 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. Revolve; hand powered, p o r t a b l e , 24 f e e t i n diameter, 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 ; covered by a 27 f o o t c u r v e d c l o t h cyclorama 10. P r o j e c t i o n s c r e e n hung downstage Standard Masking 1. Borders; c l o t h 2. Legs; canvas covered p a i n t e d f l a t s 3. F r o n t c u r t a i n ; v e l o u r L i g h t i n g 1. Strand JTM 20 c i r c u i t 2 p r e s e t board 2 . No patch p a n e l — o n e i s b e i n g i n s t a l l e d i n #2 F.O.H. area 41 Sound FACT SHEET 2—Continued 3. 2 F.O.H. pipes with power l i n e s , one small pipe on c e i l i n g of house with no power l i n e s 4. 3 upstage l i g h t pipes with power l i n e s , flown 5. 2 follow spot positions i n #2 F.O.H. 6. No permanent catwalk 7. House l i g h t s dimmable 8. Instruments; a l l 500 Watt. 20—Strand PATT. 123 Fresnel s p o t l i g h t s ; 10—Strand PATT. 23 p r o f i l e s p o t l i g h t s ; 8—Strand PATT. 60 flood l i g h t s 1. 2 tape decks, turntable, 6 channel mixing board 2. Intercommunications from Stage Manager to l i g h t c o n t r o l , sound c o n t r o l , both f l y g a l l e r i e s 3. Monitor speakers from stage microphone to dressing room, sound both, foyer Loading and Storage 1. Loading into scene shop through 8 foot high-by-7 foot wide door 2. Scene shop to stage through 10-by-10 foot door, centered i n upstage wall 3. F l a t storage on stage and i n scene shop 4. Prop storage downstairs, i n shop Scene shop 1. 25-by-25 feet 2. No tools, but bench space, f l a t storage space 42 FACT SHEET 2—Continued Dressing rooms 1. Main dressing room over foyer, doubles as club room 2. 8 mirrors with l i g h t s , one sink, 20 feet of makeup table 3. One t o i l e t , one washroom o f f the main dressing room 4. A u x i l i a r y dressing room over rear of house, 13 mirrors with l i g h t s , 2 washrooms 1. Greenroom under stage, doubles as rehearsal space and dance practice s p a c e — p r a c t i c e bars, 2 f u l l mirrors, hardwood f l o o r 1. 25-by-25 feet 2. Fluorescent l i g h t i n g , large number of e l e c t r i c a l o u t l e t s 3. Sewing tables 4. R o l l i n g costume racks 5. Large supply of costumes Properties 1. No s p e c i a l area, minimal kitchen f a c i l i t i e s Auditorium Greenroom, Rehearsal f a c i l i t i e s Costumes Area 1. 191 seats 2. 5 foot t o t a l rake 3. 4 foot a i s l e at e i t h e r side 43 FACT SHEET 2—Continued 4. Back row 38 feet from stage, front row 3 feet 6 inches Front of House Services 1. Foyer, 500 square feet 2. Concession stand/ticket o f f i c e i n lobby 3. Coat check under s t a i r s 4. 2 small washrooms 5. Marquee 4-by-14 feet, covered Performance Operation 1. Stage Manager; stage l e f t 2. Crossover; behind cyclorama 3. Access to lobby or house; through scene shop and downstairs, or through upstairs main dressing room 4. Sound and l i g h t control; i n booth at rear 5. Access to acting area; SL only, or one door to f r o n t of house SL. 6. Path for loading i n ; through scene shop to stage Measurement i s from the f r o n t edge of the forestage to the back of the seat. 44 I l l u s t r a t i o n IV-5 Powerhouse Theatre, cross s e c t i o n I l l u s t r a t i o n IV-6 Powerhouse Theatre, lower l e v e l plan 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 stage i s designed i n an attempt to c r e a t e a m u l t i - p u r p o s e space. I t i s intended to house many community r e c r e a t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s : s p o r t s , meetings, r e c e p t i o n s , ban-quets, c o n c e r t s , and, i n a minimal way, t h e a t r e . The primary a r c h i t e c t u r a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f t h i s type o f space i s , as the term "box" would i n d i c a t e , i t s r e c t a n g u l a r n ature. T h i s shape i s used f o r v a r i o u s reasons: 1) w i t h i n the scope o f community f a c i l i t i e s , a r e c t a n g u l a r shape i s the l e a s t expensive way t o e n c l o s e the l a r g e s t space, 2) to meet the r e -quirements o f s p o r t s and banquets, the b u i l d i n g must have an u n i n t e r r u p t e d f l a t f l o o r a r e a , 1 and 3) f o r s p o r t s such as v o l l e y -b a l l and badminton, i t i s necessary to have a h i g h c e i l i n g , smooth w a l l s , and a p o l i s h e d f l o o r . T h i s box must a l s o be o f l a r g e dimensions i f i t i s to c o n t a i n a b a s k e t b a l l c o u r t , minimum dimensions of.which are 74-by-50 f e e t , w i t h a t l e a s t 3 f e e t o f 2 c l e a r space a l l around the c o u r t . The stage i s u s u a l l y i n the end w a l l but sometimes i s s i t u a t e d a l o n g one s i d e o f the gymna-sium. I t i s u s u a l l y h i g h i n order to p r o v i d e s t o r a g e underneath In i t s t h e a t r i c a l mode t h i s area becomes the auditorium. Ralph Ferstay i n t e r v i e w , Centre D i r e c t o r , West Vancouver Community Centre, by telephone, August 28, 1974. 47 for chairs and a t h l e t i c equipment, and to attempt to a l l e v i a t e the bad s i g h t l i n e s caused by the f l a t f l o o r . Because t h e a t r i c a l considerations play a small part i n the o r i g i n a l planning of such buildings, the amount of t h e a t r i -c a l equipment i s small. Lighting i s considered s u f f i c i e n t i f i t illuminates the stage. The f l y i n g system i s minimal or non-existent. The sound system i s designed for public address, consequently req u i r i n g only close range microphones. These disadvantages, when a l l added together i n the same bu i l d i n g , cause a serious hindrance to t h e a t r i c a l production. One possible advantage of t h i s type of space i s that i n some cases, due to the width of the gymnasium or to the place-ment of the stage i n a side wall, there i s s u f f i c i e n t room to provide good wing space. This i s true of the Arbutus Room i n the West Vancouver Community Centre. However, t h i s space i s often used to f a c i l i t a t e a wider proscenium. The possible advantage i s thus negated, and the r e s u l t i s the disadvantage of an overly wide acting space. Another advantage i s that usually these spaces are part of a larger complex, either a community centre or a s c h o o l , 1 and are provided with a large number of a u x i l i a r y spaces. These spaces can be used for dressing rooms, storage, and front of house services. Often gymnasiums have large dressing rooms, although they may be short on makeup spaces. Often a f u l l kitchen i s a v a i l a b l e and parking i s provided f o r . Sometimes, English, to E r i c Broom. 48 i n schools, complete shop f a c i l i t i e s e x i s t . These buildings are almost i n v a r i a b l y owned and operated by a l o c a l government b o d y — e i t h e r the school board or the municipality. 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 for use as a r e c r e a t i o n a l space. Community theatre i s considered 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 scheduling problems which often e x i s t . 1 The o f f i c i a l p o l i c y of the B r i t i s h Columbia Department of Education i s that school buildings should be 2 a v a i l a b l e for public 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 that school a c t i v i t i e s have f i r s t p r i o r -i t y , and also that the decision to allow use of f a c i l i t i e s i s l e f t to the school 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 varying p o l i c i e s towards community theatre groups 3 throughout the province. For example, i n Quesnel, where teach-ers are prominent members of the theatre group, there i s a minimum of d i f f i c u l t y . In other areas t h i s i s not the case. High rent i s often the p r o h i b i t i n g factor, as i t i s i n Dawson Creek. 4 The main scheduling problem stems from the t h e a t r i c a l season followed by most groups, which consists of four plays Ibid. Van Bassen interview. English interview. Idem, to E r i c Broom. spread through the winter months."1" This means that the group needs the space for several consecutive nights, to cover tech-n i c a l setup, dress rehearsal, and performances. However, t h i s only happens at widely spaced times throughout the year. Since most other r e c r e a t i o n a l groups schedule t h e i r use of space f o r the same night every week, a scheduling c o n f l i c t occurs whenever the theatre group puts on a show. For example, i f the theatre group requires Thursday through Saturday to run each production, the square dance club meets every Thursday night, and the bridge club plays each Friday, the l a t t e r two clubs w i l l be turned out of t h e i r space each week the theatre group performs. This -problem i s one of the factors which r e s t r i c t s groups using t h i s type of f a c i l i t y to a very short run f o r t h e i r shows. A l -though t h i s problem may be p a r t i a l l y circumvented by holding only weekend performances, other problems a r i s e , such as the 2 need to take down the set for the intervening time. Cypress Room, West Vancouver Community Centre West Vancouver has a large community centre, with many f a c i l i t i e s : a hockey r i n k , two gymnasiums, a playground, a lapidary and s i l v e r s m i t h i n g room, an a r t room, and a large 3 number of teneral a c t i v i t y rooms. This whole complex i s constructed of cement blocks. Glue-laminated wood beams provide s t r u c t u r a l support for the Idem, to E r i c Broom. Ferstay interview. Ferstay interview; Personal survey. 5 0 roof. The Arbutus Room i s a f u l l - s i z e gymnasium and the Cypress Room, which i s used for production by the West Vancouver L i t t l e Theatre, i s a gymnasium of about h a l f s i z e . However, the theat-r i c a l equipment i n the centre i s divided between these two rooms. To present an adequate picture of the usual f a c i l i t i e s of a gymnasium box stage, i t w i l l be necessary to mention the Arbutus Room often i n the course of t h i s analysis. This complex i s c i t y owned, and operated by a f u l l time Centre Director, with a s t a f f of as s i s t a n t s , s e c r e t a r i e s , and j a n i t o r s . I t provides a f u l l s l a t e of r e c r e a t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s , i n c l u d i n g a Teen Drama program. The Cypress Room can be rented by any outside group (such as the West Vancouver L i t t l e Theatre) for $100 per night, or $10 per night f o r an extended period. As a concession to the theatre group, when weekly scheduling i s taking place f o r the winter season, Thursdays and Fridays are l e f t free. Then the group i s asked to state which weeks they w i l l be performing, and the days they are not using are then scheduled. Apart from t h i s advantage, the theatre group i s treated l i k e any other group which rents the f a c i l i t i e s . 1 This seems to be a well-run, well-equipped complex. However, as fa r as theatre i s concerned, i t only provides a space i n which to work. There i s l i t t l e equipment to work with, and the space i s not designed with theatre i n mind. Given these disadvantages, the West Vancouver L i t t l e Theatre would be better advised to work i n the Old St. Stephen's Church (see Chapter I I I ) . Ferstay interview. 51 Stage and Stage Machinery The proscenium of t h i s room i s 24 feet wide and 12 feet high. This i s small according to most sources. 