STATE OF THE ART HOUSE
The Art House:
Margaret St, Wyong NSW
The Art House Wyong is a new performing arts venue in the heart of the NSW Central Coast. Having