1 I t i s r e s t r i c t -ed further by a permanent border and by the front c u r t a i n , which does not r e t r a c t f u l l y when open. I do not f e e l , however, that a s l i g h t l y smaller proscenium i s a great disadvantage to com-munity theatre. The 20 foot depth of the inner stage i s a bare minimum, and most sources would prefer 24 feet. Wing space i s only 5 feet on ei t h e r side; t h i s i s less than h a l f of what i s recommended (Note that the Arbutus Room, with a 30 foot proscenium i n a 62 foot wide h a l l , provides 16 feet of wing space on each side. This i s approximately the amount needed for good scenery s h i f t i n g . The forestage i s j u s t wide enough to allow for side access steps, which add some v e r s a t i l i t y to the stage. A deeper forestage would be destructive to the intimacy on which community theatre 3 thr i v e s . There i s no f l y i n g system i n the Cypress Room, and the "gri d substitute" i n the Arbutus room (see I l l u s t r a t i o n V-l) 4 i s also minimal, as well as being too low for anything except Corry, p. 3; Burris-Meyer, and Cole, p. 71; Wilcox interview. Corry, p. 3; B e l l , Marshall, and Southern, p. 36; Pratt interview. 'English interview. B e l l , Marshall, and Southern, p. 52. basic masking."1" Windows i n the stage walls make a blackout impossible. Lack of a f l y i n g system causes a c e r t a i n disadvantage i n the hanging of masking legs, but t h i s problem has been solved i n t h i s b u i l d i n g by construction of c l o t h covered f l a t s . These do not look quite the same as drapes, but with f u l l n e s s sewn i n during construction, they are considerably better than painted f l a t s . The t r a v e l l e r c u r t a i n upstage provides a crossover and a background to substitute for a cyclorama or a plast e r e d up-stage w a l l . L i g h t i n g and sound are areas where t h i s b u i l d i n g reveals i t s lack of equipment. There are only two l i g h t i n g pipes, with no e l e c t r i c cables to them. The theatre group must provide a l l t h e i r own l i g h t i n g and sound equipment. Because of the shape and texture of the walls, f l o o r and c e i l i n g , acoustics are not good, i n spi t e of the r e l a t i v e l y small area enclosed. The stage f l o o r i s made of varnished hardwood. This material i s not good for any t h e a t r i c a l sets which need to be screwed to the f l o o r , or for dancing, f o r which the varnish i s too s l i p p e r y . 2 Auditorium and S i g h t l i n e s The stage i n the Cypress Room i s 4 feet high. This i s Corry, p. 4. Roderick Ham, ed., Theatre Planning, the A r c h i t e c t u r a l Press, London, 1972, p. 70. 53 higher than any of my sources recommend by at l e a s t 4 inches. Any supposition that a f l a t auditorium f l o o r may be compensated f o r by building a very high stage, up to 4 feet 6 inches and more, i s i l l - f o u n d e d . The remoteness of the perched-up players i s u n s a t i s f a c t -ory, and the acuteness of the angle s e r i o u s l y t i r e s the neck-muscles of nearer s p e c t a t o r s ^ Too high a stage i s possibly worse than too low. The windows along the walls, even though high up and small, prevent a complete blackout of the house. The stacking chairs are not as comfortable as could be desired. Production Services and Operation Loading into the Cypress Room i s through the auditorium side doors, which are just above stre e t l e v e l , and up over the front of the stage. This r e s t r i c t s loading to the s i z e of object that can be brought through a 5-by-7 foot door, and to the weight of object that can be raised to the 4 foot stage height. 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 of s t a i r s from 3 the hallway, which i s not good. The large door i n the centre of the upstage w a l l of the Arbutus Room i s near truck 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 of a p l a s t e r back wall or a permanent cyclorama. Both storage spaces, the basement of the Arbutus Room and the storage room behind the Cypress Room, are hampered by small access doors. Burris-Meyer and Cole, p. 69; Corryv P- 3. B e l l , Marshall, and Southern, p. 26. Burris-Meyer and Cole, p. 158. 54 There i s no equipment for the operation of a t h e a t r i c a l production. There i s no communications system, and no place for l i g h t i n g and sound operators except i n the already minimal wing space. Work l i g h t switches and house l i g h t switches are stage r i g h t , but the only stage access door i s stage l e f t . This leaves the stage manager a choice of positions, neither of them i d e a l . The only advantage I can f i n d i s easy access to both lobby and house from backstage. Aesthetics The s i z e and shape of t h i s gymnasium do not lend themselves to the atmosphere which one would associate with theatre. The large,bare, surfaces of the walls are not r e s t f u l to the eye, and would not a s s i s t i n focusing the audience's attention on the stage. Of the buildings that I surveyed, I found that gen-e r a l l y those decorated i n the warmer, darker colors were most conducive to good atmosphere. I l l u s t r a t i o n V - 2 shows the type of decor experienced i n t h i s b u i l d i n g . Summary This b u i l d i n g i s not a good proscenium theatre. Even with a large expenditure on equipment, i t would s t i l l have basic design problems which would render t h e a t r i c a l production d i f f i c u l t at best. While proscenium and acting area dimensions are adequate or s l i g h t l y small, there i s almost no provision for the s h i f t i n g and storage of scenery. Both wing space and 55 upstage space are so small as to allow l i t t l e more than masking of the stage walls. Lack of a f l y i n g system means that there 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. Si g h t l i n e s i n the auditorium are bad because the f l o o r i s f l a t and the stage i s too high. The chairs provided are not comfortable and the decor leaves much to be desired. Be-cause of the shape of the gymnasium area, acoustics are also bad. Production services and actor spaces must be served by a few rooms adjoining the Cypress Room, noieof which are designed or equipped to be scenery construction or storage areas, dressing or makeup rooms, or rehearsal spaces. The b u i l d i n g i s well supplied with front of house ser v i c e s . Washroom f a c i l i t i e s , lobby and foyer space, coat check, kitchen, and t i c k e t o f f i c e a l l e x i s t . The Cypress 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 equipment. 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. The extra expense of providing necessary equipment must be considered when budget-ing f o r a production i n t h i s b u i l d i n g . The scheduling procedure which allows the community theatre group p r i o r i t y i s an advantage, and should be repeated i n other parts of the province. Because t h i s p o l i c y can cost the owner revenue, 1 a p o s i t i v e attitude towards theatre i s required on Ferstay interview. 5 6 the p a r t of the operator of such spaces. This seems to be the case i n West Vancouver, and i n t h i s way the scheduling problems inherent i n the community centre s i t u a t i o n have been solved by t h i s group. This space could a l s o be improved by the 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, which are the main problems of the b u i l d i n g , s t i l l remain. This space, i n i t s present form, plays an important r o l e i n the non-t h e a t r i c a l f u n c t i o n s of the community centre. Therefore, the Cypress room i s not a candidate f o r conversion. In the l i g h t o f t h i s problem, the West Vancouver L i t t l e Theatre group would perhaps be b e t t e r advised to change t h e i r p r oduction mode to s u i t the space, or to f i n d another space i n which to work. 1 I b i d I l l u s t r a t i o n V - l . Arbutus Room, g r i d s u b s t i t u t e system 57 58 Style Stage FACT SHEET 3 Cypress Room, West Vancouver Community Centre 1. Proscenium 1. Proscenium; 23 feet wide, 12 feet high, but l i m i t e d by permanent drapes to 19-by-10 feet 2. Forestage depth; 4 feet 3. Inner stage depth; 20 feet 4. Stage height; 4 feet 5 . Stage material; varnished hardwood, no traps, no screws allowed 6. Wing space; 5 feet each s i d e . Arbutus Room has 16 feet each side on a 30 foot proscenium 7. C e i l i n g ; 20 feet high, glue-laminated beams, no fly-, system. Arbutus Room has "gr i d s u b s t i t u t e " system, with pulleys t i e d to beams, rope sets 8. Back wall of stage; cement, covered by drape 9. Only obstruction backstage i s the chimney i n upstage l e f t corner Standard Masking 1. Front cu r t a i n material; rep, t r a v e l l e r at rear also rep 2. Legs; f l a t s with c l o t h covering 3. Borders; c l o t h , dead hung to c e i l i n g L ighting 1. 1 F.O.H. pipe on c e i l i n g beam with power cable 2. 1 upstage l i g h t pipe, no power cable 1 B e l l , Marshall, and Southern, p. 5 2 . 59 Sound FACT SHEET 3—Continued 3. Follow spot positions; none 4. Trees; 2 availa b l e 5. No dimmers, no patch panel, 7 c i r c u i t s 6. House; not dimable 7. Instruments; none. Arbutus Room has 8—500 Watt F r e s n e l l s p o t l i g h t s , 2—500 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 amp l i f i e r s , 5 micro-phones, 4 microphone outlets downstage centre, 1 large speaker system " Loading and Storage 1. Loading; through auditorium doors, 5 feet wide-by-7 feet high 2. Arbutus Room has 10 foot 6 inches wide-by-7 foot high door upstage centre, at 5 feet above ground outside. No platform or cover over loading area, but paved road 3. Storage area; 168 square foot room, 10 feet high 4. Arbutus Room has basement under stage, 30 feet square, 10 feet deep; entrance through trap door, upstage r i g h t Dressing Rooms 1. One room 25 feet-by-20 feet across h a l l from stage, maple room 2. One sink, one cl o s e t 3. Other rooms i n b u i l d i n g , also many t o i l e t s with sinks, but none adjacent to stage 4. Mirrors, makeup l i g h t s ; none Greenroom, 1. FACT SHEET 3 — C o n t i n u e d R e h e a r s a l f a c i l i t i e s None, but space a v a i l a b l e Costumes 1. None, but space av a i l a b l e Properties 1. None, but space a v a i l a b l e 2. F u l l kitchen f a c i l i t i e s Scene shop 1. None A u d i t o r i u m 1. Dimensions; 50 f e e t l o n g , 35 f e e t wide, f l a t f l o o r 2. S e a t i n g ; about 200 temporary s e a t s , s t a c k i n g c h a i r s made o f wood and metal 3. Windows; cannot be b l a c k e d out 1. Lobby; 12 feet-by-50 f e e t 2. Foyer; 25 f e e t square 3. Coat check; room a v a i l a b l e 4. Large t i c k e t o f f i c e , but not a v a i l a b l e — m u s t s e t up a temporary t a b l e 5. A r t room nearby f o r d i s p l a y s F r o n t o f House F a c i l i t i e s Performance O p e r a t i o n 1. Stage manager; e i t h e r s i d e 2. Work l i g h t s w i t c h e s ; stage r i g h t 61 FACT SHEET 3—Continued 3. Crossover; behind rear c u r t a i n 4. Access to stage; one door, centre stage l e f t w a l l , up s t a i r s from hallway 5. Access to lobby and house; through hallway 6. Communication system, cue l i g h t s , l i g h t i n g ; none 62 I l l u s t r a t i o n V-4 Cypress Room Storage 200 Square Feet Up Stage, 18' X 35' T 1 ^ Up Up 1 Up Cypress Room .50* X 35' Up Lobby O f f i c e Lobby K i t c h e n (Down t o A r t Room __5 i T Maple Room 25' X 20' Washroom Down to Foyer Washroom Coat Check 1" = 10' 63 CHAPTER VI Multi-purpose Auditoriums General C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s Many communities have b u i l t auditorium f a c i l i t i e s hoping to meet a wide spectrum of r e c r e a t i o n a l needs. These bu i l d i n g s are intended to be used for meetings, r a l l i e s , presentations, l e c t u r e s , r e c i t a l s , speeches, and theatre. These functions a l l have s i m i l a r basic needs i n terms of the b u i l d i n g they occupy: 1) ssating of some sort, 2) a performance area v i s -i b l e to the seated audience, and 3) a focus of the audience on that performance area. Because of t h i s s i m i l a r i t y , the m u l t i -purpose auditorium w i l l have c e r t a i n features i n common with the b u i l d i n g designed e x c l u s i v e l y for t h e a t r i c a l production. In both cases the basic needs are answered by a raked auditorium with permanent seating facing a raised stage. However, because of the dif f e r e n c e i n the nature of the t h e a t r i c a l production from that of the other functions mentioned above, the s i m i l a r -i t y between the two types ends at t h i s basic l e v e l . The accent 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 . Usually a large number of actors are involved, with scenery, costumes, properties, and stage crew. Because of t h i s , i n a b u i l d i n g designed for theatre, a greater accent i s placed on the design of the stage area. Most of the functions the m u l t i -purpose auditorium serves are more concerned with the audience, with comparatively l i t t l e physical preparation required f o r those involved i n what could loosely be c a l l e d the performance. 64 In the multi-purpose auditorium, the accent i n design i s on the seating area, to the detriment of the stage area, and con-sequently on the a b i l i t y of the b u i l d i n g to 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 seats, the Vernon Community Centre; 1,070 seats, the North Vancouver Centennial Theatre; 718 seats) as i s the proscenium (Kelowna; 48 feet, Vernon; 50 feet, North Vancouver; 36 f e e t ) . 1 Because of the expected large audiences, front of house services are provided, such as lobby space, t i c k e t o f f i c e , coat check, concessions, and washrooms. Stage space i s t y p i c a l l y short of f l y i n g equip-ment, wing space, and a u x i l i a r y rooms. For example, the Vernon Community Centre has no wing space at a l l , and only 6 rope sets i n i t s f l y i n g system. These buildings usually have a polished hardwood stage f l o o r , and do not allow stage screws or n a i l s to be driven i n . The reason these buildings are designed to accommodate so many a c t i v i t i e s i s that they are often b u i l t by municipal and educational a u t h o r i t i e s . Because they are owned and oper-ated by the same au t h o r i t i e s as the gymnasium box, and are i n -tended for somewhat the same purposes, the same scheduling problems a r i s e (see Chapter V, p. 47f). Rentals are even higher than for the gymnasium box, although they vary throughout the province. In Dawson Creek, the high school has a very good multi-purpose auditorium, but the l o c a l theatre group Personal surveys. 65 has trouble obtaining i t for performances, and finds the rent very h i g h . 1 Kelowna Community Theatre, Kelowna This b u i l d i n g was b u i l t i n 1962 as a combined project of the l o c a l theatre group and the c i v i c c o u n c i l . In 1964 an addi-t i o n provided dressing rooms and storage space. I t i s a large auditorium by community theatre standards, with "raked f l o o r , good sight l i n e s , excellent acoustics, and the necessary min-2 imum of dressing rooms and rehearsal space". I t houses many community a c t i v i t i e s , from community theatre one-acts to v i s i t -ing rock singers. Although i t works well for musical theatre and a C h r i s t -mas pantomime, t h i s b u i l d i n g i s not r e a l l y suited f o r normal community theatre productions, due to i t s s i z e and lack of equipment. Stage and Stage Machinery The proscenium i n t h i s auditorium i s 48 fe e t wide. This i s 8 feet more than Burris-Meyer and Cole consider a rea-sonable maximum, and they are speaking of professional theatre. Corry gives a maximum of 28 feet, while Mr. Wilcox considers 3 over 32 feet too large for regular drama. English, to E r i c Broom. "Blueprint for a Community Theatre"., Performing Arts  i n Canada Vol. 6 No. 1, p. 28f. Burris-Meyer and Cole, p. 71; Corry, p. 2; Wilcox interview. The 35 foot inner stage depth i s more than s u f f i c i e n t , according to a l l my sources. The usual minimum given i s 24 f e e t , with 20 feet the absolute lower l i m i t . 1 This depth makes up for the lack of wing space to some degree, but does not eliminate the problem. Wing space i s 16 feet on each side. This t o t a l of 32 feet i s much less than the width of the proscenium. For comfortable scene s h i f t i n g , the width of the proscenium plus 2 a few feet f o r masking i s the t o t a l recommended. The forestage i s very deep; an actor standing on the proscenium l i n e i s 13 feet from the nearest spectator. This 3 makes actor-audience intimacy almost impossible. The g r i d height i s 39 feet, only twice that of the pro-scenium. However, i f the proscenium were masked down to a workable height of about 12 f e e t 4 the g r i d height would then be over the amount B e l l et a l . require, which i s 3 times the proscenium height. The f l y i n g system, which i s what B e l l e t a l . c a l l "grid s ubstitute" i s a h a l f measure which i s r e s t r i c t i n g . ^ The winches used to supplement the rope sets by handling the l i g h t i n g pipes Burris-Meyer and Cole, p. 71; B e l l , Marshall, and Southern, p. 36; Corry, p. 3; Wilcox interview. 2 B e l l , Marshall, and Southern, p. 36; Corry, p. 3; Pratt interview. 3 English interview. 4Corry, p. 3. g B e l l , Marshall, and Southern, p. 47. ^Ib i d , p. 52. are some help, but again are a h a l f measure. Since the width of the stage means heavy scenery which makes rope sets awkward, a complete change to counterweights i s indicated h ere. 1 The l i g h t i n g system i s much more elaborate than the min-2 imum required to l i g h t a simple show, but thxs does not mean that i t i s s u f f i c i e n t to l i g h t a stage area of almost 5,000 square feet. The patch panel has been wired so that each dim-mer connects to only two outlets instead of four, halving the number of instruments which can be connected to each c i r c u i t . This i s to guard against inexperienced technicians overloading c i r c u i t s . Another problem, for which there seems no s o l u t i o n , . . 3 i s d i f f i c u l t access to the F.O.H. l i g h t i n g p o s i t i o n s . The sound system i s quite workable f o r p u b l i c address, but i s not of the type useful for amplifying actors on stage. The acoustics i n t h i s auditorium are s u r p r i s i n g l y good, con-4 s i d e r m g i t s s i z e . The stage f l o o r i s constructed of softwood, and stage screws may be used i f necessary, although the p r a c t i c e i s d i s -couraged. Most of my sources consider softwood the best mater-i a l , but Roderick Ham points out the superior wear resistance Pratt interview. Pratt interview; Young interview. Lloyd Hooper interview, Kelowna Community Theatre, August 17, 1974. English interview. 68 of hardwood. 1 The standard masking i n t h i s auditorium i s good. The corduroy material of the legs i s s u f f i c i e n t l y l i g h t absorbing, and the hanging positions allow complete masking f o r s i g h t l i n e s from a l l parts of the auditorium. Auditorium and Sightlines The stage height, 3 feet 4 inches, i s s l i g h t l y lower . . 2 than the minimum 3 feet 6 inches recommended. This height, combined with a minimal rake of auditorium, (11 f e e t i n 26 rows of seats) creates poor v i s i b i l i t y i n the rear h a l f of the house. Adding to t h i s problem i s the extreme depth of the auditorium. I t i s 87 feet from the l a s t row of seats to the c u r t a i n l i n e . Burris-Meyer and Cole prefer a 50 foot depth of house, and say 75 feet i s maximum. They are considering professional the-atres, with presumably better designed acoustics and actors with trained voices. "Details of actors' makeup and f a c i a l expression are not p l a i n l y recognizable at distances of more 4 than 50 feet from the stage". Thus an audience member i n the l a s t row of the Kelowna Community Theatre could neither hear nor see the performance of even a good professional actor on the stage. Ham, p. 70. Corry, p. 3; Burris-Meyer and Cole, p. 70. Burris-Meyer and Cole, p. 70f. Ib i d , p. 67. 69 Another v i s u a l problem i s due to the height of the orchestra p i t f l o o r . By c a l c u l a t i o n s based on the methods of Burris-Meyer and Cole, i n t h i s auditorium a conductor would cause an obstruction of audience view unless he was under 5 feet t a l l . 1 Seating i s permanent. Chairs are constructed of metal with f a b r i c upholstery. Rows are 34 inches apart. This i s equal to the minimum distance recommended by Burris-Meyer and Cole. Front of House Services Lobby space i s much smaller than the amount required fo r an auditorium of such large capacity. By c a l c u l a t i o n s from Burris-Meyer and Cole, t h i s b u i l d i n g should have a com-3 bined lobby, foyer, and lounge space of 8,630 square feet. The e x i s t i n g 1,040 square feet i s supplemented i n summer by an outdoor lawn space, but i n winter freezing weather keeps patrons i n s i d e . There are no permanent concessions, t i c k e t taking, or box o f f i c e f a c i l i t i e s , and a l l these a c t i v i t i e s must take place at temporary tables, which congest the small lobby space further. 4 The c e n t r a l l o c a t i o n of t h i s b u i l d i n g i s very good. The community centre complex of which i t i s a part provides "Ibi d , p. 144. 2 Burris-Meyer and Cole, p. 59. 3 Ibid, p. 53. 4 English interview. 70 s u f f i c i e n t parking nearby. Actor Spaces Burris-Meyer and Cole recommend 16 square f e e t of dressing room space per actor. At t h i s rate, the Kelowna Community Theatre can accommodate a cast of 22. T o i l e t s must be one to every 6 persons, and t h i s l i m i t s comfortable cast s i z e to 24. 1 The d i v i s i o n of dressing rooms by removable p a r t i t i o n s seems to be a good idea. This compares favorably to many buildings surveyed which had only a s i n g l e room fo r a l l actors to dress i n . Access to the stage i s bad by Burris-Meyer and Cole's standards, as they would prefer a 5 foot wide access with no s t a i r s . In t h i s b u i l d i n g actors must decend a stairway 3 feet wide. There i s a room beside the dressing rooms which can be used as a green room, but i t i s much smaller than the minimum 3 300 square feet required. Production Services and Operation The lack of scene shop i s a d i s t i n c t disadvantage, as i s the lack of costumes and properties areas. There i s only one room that must be situated immediately adjacent to the stage and at stage l e v e l — t h e property-room, being as i t i s the only stage o f f i c e which i s Burris-Meyer and Cole, p. 156f. 2 I b i d , p. 158. 3 I b i d , p. 158. 71 continually i n use during the performance. Its minimum dimensions may be set at 12 f t . square. I t must con-t a i n i t s own gas or e l e c t r i c pc-int, running water and a sink, and ample shelf space. Not one space surveyed had a properties 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 Theatre was no exception. I t would be impossible to put a l l the f a c i l i t i e s not provided into the undesignated rooms a v a i l a b l e . This b u i l d i n g seems very poorly equipped with production 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 to have been designed with other than t h e a t r i c a l purposes i n mind. A c e r t a i n amount of storage 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 to the s i z e of object that can pass through the access door, 7-by—? fee t . This i s f i n e f o r chairs and tables, but would be a great hindrance to large f l a t s or set pieces. Loading doors are also not large, only 7 feet wide. Burris-Meyer and Cole recommend 8-by-12 fe e t . The stage i s at ground l e v e l , and the loading 3 area i s not covered or paved, both of which are disadvantages. When operating a show, the stage manager stands stage r i g h t , and has v i s u a l control of one entrance and the f l y i n g system operator. The patch panel i s beside him, which i s handy i n case of emergencies, but takes up wing space. The l i g h t i n g B e l l , Marshall, and Southern, p. 87. Burris-Meyer and Cole, p. 164. B e l l , Marshall, and Southern, p. 24; Burris-Meyer and Cole, p. 164; Pratt interview. 72 operator may be either i n the booth at the rear of the house, or beside the stage manager, because the l i g h t i n g console i s portable. This i s an advantage, because i t adds v e r s a t i l i t y . The intercommunication system i s usefu l , as are the monitor speakers i n the dressing rooms and backstage. Access to the stage i s good, because of the two doors i n the ends of the upstage wa l l , and the double proscenium doors. Crossover space i s a v a i l a b l e , either behind the set, behind the back w a l l , or through the upstairs dressing room area. Access to house or lobby must be achieved by leaving the bui l d i n g and walking around to the front, which i s a disadvantage. 1 Aesthetics This b u i l d i n g i s situated near a lake, and the view from the lobby i s quite pleasant. The i n t e r i o r , although mostly cement block, i s decorated i n browns and oranges, and gives 2 a " d e l i g h t f u l atmosphere as well as a warm acoustics sense." However the great s i z e of the auditorium and proscenium do not allow for any sense of intimacy with the performers, and must be very intimidating to the amateur actor. Summary This auditorium i s j u s t too b i g f o r the average community theatre group. Inexperienced actors w i l l have d i f f i c u l t y p r o j e c t -ing i n such a large auditorium. Technicians w i l l have d i f f i c u l t y P r a t t interview. "Blueprint f o r a Community Theatre". 73 with such a large stage, and the cost of f i l l i n g such a stage with scenery w i l l probably be too high. The proscenium i s too wide by a l l p r a c t i c a l standards, and i s also poorly proportioned. The good depth of stage i s counterbalanced by a deficiency of wing space and f l y tower height, making scenery s h i f t i n g d i f f i c u l t . The forestage i s overly deep. The stage i s too low and the auditorium rake too gradual to provide good s i g h t l i n e s . This fa c t o r , combined with the depth of the house, means that v i s i b i l i t y from the rear of the audit-orium i s poor. Otherwise the auditorium i s f a i r l y comfortable and pleasant, and the good acoustics compensate somewhat fo r i t s large s i z e . The lobby i s much les s enjoyable. I t i s aes-t h e t i c a l l y pleasing but i s much too small. The washrooms are the only f r o n t of house services which are adequate. The 1964 addition to the b u i l d i n g has provided adequate dressing rooms and some storage space, but other f a c i l i t i e s are lacking. There i s no scene shop, properties area, costumes area, or rehearsal space. This b u i l d i n g i s not equipped to optimum standards. The l i g h t i n g system i s better than most avail a b l e to community theatre groups, although barely adequate f o r such a large stage. The sound system i s of good q u a l i t y , but not adaptable to the-a t r i c a l use. The f l y i n g system i s inadequate. This b u i l d i n g i s owned by the City of Kelowna, but the theatre group was strongly involved with the i n i t i a l b u i l d i n g project. Because of t h i s h i s t o r y of close cooperation, general 74 business dealings are smooth. However, the group finds r e n t a l so high as to make i t impossible to rent f o r more than the f i n a l rehearsals and the performances. The main problem i n the design of t h i s b u i l d i n g i s one of o r i g i n a l concept. In an attempt to construct a b u i l d i n g which would hold as large an audience as possible, and yet cost as l i t t l e as possible to b u i l d , they neglected most t h e a t r i c a l r e -quirements . They did not r e a l i z e that "...an auditorium almost never succeeds i n remaining only an auditorium. Sooner or l a t e r , somebody uses i t f o r a theatre and i t s effectiveness as^a theatre i s the u l t i -mate measure of i t s usefulness. What they constructed was not a theatre, but an auditorium of r e s t r i c t e d usefulness, e s p e c i a l l y where community theatre i s concerned. I f Theatre Kelowna had no other space to use f o r rehearsal and construction, t h e i r production process would be hindered. As i t i s , t h e i r performance conditions are s t i l l f a r from i d e a l . Burris-Meyer and Cole, Preface, p. v i . FACT SHEET 4 Kelowna Community Theatre Style Stage 1. A large proscenium theatre 1. Proscenium; 48 feet wide, 18 feet 6 inches high 2. Forestage depth; 5 feet plus 10 foot orchestra cover when raised 3. Stage height; 3 feet 4 inches 4. Orchestra p i t ; 51 feet wide, 5 feet below stage l e v e l when lowered 5. Inner stage depth; 35 feet 6 inches 6. Wing space; 16 feet each side 7. Obstructions; pin r a i l 2 feet o f f stage r i g h t w a l l , patch panel on stage r i g h t proscenium w a l l 8. Grid height; 39 feet 6 inches 9. F l y i n g system; 20 sets of s t e e l cables, 4 winches, no counterweights, no g r i d , just pulleys bolted to beams. 10. Stage f l o o r ; softwood, screws allowed i f necessary 11. Cyclorama; c l o t h 12. Basement; none 13. Proscenium doors; 2 on each side, masked by movable f l a t Standard Masking 1. F u l l set of black legs and borders of corduroy 2. Front cu r t a i n of velour Lighting 1. Board; 12 c i r c u i t , 2 preset Scrimmer, 8 non-dims, portable 76 FACT SHEET 4—Continued 2. Patch; on stage r i g h t proscenium wall 3. 1 F.O.H. pipe on a beam over the house, 18 c i r c u i t s 4. 2 upstage pipes with 8 c i r c u i t s on each 5. 1 proscenium pipe, 4 c i r c u i t s 6. 2 Trouperette follow spots i n l i g h t i n g booth 7. Instruments; 48, mostly s p o t l i g h t s Sound 1. Control; stage r i g h t 2. Equipment; 100 Watt ampl'ifier, mixer, 4 microphones Loading and Storage 1. Loading door; 11 feet high, 7 feet wide 2. Level with ground; parking l o t , gravel 3. Storage room; backstage, 14-by-36 feet Dressing Rooms 1. Upstairs, 2 private, one with removable p a r t i t i o n s 2. T o t a l 354 square feet 3. A l l with mirrors and counters, c l o s e t space 4. Green room; 15-by-15 feet 5. Access to stage; on both sides, down a stairway Scene shop, Properties, Costumes 1. No s p e c i f i c space Auditorium 1. Seats; 863, permanent, c l o t h upholstered 77 FACT SHEET 4—Continued 2. Rake; 11 feet 6 inches over 72 foot depth of house Front of House Services 1. Lobby; 1,040 square feet 2. Cloak room, no t i c k e t o f f i c e 3. Materials; glass and-wood, some cement block showing 4. View; yatch club, lake 5. Washrooms; large, 4 sinks, 4 t o i l e t s 6. Concessions, kitchen; none Production Operation 1. Stage Manager; stage r i g h t 2. Intercommunications to stage l e f t , orchestra p i t , l i g h t i n g booth 3. Monitor speakers; backstage, upstairs , and downstairs 4. Crossover; through storage area backstage or through dressing rooms upstairs 5. Access to house; through proscenium doors only 6. Access to lobby; outside b u i l d i n g only 78 I l l u s t r a t i o n VI-1 Kelowna Community Theatre, stage area 1964 addition, 14' X 73', second f l o o r f i r s t f l o o r Up-WasH s: rooms Office! 3[ Up Storage, 14' X 36' 79 I l l u s t r a t i o n VI - 2 Kelowna Community Theatre, auditorium Stage test < 1" = 16 80 CHAPTER VII Buildings Designed Exclusively  for T h e a t r i c a l Production General C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s Only two community theatre groups i n t h i s province are fortunate enough to work i n a b u i l d i n g which could be c l a s s i -f i e d as a legitimate theatre. These groups are: 1) the Vancouver L i t t l e Theatre Association, which owns the York The-atre, and 2) the Prince George Theatre Workshop, which has recently f i n i s h e d construction of i t s own b u i l d i n g . As there are only two buildings i n t h i s category, and the Prince George b u i l d i n g i s not completely f i n i s h e d , i t i s d i f f i c u l t to generalize on physical c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . However, because of the i n t e n t i o n of the design, i t i s possible to compare these buildings to theatres designed for non-amateur use, such as the Playhouse Theatre, i n Vancouver, or the Frederic Wood Theatre, at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia. These b u i l d -ings are t y p i f i e d by raked auditoriums, permanent seating, front of house f a c i l i t i e s , a proscenium stage, f l y i n g system, and a c e r t a i n amount of space f o r production services. I t may be noted that these c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s are the same as those of the multi-purpose auditorium, (see Chapter VI above). The d i f f e r e n c e l i e s i n that the designer of the multi-purpose auditorium concentrates on the audience space, while the the-atre designer understands the necessity to provide s u f f i c i e n t 81 space and equipment for performance and related operations. Both the York Theatre and the Prince George Theatre Workshop are cont r o l l e d by the community theatre group. The York Theatre i s owned outright by the Vancouver L i t t l e Theatre Association. The Prince George Theatre Workshop s t a r t e d to construct t h e i r own buil d i n g , but ran out of funds before com-p l e t i o n , c i v i c government f i n i s h e d the project and now owns the b u i l d i n g , but i t i s operated by the theatre group. For both groups, extra income to cover upkeep of t h e i r b u i l d i n g i s obtained by renting to other groups and to non-theatrical functions. Because of t h i s , such f a c i l i t i e s as a movie screen and p r o j e c t i o n booth are a great a s s e t . 1 The York Theatre, Vancouver The York Theatre was b u i l t i n 1912 as a burlesque and vaudeville house. Legend has i t that a miner who made his fortune at B a r k e r v i l l e b u i l t i t for h i s fa v o r i t e burlesque queen to perform i n . Unfortunately, his wife appeared on the scene and spoiled a l l h i s plans. Perhaps t h i s i s the reason the theatre was used for armament storage during World War I, and was i n an unfinished state when the Vancouver L i t t l e The-atre obtained i t i n 1923. The o r i g i n a l d i r t f l o o r of the audit-orium was properly covered during World War II when the theatre group, for lack of male actors, stopped producing and rented the b u i l d i n g for the showing of f i l m s . In the e a r l y 1950's Richard Spenser telephone interview, September 21, 1974; E l l e n Poole telephone interview, September 20, 1974. 82 the b o i l e r room under the stage was made into dressing rooms and storage space, and staircases were b u i l t down to that area. At some time the proscenium has been narrowed by approximately 4 f e e t . 1 A recent addition has provided an extended lobby, a greenroom, and a large storage room. Stage and Stage Machinery The proscenium width of the York Theatre i s 24 feet. This i s 2 feet smaller than Burris-Meyer and Cole recommend. 2 Mr. Wilcox allows a 24 foot absolute minimum. The arch height 3 i s masked to 14 feet, which i s ju s t higher than Corry wishes. The 20 foot depth of the inner stage i s again j u s t s u f f i c i e n t , using the c a l c u l a t i o n of a 14 foot depth of set and a 6 foot 4 . . 5 space behind i t . Corry would suggest a 24 foot minimum. Wing space t o t a l s the width of the proscenium exactly. This leaves no space for masking i f wagons containing a set the f u l l width of the stage are to be stored during performance. The patch panel stage r i g h t causes an obstruction. Forestage depth of 9 feet helps to overcome the problem caused by the shallow inner stage, but tends to alienate the audience. I t i s 18 feet from the f i r s t row of seats to the proscenium l i n e . I b i d . Burris-Meyer and Cole, p. 71; Wilcox interview. Corry, p. 2. Burris-Meyer and Cole, p. 71; Wilcox interview. Corry, p. 3. 83 The York Theatre was one of the few buildings surveyed which contained a f u l l g r i d system. The 35 foot c l e a r height under the g r i d i s exactly 2| times the proscenium height, the absolute minimum e f f i c i e n t h e i g h t . 1 Rope f l y i n g systems are v e r s a t i l e , and i n t h i s b u i l d i n g the ropes are supplemented by 2 counterweights f o r the l i g h t i n g pipes, which i s h e l p f u l . The 16 foot f l y g a l l e r i e s are exactly minimum, because a 14 foot 3 proscenium needs 16 foot f l a t s to mask properly. The p l a s t e r upstage wall i s the next best substitute fo r a p l a s t e r cyclorama, e s p e c i a l l y i n t h i s shallow stage, where there i s no room for a backstage crossover. The new l i g h t i n g system now being i n s t a l l e d i s quite s u f f i c i e n t to l i g h t a simple show. However, we must remember that t h i s i s a f a i r l y large theatre, i n a large c i t y , where audiences have other entertainment to choose from. Due to t h i s competition production standards must be higher and t h i s applies to l i g h t i n g . The number of pipes a v a i l a b l e for hanging l i g h t s i s s u f f i c i e n t , and most are equipped with power cables. The l i g h t i n g bridge behind the proscenium i s an asset which not many of the buildings surveyed have. The group owns 30 l i g h t i n g instruments. This number i s subject to the same q u a l i f i c a t i o n s as the other l i g h t i n g equipment; i t i s only s u f f i c i e n t f o r Corry, p. 3; B e l l , Marshall, and Southern, p. 47. Pratt interview. B e l l , Marshall, and Southern, p. 48. 84 minimum standards of l i g h t i n g . 1 There i s no sound equipment i n t h i s theatre. Equipment required i s e i t h e r borrowed or rented. Acoustics seem good, although I did not experience the sound q u a l i t y with a f u l l audience. The stage f l o o r i s made of plywood with a groundcloth cover. This causes s i m i l a r problems to those found i n the Powerhouse Theatre (see p. 30 above). Auditorium and S i g h t l i n e s S i g h t l i n e s are not good i n t h i s theatre. The stage i s 4 feet high, and the auditorium rake i s only 3 feet over 14 rows. To give minimum acceptable s i g h t l i n e s , the stage should be 4 2 inches lower at l e a s t , and the rake should be over 5 f e e t . Balcony rake i s 9 inches per row, but t h i s i s required because of i t s elevation above the stage. The narrow proscenium, com-bined with 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 acting area upstage (see I l l u s t r a t i o n VII-1). The a i s l e s are aligned perpendicular to the proscenium opening. This i s not recommended by Burris-Meyer and Cole, 3 who prefer r a d i a l a i s l e s . Seats i n t h i s theatre are comfortable, but are i n rows only 33 inches apart, one inch less than that recommended f o r Pratt interview. B e l l , Marshall, and Southern, p. 26; Burris-Meyer and Cole, p. 69; Corry, p. 3. Burris-Meyer and Cole, p. 66. 85 marginal comfort. 1 The t o t a l depth of the house, 46 feet, i s under the 50 foot comfortable maximum allowed, but the 9 foot 2 forestage makes the t o t a l over that amount. I f an orchestra i s used, the conductor w i l l be a sight obstruction because of lack of depth of the orchestra area. Front of House Services The lobby of t h i s theatre provides l e s s than one square 3 foot of f l o o r space per seat. The new greenroom, i f used as a lounge, would add 800 square feet to t h i s . The double set of entrance doors helps e s t a b l i s h a good flow of t r a f f i c , but congestion i s probably experienced around the concession stand/coat check. This booth i s d i r e c t l y between the entrance to the green room and the s t a i r s to the balcony and washrooms. The men's washroom i s very small, only 60 square feet, and the number of ur i n a l s and t o i l e t s i s fa r below the number 4 recommended f o r a house t h i s s i z e . The women's washroom also has too few t o i l e t s , but a small powder room i s added. Parking i s a great problem f o r t h i s theatre, because there are no parking l o t s i n thi s r e s i d e n t i a l d i s t r i c t . Actor Space Although i t i s not mentioned s p e c i f i c a l l y i n my sources, Ib i d , p. 110. 2 Ibid, p. 66f. 3 Ibid, p. 53. 4 Ham, p. 224. 86 I suspect that there i s some disadvantage i n having a s i n g l e dressing room for a l l performers, male or female, s t a r , or extra. The 427 square feet a v a i l a b l e i n t h i s theatre should accommodate 25 actors at 16 square feet per person. However there i s only makeup space for 8, i f 30 inches of table per person i s allowed. 1 The absence of costumes area suggests that the dressing room i s used f o r t h i s function a l s o , r e s t r i c t i n g i t further. The greenroom i s good f o r a lounge, but as a waiting area f o r actors i t i s not usefu l , because there i s no access provided between that area and the stage. Production Services and Operation There i s no scene shop i n t h i s theatre, and sets must be b u i l t and stored on the stage. The properties room i s not as close to the stage as B e l l et a l . would l i k e , and i t i s not large enough. However, i t does have bench space, a sink, 2 and good l i g h t i n g . The loading door i s i n a good p o s i t i o n , a t one end of the upstage w a l l , but; i t i s only h a l f the s i z e i t should be. Loading and stage are at ground l e v e l . The newly b u i l t storage space i s a good idea, but i t i s r e s t r i c t e d by having only a 5 foot wide door for access. The stage manager operates from stage r i g h t . He i s i n a ^Burris-Meyer and Cole, p. 157. 2 B e l l , Marshall, and Southern, p. 87; Darcus interview. 3 Burris-Meyer and Cole, p. 164. 87 good p o s i t i o n , close to the patch panel, one stage entrance, and the loading door. 1 Lack of intercommunications must be a serious problem i n t h i s theatre, e s p e c i a l l y with cueing of operators on the f l y g a l l e r i e s . The only crossover space i s through the dressing rooms, necess i t a t i n g the use of two narrow f l i g h t s of s t a i r s , which i s a hindrance. Burris-Meyer and Cole would prefer a 5 foot 2 wide passage from dressing rooms to stage. One area i n which t h i s theatre i s well supplied i s access to the acting area from backstage. There are 2 proscenium doors on each side, one at audience f l o o r l e v e l , and one j u s t above stage l e v e l . Aesthetics The o r i g i n a l design of t h i s b u i l d i n g provides very l i t t l e decoration, e x t e r i o r or i n t e r i o r , excepting a small amount of r e l i e f work on the proscenium. The Vancouver L i t t l e Theatre Association has done some recent decorative work, and the lobby i s now quite pleasant, although some of the new concrete block structure s t i l l shows. A few t h e a t r i c a l posters and pictures help the atmosphere. Summary The York Theatre compares favourably with most spaces used by community theatre groups, the reason being that i t was Pratt interview. Burris-Meyer and Cole, p. 158. 88 o r i g i n a l l y designed as a theatre. Its main problem i s that many of i t s dimensions are minimal. The proscenium dimensions are adequate, but the depth of stage i s the absolute minimum. Wing space i s almost s u f f i -c i e n t f o r good scenery s h i f t i n g . The f l y tower i s exactly the minimum allowable height. S i g h t l i n e s are not good, because a high stage has been constructed to compensate f o r a shallow auditorium rake. The balcony complicates the s i g h t l i n e problem. The main f l o o r rake cannot be increased, as the balcony would then i n t e r f e r e with the s i g h t l i n e from the rear of the house to the proscenium top. However, the balcony i s an advantage. "The most important advantage of a m u l t i - t i e r audit-orium i s that the number of seats can be increased without^increasing unduly t h e i r distance from the stage." Seats i n t h i s theatre are comfortable, but the rows are too close together to provide enough leg room. Front of house services are not s u f f i c i e n t , due to lack of space. The lobby i s too small, the washrooms are minute, and the audience t r a f f i c pattern i s poor. Production services s u f f e r greatly from lack of space. The new addition of storage space i s of some help, but a scene shop and a separate costume room would be a great asset. This theatre lacks equipment. The new l i g h t i n g system w i l l help t h i s s i t u a t i o n , but the lack of sound equipment and intercommunication system i s not good. Ham, p. 26. 89 I think the main point to be made about the Vancouver L i t t l e Theatre Association i s that, although f l u c t u a t i n g i n s i z e and enthusiasm, t h i s group has survived f o r f i f t y - t h r e e years. The ownership of a theatre i n which to work has d e f i -n i t e l y contributed to t h i s l o n g e v i t y . 1 Mrs. C. Roberts interview, July 28, 1974. 90 FACT SHEET 5 The York Theatre Style 1. Proscenium Stage 1. Proscenium width; 24 feet, height; 16 feet permanently masked to 14 feet 2. Forestage depth; 9 feet at centre, 6 feet at sides 3. Stage height; 4 feet 4. Inner stage depth; 20 feet 5. Wing space; 12 feet each side 6. Grid height; 35 feet 7. F l y i n g system; 20 rope sets, 3 counterweight sets 8. Back wall; p l a s t e r 9. Projection screen; hung downstage 10. Floor; plywood with cl o t h cover 11. Obstructions i n wings; patch panel, 4 feet square downstage r i g h t Standard Masking 1. House curtain; red velour 2. Wings and borders; black velour 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 being i n s t a l l e d , 6 c i r c u i t a u x i l l i a r y 2. F.O.H. area; one pipe with power cables, 2 pipes on walls with no cables 91 Sound FACT SHEET 5—Continued 3. Upstage; 3 l i g h t pipes with power cables, 1 permanent l i g h t i n g bridge 4. Control; i n booth at rear of house above balcony 5. Follow 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 Fresnel s p o t l i g h t s , 14 other s p o t l i g h t s . Mostly 500 Watt 7. House l i g h t s ; dimmable 1. No equipment Loading and Storage 1. Loading; 7 foot high-by-6 foot wide door i n stage r i g h t rear wall 2. Door at street l e v e l , outside not paved or covered 3. Storage; 30-by-20 foot room adjacent to stage 4. Properties and Lighting storage; downstairs Dressing Rooms 1. One large room; 24 feet of mirror and table space, cl o s e t space 2. T o i l e t s ; 2 3. Sinks; one i n kitchen 4. Greenroom/lounge under construction adjacent to lobby Scene shop 1. None Properties 1. Space; 8-by-6 foot room, sink and shelf space, e l e c t r i c a l o utlets 92 FACT SHEET 5—Continued Costumes 1. No space s p e c i f i c a l l y provided House 1. 451 seats, 14 rows, rows on 33 inch centres 2. Rake; 3 feet t o t a l 3. Balcony rake; 9 inches per row, 10 rows 4. Seats; wood, upholstered 5. Balcony; s t a r t s 16 feet from edge of stage Front of House services 1. Lobby; 300 square feet 2. Small coat check f a c i l i t y under s t a i r s to balcony 3. Concessions; with sink and Coke machine, but small 4. Ticket o f f i c e ; by door, 4-by-6 feet 5. Washrooms; upstairs, men's; 5-by-12 fee t , one t o i l e t , 2 u r i n a l s ; women's; 5-by-8 feet, 2 t o i l e t s , powder room; 9-by-8 feet Performance Operation 1. Stage manager; stage r i g h t 2. Intercommunication to basement only 3. Monitor speakers; none 4. Crossover; through basement, or behind t r a v e l l e r at rear 5. Access to lobby; none insid e b u i l d i n g 6. Access to acting area; 2 proscenium doors 3 feet above stage l e v e l , 2 proscenium doors at auditorium f l o o r l e v e l , 2 doors upstage on e i t h e r side 94 Downstage T o i l e t s i o Kitchen Dressing Room 427 Square Feet cr n n | Kite Props Up | Makeup Furnace I l l u s t r a t i o n VII-2 York Theatre, Basement.of stage. I l l u s t r a t i o n VII-3 York Theatre, Balcony and dressing rooms, O f f i c e T Powder Room washroom! Up VP Washroom Balcony A i s l e Film Projection Costume Storage Under Light and Sound Booth 1"= 10 95 CHAPTER VIII Conclusions U t i l i z a t i o n of Space An i n t e r e s t i n g f a c t which became cl e a r from the informa-ti o n gathered i n th i s survey i s that the mode of production of v i r t u a l l y a l l community theatre groups i n B r i t i s h Columbia i s performance oriented i n the proscenium s t y l e . This r e s t r i c -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 conclusions reached as to the e f f i c i e n c y of the spaces used by these groups. From my survey of the representative sample of 16 com-munity theatre spaces and from other research, one f a c t becomes cl e a r . A high percentage of the spaces used by community the-atre groups i n th i s province are not s a t i s f a c t o r y . This opinion i s generally held by those working i n community theatre and i s substantiated by my research. E x i s t i n g F a c i l i t i e s Found spaces are used by a l l groups, f o r such a c t i v i t i e s as properties and costume construction and early rehearsals. However, 7 out of the 55 groups from which I have information, or 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 rehearsal, construction, and performance. 1 Most groups consider found 'Although there are over 100 theatre groups, the l e t t e r from Mrs. English to E r i c Broom only deals with 55. 96 space disadvantageous as a performance space. These buildings usually have l i t t l e i n the way of t h e a t r i c a l equipment or aux-i l i a r y space, and are often unsuitable i n s i z e , shape, or f o r aesthetic reasons. However, these problems can be overcome by c a r e f u l planning of the mode of production to s u i t the space. This can, i n f a c t , become an advantage to the imaginative the-atre group. For example, a children's theatre group i n t e n t i o n -a l l y molding t h e i r production to be performed i n school c l a s s -rooms w i l l account f o r the t h e a t r i c a l inadequacies of those rooms during, t h e i r rehearsal time. The spaces used w i l l then not a f f e c t the q u a l i t y of production. As found spaces are not usually owned by the theatre group, scheduling i s often a problem. The better spaces pre-sent the worst scheduling problems, as they are i n demand by other community groups. Scheduling which causes a frequent change of performance l o c a t i o n causes many problems, one of the worst being a p u b l i c i t y disadvantage. I t i s better, from the point of view of a t t r a c t i n g an audience, to hold every perform-ance i n the same p l a c e . 1 Because of i t s i n c l u s i o n i n so many school and recrea-t i o n a l f a c i l i t i e s , the gymnasium box i s the space most a v a i l -able to theatre groups i n the province. I t i s used by 20 groups, approximately 40% of the t o t a l of 55 from which I have informa-t i o n . The f a c t that i t resembles a proscenium theatre i n v i t e s attempts at proscenium s t y l e productions. A c t u a l l y , used as English interview. 97 a proscenium t h e a t r e , the poor a c o u s t i c s , f l a t a u d i t o r i u m f l o o r , h i g h stage, and l a c k o f p r o d u c t i o n s e r v i c e s , (although these are u s u a l l y b e t t e r than those p r o v i d e d by found space) pose problems which are almost insurmountable to the amateur group. The m u l t i - p u r p o s e a u d i t o r i u m c l a s s i f i c a t i o n c o n t a i n s a v a r i e t y o f b u i l d i n g s . These b u i l d i n g s are almost a l l b e t t e r s u i t e d t o performance than the gymnasium boxes. T h i s i s m a i n l y because they p r o v i d e more comfortable audience space and b e t t e r s i g h t l i n e s . A l t h o u g h t h e r e are some e x c e p t i o n s , b u i l d i n g s o f t h i s type have c e r t a i n f a i l i n g s i n common. The a u d i t o r i u m a r e a , a l t h o u g h c o m f o r t a b l e , i s too l a r g e t o s u i t the needs o f the community t h e a t r e group. Stage f a c i l i t i e s a r e l e s s than ade-quate f o r any b u t the most simple p r o d u c t i o n s , due t o l a c k o f wing space, f l y i n g equipment, and p r o d u c t i o n s e r v i c e s . Because these b u i l d i n g s a r e community owned, s c h e d u l i n g i s d i f f i c u l t . Of the groups surveyed, 5 used t h i s type o f b u i l d i n g as p e r f o r m -ance space. T h i s i s about 10% o f t h e t o t a l . The o n l y b u i l d i n g s which come r e a s o n a b l y c l o s e t o p r o -v i d i n g an e f f i c i e n t space f o r t h e a t r i c a l p r o d u c t i o n s are those d e s i g n e d s p e c i f i c a l l y as t h e a t r e s , o r those c o n v e r t e d to t h e -a t r e s from o t h e r spaces. The s i g n i f i c a n t advantage i n the c o n v e r s i o n o f an e x i s t -i n g b u i l d i n g t o a t h e a t r e by the community t h e a t r e group i s t h a t the u l t i m a t e users o f the b u i l d i n g a r e i n c o n t r o l o f the d e s i g n . T h i s w i l l r e s u l t i n a b u i l d i n g more amenable to t h e -a t r i c a l p r o d u c t i o n than the f a c i l i t i e s used by the m a j o r i t y o f community t h e a t r e groups. The reason the t h e a t r e groups 98 are able to finance these operations completely i s that, due to the existence of a basic structure, costs are considerably lower than i n the b u i l d i n g of a new structure. Even so, only the more a f f l u e n t groups can a f f o r d t h i s process, and even these are hampered by lack of funds. They w i l l often encounter a problem i n f i n d i n g a b u i l d i n g suitable for conversion. Often remodel-ing must be done i n stages and by amateur labour. Because of these problems, some of the r e s t r i c t i o n s of the o r i g i n a l s t r u c -ture may remain. Only 5 f u l l conversions e x i s t , meaning that 10% or l e s s of the groups surveyed use t h i s type of space. The theatre which was b u i l t with no other functions i n mind i s the best space, but only 2 of these are used by com-munity theatre groups. 1 An i n t e r e s t i n g point i s that one of these buildings i s over 60 years o l d . The other was started by the community theatre group, but they were unable to finance i t s completion. This means that no community theatre group i n the province has succeeded i n constructing i t s own theatre i n the l a s t h a l f century. Even the theatres that e x i s t are less than i d e a l , due to lack of funds and to a lack of t h e a t r i c a l expertise on the part of the b u i l d e r s . Unfortunately, the short-cuts which often must be taken prove c o s t l y to r e c t i f y at a l a t e r date. Even the best theatre spaces a v a i l a b l e to community theatre groups have i n s u f f i c i e n t wing space, f l y space, and production services. English, to E r i c Broom. 99 Building Design While the reason often given for the lack of good the-atre spaces i s a lack of funds, inadequacies i n planning and design are contributing f a c t o r s . A b u i l d i n g which i s properly designed can often be constructed for the same p r i c e as a poorly designed structure, and the better design provides a more e f f i -c i e n t space. For example, the Powerhouse Theatre i s a much better space f o r community theatre than the Kelowna Community Theatre. The t o t a l cost of the Powerhouse Theatre was less than h a l f that of the Kelowna b u i l d i n g . 1 This i s not to say that the Kelowna Community Theatre i s not a useful b u i l d i n g — o n l y that i t i s not a good space for community theatre groups. Naturally there are many problems involved i n the design of such a complex structure as a theatre. These problems are compounded i n the case of a community-built p r o j e c t i n which most of the people involved w i l l be p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n such a project for the f i r s t time. There are probably few architects i n t h i s province who are experienced theatre designers. Because a l o c a l a r c h i t e c t i s usually chosen f o r a community project of t h i s s o r t , i t i s even less l i k e l y that he w i l l have designed many theatres be-fore. Because of his inexperience, the average a r c h i t e c t i s unable to provide the required guidance for h i s c l i e n t . In 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 wiring, the a r c h i -t e c t has l i t t l e d i f f i c u l t y . In these requirements, theatres Huggins interview; "Blueprint for a Community Theatre". 100 are s i m i l a r to other 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 the-a t r i c a l areas, those dealt with i n t h i s study, that the a r c h i -tect's inexperience proves a disadvantage. The c l i e n t , who i s often a representative of the munic-i p a l or p r o v i n c i a l government, i s likewise not an expert on the-atre design. The average town councilor or school trustee 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 to the experience of being a member of the audience. In h i s conception, a theatre i s a large seating area with a stage f o r performers and washrooms and a lobby outside f o r the audience. His f i r s t problem, when he t r i e s to design what he f u l l y intends to be a theatre, i s one of 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 seat a c e r t a i n number of people. Any extra space which can be a f -forded becomes a stage. He has no concept of backstage require-ments, so he neglects them. A second conceptual mistake i s what Burris-Meyer and Cole term the "psychology of minima". 1 This i s a tendency to design the smallest dimensions allowable, and buy f o r the low-est p r i c e a v a i l a b l e , to the exclusion of almost a l l other con-si d e r a t i o n s . Lack of experience i n t h e a t r i c a l work makes the designer b l i n d to the problems he i s creating. Another misconception i s the b e l i e f that "theatre" means "proscenium theatre". This i s not necessarily 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 designers i n t h i s province seem to think i t i s . Every b u i l d i n g I surveyed had some kind of proscenium. Burris-Meyer and Cole, p. 356. 101 except f o r some found spaces, which were not designed as theatres. A fourth problem i s the desire to design a b u i l d i n g which w i l l f u l f i l l as many community re c r e a t i o n a l needs as poss i b l e . A b u i l d i n g designed with a multitude of uses,as w e l l as theatre, i n mind w i l l probably not be a good theatre, and w i l l not func-t i o n well f o r many of the other purposes for which i t was intended. The Cypress Room i s a good example of t h i s . I t i s a very poor proscenium stage, and does not function w e l l f o r meetings and presentations, because of the poor acoustics and the uncomfort-able temporary seating. I f the two gymnasiums i n t h i s complex had been designed without stages, they would have been less expensive to b u i l d . I f the money thus saved had been used to b u i l d a small theatre, the complex would be very w e l l equipped, both for theatre and f o r i t s other functions. Thus we see that from the outset the design of buildings conceived i n such a manner i s not adequate. The r e s u l t i s usu-a l l y a b u i l d i n g with inadequacies of space and equipment, i l l suited to the needs of community theatre groups. Sometimes, because of t h e i r superior t h e a t r i c a l experi-ence, community theatre personnel are i n v i t e d to a s s i s t i n the design process. The experience of these people i s often l i m i t e d to community theatre, or to observing p r o f e s s i o n a l proscenium theatre. For them, the same problems a r i s e as f o r c i v i c leaders. Even i f the community theatre representative knows what i s re-quired for a theatre, his lack of knowledge of the p r i o r i t i e s defeats him. He does not know the point at which i t i s necessary to stand f a s t , and demand that a c e r t a i n area be made no smaller. 102 He does not know where i t i s possible to cut corners and save money without seriously damaging the e f f i c i e n c y of the b u i l d i n g . If the theatre group i s active and fortunate enough to be able to finance the b u i l d i n g process, and thus be i n complete control of the designing, they have a great advantage. This i s borne out by the f a c t that some of the better spaces used are conversions designed and c a r r i e d out by the groups them-selves, while very few government-constructed b u i l d i n g s were found to be good theatres. However, even i n t h i s case a lack of t h e a t r i c a l expertise can cause a waste of funds and e f f o r t . I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that the buildings which are t h e a t r i c a l i n design (e.g., good conversions, theatres) tend to be the ones which make the most revenue from non-theatrical uses. Superior administration i s , of course, p a r t i a l l y respon-s i b l e f o r t h i s , but b u i l d i n g design i s important. The Power-house Theatre i n Vernon i s a good example of such a b u i l d i n g , and the Centennial Theatre i n North Vancouver i s another. A l -though I have c l a s s i f i e d the Centennial Theatre as a m u l t i -purpose auditorium, and i t was designed to house many functions, i t s o r i g i n a l design concept was influenced strongly by t h e a t r i c a l needs. The r e s u l t i s that almost every community theatre group i n the Vancouver area wants to use the Centennial Theatre. Its acoustics are good enough that CBC Radio often rents the space for use as a musical recording studio. A b u i l d i n g well designed as a theatre w i l l be e f f i c i e n t , allowing the theatre group to spend more time and e f f o r t on improving the q u a l i t y of production. Better productions a t t r a c t 103 larger audiences, and the increased revenue obtained can be turned back into better equipment and better productions. In t h i s way, a good theatre builds both the community theatre group and community theatre audience, and i s a great asset to the r e c r e a t i o n a l f a c i l i t i e s of any community. The conclusion I draw from t h i s i s , that i f a b u i l d i n g i s required for many performance-type uses, i t i s best to design with t h e a t r i c a l production as a top p r i o r i t y . The r e s u l t i n g 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 s a t i s f y most of the other functions as w e l l . Recommendations Interviews with community theatre personnel indicate that improvement of t h e i r theatre f a c i l i t i e s i s high on t h e i r l i s t of p r i o r i t i e s . To date there i s no c e n t r a l source of expert information that would a s s i s t these groups. The Community Pro-grammes Branch Library has very l i t t l e information on the tech-n i c a l aspects of theatre. Most of the source material a v a i l a b l e through t h i s l i b r a r y predates 1950. I t would be of great benefit to theatre groups i f the p r o v i n c i a l government were to e s t a b l i s h a c e n t r a l information source which might provide quidelines i n the various areas of technical theatre, including: 1) the design and construction of new theatres, 2) the adaptation or conversion of e x i s t i n g space, and 3) a l t e r n a t i v e ways of u t i l i z i n g i n e f f i -c i ent spaces such as the gymnasium box. In a d d i t i o n , community theatre groups interested i n improving 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 to investigate other outside sources of informa-t i o n . Other community theatres have been b u i l t , and t h e i r builders 104 and users w i l l have opinions as to the problems incurred. Pro-f e s s i o n a l theatre workers and l i t e r a t u r e on theatre architecture are both good sources of information on needs and p r i o r i t i e s . I t i s not enough to look at another b u i l d i n g and copy i t s design features; i t i s also necessary to obtain information on the shortcomings of the b u i l d i n g . This information can come from personnel who have worked i n the b u i l d i n g . For example, the Vernon L i t t l e Theatre Association mounts ambitious productions i n the Powerhouse Theatre: which has only 10 feet of wing space. To assume from t h i s that 10 feet i s s u f f i c i e n t wing space f o r a theatre would be a mistake. Even those groups unable to finance more adequate f a c i l -i t i e s at t h i s time could upgrade the q u a l i t y of t h e i r productions through more imaginative use of t h e i r present f a c i l i t i e s . Devel-opmental drama, mime, and productions of experimental works can be good recr e a t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s , and i t i s often possible to stage them i n spaces completely unsuited to proscenium the-atre. Even a simple break from the proscenium s t y l e could be h e l p f u l . For example, a group working i n a gymnasium box might be better o f f to ignore the stage, and use only the f l a t f l o o r area. They could set up a thrust stage, or theatre i n the round, and solve many of the v i s u a l , a c o u s t i c a l , and f i n a n c i a l problems inherent i n the gymnasium box b u i l d i n g . I have seen t h i s pro-cedure work successfully f o r professional touring shows, and e s p e c i a l l y for children's theatre. I t would not even be neces-sary to change the type of drama chosen. To the best of our present knowledge, Shakespeare did not write for 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 theatre, requires an extra expense of time and money. For a community theatre group, which has neither time nor money to waste, t h i s can have a detrimental e f f e c t on the q u a l i t y of performance. The con-c l u s i o n I draw from t h i s i s , that although the spaces a v a i l a b l e are below standard, better productions could be achieved by a v e r s a t i l i t y of production s t y l e . This i s another area i n which the p r o v i n c i a l government could set up a ce n t r a l information source which could be used to good advantage. This study c l e a r l y shows that the spaces used by community theatre groups i n t h i s province are not s u f f i c i e n t , but that some of the problems which a r i s e because of t h i s could be solved by a better command of t h e a t r i c a l technical knowledge, combined with a v e r s a t i l i t y of production s t y l e . I t can only be hoped that builders of future community theatre spaces w i l l follow some of the recommendations made i n t h i s paper, and avoid some of the mistakes which have been revealed i n e x i s t i n g b u i l d i n g s . This w i l l do much to improve the spaces a v a i l a b l e to community theatre groups i n the future. B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A C O M M U N I T Y T H E A T R E Q U E S T I O N N A I R E Please fi l l 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. T E C H N I C A L I N F O R M A T I O N Theatre Company or Group's Work Area. PLEASE answer Yes or No. Your own quarters?. School auditorium?-Orhers: Rented working area?. , Rehearsal Area?. . School classroom?. . Collaga?. . Meeting room?. .Hall?. . City or town building?. . Members house?. Availability (specify). STAGE AREA Size Flexible Elevated.. Other. Proscenium Apron. .Thrush Procenium Curtain. Workshop Area SOUNO Turntable' Wing Space. Cyclorama. .Fly Area. Borders Floor Cloth. , Storage. , Costume Dept. Speakers. Tape Deck .Other LIGHTING Control Panel Dimmers _ — — No. of Circuits No. of Outlets No. of l ight?. Floods. Battens Spots(sUe) Tresnels Dressing Room(s) Other A r n a t Use of B.C.D.A. Lighting Equipment How Often a> > n 0 ro 3 o 3 0 5 H -0 0J M H 1-3 a ,tr H i (0 0 ft) rt- 3 PJ fl) rt H-O 0 C iD w W rt ro H- O 0 r+ H-0 H- |3 h •* ro to H H -cr H -tn P-O 0 § & 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 for a Community Theatre These c r i t e r i a were established from information gathered from three sources: 1) l i t e r a t u r e on theatre architecture, 2) professional theatre personnel, and 3) community theatre personnel. This information was used as a basis f o r the analysis of the theatre spaces surveyed. Style Stage 1. A 200-seat proscenium s t y l e theatre would best serve most groups 1. Proscenium; maximum width; 32 feet, maximum height; 16 feet, minimum width; 24 feet, minimum height 10 feet. Proportions should be pleasing to the eye 2. Stage height; most sources agree to 3 feet 6 inches 3. Floor material; edge grain softwood i s probably best. Plywood with canvas groundcloth i s a cheaper a l t e r n a t i v e 4. Forestage depth; maximum; 4 feet, no minimum 5. Inner stage depth; minimum; 20 feet, no maximum 6. Wing space; optimum t o t a l equal to proscenium width plus a few feet each side f o r masking, no maximum 7. Grid height; minimum; 2| times proscenium height, optimum; 3 times proscenium height 8. F l y i n g system; minimum; 20 rope sets. Counterweights are desirable 9. Note that scenery s h i f t i n g and storage spaces are interdependent (e.g., an extra depth of stage would allow for less wing space.) 10. Cyclorama; a permanent p l a s t e r cyclorama with a cros s -over behind i t i s good, but c l o t h i s more v e r s a t i l e , and l e s s expensive. 11. Projection screet i s an advantage, should be flown downstage 12. I t i s desirable to have no obstructions i n the wings 108 Standard Masking 1. Borders, wings, and a front curtain are desirable 2. Material; velour i s good, corduroy next best Lighting 1. Lighting needs are variable, depending on uses of the bu i l d i n g and finances of the build e r . Such factors as e l e c t r i c a l service to the bui l d i n g , the installment of permanent or temporary wiring f o r the c i r c u i t s , and c i t y bylaws must a l l be considered. A l i g h t i n g control 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 panel; desirable, but not necessary. Should be e a s i l y accessible i n case of emergencies 3. F.O.H. pipes; 2 desirable, with power l i n e s 4. Upstage l i g h t pipes; 3 desirable, flown, with power l i n e s . A permanent l i g h t i n g bridge j u s t upstage of the proscenium i s an advantage 5. Follow spot positions; 2 desirable 6. House l i g h t s ; dimmable 7. Instruments; minimum of 15 f o r a simple production i n found space. For a proscenium theatre, minimum of 30, more would be desirable. An assortment of Fresnel 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 -l i g h t s Sound 1. A tape recorder connected to a loudspeaker system i s a workable minimum. A tape deck, turntable, and a 4 channel mixing board would be good Loading and Storage 1. Optimum loading i s into the scene shop through an 8-by-12 foot door, and from the scene shop to the stage by the same s i z e door, or larger. Minimum s i z e of loading doors i s 6-by-7 feet 2. F l a t storage should be close to the stage area, but not obstructing the wing space 3. Properties storage; should be lockable. Minimum of 5-by-7 foot door for access 109 4. As much storage space as can be afforded should be provided 5. Stage and shop f l o o r should be 4 feet above ground l e v e l 6. Loading area should be paved and covered Scene Shop 1. Minimum; 500 square feet, no maximum 2. Bench space should be provided 3. A large number of e l e c t r i c a l outlets should be spread evenly around the room Properties 1. Minimum; 100 square feet, no maximum 2. At l e a s t one large table, shelf space, some locking cupboards 3. Kitchen f a c i l i t i e s d esirable; stove, r e f r i g e r a t o r 4. Sink necessary 5. Flammables storage and disposal d e s i r a b l e 6. Good v e n t i l a t i o n necessary Costumes Area 1. Minimum; 400 square feet, no maximum 2. Bright l i g h t i n g , preferably incandescent 3. Two large tables desirable 4. A large number of e l e c t r i c a l o u t l e t s d esirable Dressing Rooms 1. At l e a s t 2. Optimum; 16 square feet f o r each actor-- t o t a l approximately 320 square feet 2. Dressing tables with mirrors, optimum; 30 inches f o r each a c t o r — t o t a l 40 feet 110 3. Washrooms; at l e a s t 2, with t o i l e t s , mirrors, and basins. Two showers desirable 4. Dressings rooms should be near the stage, at stage l e v e l Greenroom, Rehearsal F a c i l i t i e s 1. Greenroom; between dressing rooms and stage, 300 square feet d esirable 2. Greenroom can be a rehearsal space Auditorium 1. Approximately 200 seats 2. Rows; should be a minimum of 34 inches apart 3. Seats; should be upholstered, permanently f i x e d to the f l o o r , minimum; 20 inches wide 4. Aisles;should be at the sides of the auditorium, minimum; 4 feet wide 5. Minimum rake for the house should be 5 inches per row of seating Front of House Services 1. Optimum lobby, foyer, and lounge space; 1600 square feet 2. Concession stand, coat check, t i c k e t o f f i c e ; desirable 3. Patron services should be spread around lobby area to provide smooth t r a f f i c flow 4. Washrooms; 2, with a minimum of 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 sink per t o i l e t should be provided. Check c i t y bylaws f o r regulations Performance Operation 1. A stage manager's p o s i t i o n should be provided, on the side of the stage which controls as many entrances to the stage area as possible. Work l i g h t s should be c o n t r o l l e d from here as well as from the l i g h t i n g booth I l l 2. Crossovers; at l e a s t one, preferably outside the stage area, but behind the cycloraraa i f necessary 3. Sheltered access to the lobby and the house from back-stage i s desirable 4. Sound and l i g h t control booth should be provided, preferably at the rear of the house, with a good view of the stage 5. At l e a s t 2 access doors to the stage area are neces-sary, with a c l e a r path from the dressing rooms, op-timum width; 5 feet, no s t a i r s 6. Intercommunications between stage manager and l i g h t -ing necessary, between stage manager and dressing rooms desirable 7 . Monitor speakers; i n greenroom, dressing rooms, and lobby desirable 112 Glossary AUDITORIUM: Area where audience s i t s . also House. Not to be confused with multi-purpose auditorium, Chapter VI. BACKSTAGE: Behind the proscenium, outside the acting area. BORDERS: Material used to mask the upper part of the stage from the view of the audience. COUNTERWEIGHT: Permanent system to allow weight to be added to the offstage end of the f l y i n g ropes to o f f s e t the weight of the scenery. CURTAIN LINE: Line marking p o s i t i o n of c u r t a i n when closed, also Proscenium Line. CYCLORAMA: A backdrop, e i t h e r permanent or temporary, used to simulate the sky. DEAD HUNG: Tied o f f to g r i d , not able to be r a i s e d or lowered. DEPTH: Horizontal distance i n the upstage to downstage d i r e c t i o n . DIMMER: Device which controls the amount of power reaching a l i g h t i n g instrument. END STAGING: Staging i n which there i s no proscenium, so the walls of the house continue into the walls of the set. FLAT: A unit of scenery of two dimensional nature, c o n s i s t i n g of a frame of wood or metal covered by a f l a t material such as c l o t h . FLY GALLERY: A platform above the stage f l o o r l e v e l used f o r operation of the f l y i n g system. FLYING SYSTEM: Equipment used to r a i s e scenery from above. Usually consists of ropes or wires running over p u l l e y s , sometimes with counterweights. F.O.H. PIPES: Lighting pipes hung i n front of the proscenium. Numbered s t a r t i n g at the proscenium, moving towards the rear of the house, e.g., #1 F.O.H. FORESTAGE: The part of the stage i n front of the c u r t a i n l i n e , also Apron. FOYER: Area where audience member buys t i c k e t , waits f o r f r i e n d s . Separated from lobby by door where t i c k e t s are taken. FRONT OF HOUSE SERVICES: F a c i l i t i e s which provide f o r the com-f o r t and service of the audience. 113 GREENROOM (GREEN ROOM): Actors' lounge, for waiting between cues or receiving guests. GRID: St r u c t u r a l framework near the top of the stage house for supporting the f l y i n g system. HOUSE: see Auditorium. INNER STAGE: That part of the stage area behind the cur t a i n l i n e . INTERCOMMUNICATION SYSTEM: Telephone allowing communication be-tween production technicians and s t a f f and stage manager, also Intercom. LEGS: F l a t s or drapes hung p a r a l l e l to the cu r t a i n l i n e to mask the wing space from audience. LIGHTING BOOTH: Room for operator of l i g h t i n g c o n t r o l board. LIGHTING CONTROL BOARD: A panel with i n d i v i d u a l controls f o r each dimmer i n the l i g h t i n g system. LIGHTING INSTRUMENTS: - Lamps used to illuminate the stage. LIGHTING SYSTEM: E l e c t r i c a l system allowing i l l u m i n a t i o n and control of i l l u m i n a t i o n of the theatre, e s p e c i a l l y the stage. LIGHT PIPE: A metal bar, usually h o r i z o n t a l , used to mount l i g h t i n g instruments. LIGHT TREE: V e r t i c a l metal bar with a f l o o r stand, used to mount l i g h t i n g insturments. LOBBY: Area where patron waits to enter auditorium a f t e r g i v i n g h i s t i c k e t to the t i c k e t taker. LOUNGE: Area where patron relaxes during intermission. May have bar f a c i l i t i e s . In a small theatre, t h i s i s often the same space as the lobby. MARQUEE: Covered area outside theatre door. MONITOR SPEAKERS: Loudspeakers connected to a stage pickup microphone to allow sound from the stage to reach back-stage areas. OFFSTAGE: Away from the acting area. ONSTAGE: Towards the acting area. PATCH PANEL: A panel which allows interconnecting of out l e t s and dimmers of l i g h t i n g system. 114 PRODUCTION SERVICES: Spaces and equipment which are used f o r the construction and preparation of the t h e a t r i c a l show. PROPERTIES: Stage f u r n i t u r e , set dressing, and a l l a r t i c l e s used by actors. PROSCENIUM: The frame separating stage from auditorium. REVOLVE: A stage f l o o r constructed l i k e a turntable to allow the quick s u b s t i t u t i o n of one set for another. ROPE SET: One un i t of a f l y i n g system which uses ropes for l i f t i n g scenery. Usually consists of at l e a s t two ropes with the necessary pulleys. RUN: The number of days on which a play i s performed. SEASON: The annual period when the theatre i s most a c t i v e . SOUND BOOTH: Room occupied by the operator of the sound system. SOUND SYSTEM: System for amplifying sounds made on stage, e i t h e r actors' voices or sound e f f e c t s or both. STAGE DIRECTIONS: . Downstage; towards the audience. Stage L e f t , Right; towards the l e f t and r i g h t , r e s p e c t i v e l y , of an actor facing the audience. Upstage; away from the audience. THRUST STAGE: A stage with a very deep forestage, which extends into the audience so they view i t from three sides. TRUCK DECK: The part of a truck upon which the load r e s t s , or the f l o o r of the box of a van. WIDTH: Horizontal measurement p a r a l l e l to the c u r t a i n l i n e . WING SPACE: Stage f l o o r areas offstage of the acting area to the l e f t and r i g h t . also Wings. 115 L i s t of A r c h i t e c t u r a l Surveys A. By the Author The Arbutus Room, West Vancouver Community Centre. The Beaconsfield Elementary School Gymnasium, Vancouver. The Centennial Theatre, North Vancouver. The Cypress Room, West Vancouver Community Centre. The Gladstone Secondary School Auditorium, Vancouver. The James Cowan Theatre, Burnaby. The Kelowna Community Theatre, Kelowna. The Lakes D i s t r i c t Secondary School Gymnasium, Burns Lake. The Langham Court Theatre, V i c t o r i a . The Old St. Stephen's Church, West Vancouver. The Powerhouse Theatre, Vernon. The Vagabond Theatre, New Westminster. The Vernon Community Centre, Vernon. The Williams Lake Secondary School Gymnasium, Williams Lake. The Williams Lake Community Art Room, Williams Lake. The York Theatre, Vancouver. B. From Other Information The Prince George Community Theatre, Prince George, from Richard Spenser of Prince George. Telephone interview. 116 L i s t of L i t e r a r y Sources Auditorium and Stage. Community Drama (Dept. of Education) V i c t o r i a . Basic Equipment for the Small Stage. B r i t i s h Drama League. London. 1951. B e l l , S., Marshall, N., and Southern, R. E s s e n t i a l s of Stage Planning. Frederick Muller Ltd. London. 1949. "Blueprint for a Community Theatre". Performing Arts i n  Canada. V o l . 6, No. 1, 28f. Bowmann, W., and B a l l , R. Theatre Language. Theatre Arts Books. New York. 1961. Burris-Meyer, H., and Cole, E. Theatres and Auditoriums. (2d ed.) Reinhold Publishing Corporation. New York. 1964. The Community Theatre i n the Recreation Program. National Recreation Association. New York. Corry, P. Stage Planning. The Strand E l e c t r i c and Engineering Co. Ltd. London. 1965. English, P. M. " B r i t i s h Columbia Community Theatre Questionaire". (photostat) Kamloops. 1974. . Letter to E r i c Broom, (photostat) May 14, 1974. . "A Report on the State of Non-Professional Theatre i n B r i t i s h Columbia", (photostat)Kamloops. 1974. G r a n v i l l e , W. A Dictionary of T h e a t r i c a l Terms. Andre Deutch. London. 1952. Ham, R. (ed.) Theatre Planning. The A r c h i t e c t u r a l Press. London. 1972. Joseph, S. Actor and A r c h i t e c t . University of Toronto Press. Toronto. 1964. 117 Lounsbury, W. Theatre Backstage from A to Z. University of Washington Press. Seattle. 1967. Manual on Stage and Acoustical Design f o r School and Community Auditoriums. Alberta Drama Board. Rodney, L. S. Administration of Public Recreation. Ronald Press Co. New York. 1964. Russel, J . A. The Auditorium and Stage i n Your Community Centre. University of Manitoba. 1945. S i m p l i f i e d Staging. Department of National Health and Welfare. Ottawa. 1950. Southern, R. Proscenium and S i g h t l i n e s . Theatre Arts Books. New York. 1964. "Theatre Survey Form". Presentation Committee of the U.S. I n s t i t u t e f o r Theatre Technology. (photostat) L i s t of Interviews C l i f f , Mrs. H. of the Vagabond Theatre. New Westminster. July 12, 1974. Darcus, Mrs. S. Propsmistress, Frederic Wood Theatre. University of B r i t i s h Columbia. May 13, 1974. English, Mrs. Paddy Malcolm. Former B r i t i s h Columbia Drama Consultant. Kelowna. June 6, 1974. Ferstay, Ralph. Centre Director, West Vancouver Community Centre, by telephone. August 28, 1974. G i l e s , Harold. of the Williams Lake Players, by telephone. July 26, 1974. Hooper, Lloyd. Resident Manager, Kelowna Community Theatre. Kelowna. August 16, 1974. Huggins, Doug. Scene Designer and A r c h i t e c t , The Powerhouse Theatre. Vernon. June 5, 1974. Lynds, Mrs. Peggy. Director, James Cowan Theatre. Burnaby. June 27, 1974. 118 McCooey, Derek. Regional Recreation Consultant. Abbotsford. May 14, 1974. Poole, E l l e n , of the Vancouver L i t t l e Theatre Association, by telephone. September 20, 1974. Pratt, Ian. Associate Technical Director, Frederic Wood Theatre. University of B r i t i s h Columbia. May 13, 1974. Ray, Bruce. Recreational Superintendant, North Vancouver Community Centre. Centennial Theatre. August 12, 1974. Roberts, Mrs. C. of the Vancouver L i t t l e Theatre Association. York Theatre. July 28, 1974. S i l v e r , P h i l . Scene Designer, C i t a d e l Theatre of Edmonton. Kelowna. June 6, 1974. Scott, Miss Mary Jane. President, V i c t o r i a Theatre Guild. Langham Court Theatre. July 12, 1974. Spenser, Richard, of Prince George, by telephone. September 21, . 1974. T i l d e n Truck Rentals, u n i d e n t i f i e d employee, by telephone. September 2, 1974. Talman, Mrs. Susan. Secretary, Saltspring Island Players. Kelowna. June 7, 1974. Van Bassen, Mrs. Secretary to Mr. Simpson, Director of School Planning F a c i l i t i e s , Department of Education, by telephone. August 29, 1974. Vaughan, Mark. Past President of Theatre Kelowna. Kelowna. August 16, 1974. Wilcox, Richard Kent. Scene Designer, Frederic Wood Theatre. University of B r i t i s h Columbia. August 20, 1974. Young, Norman. Technical Director. Frederic Wood Theatre. University of B r i t i s h Columbia. May 13, 1974. 

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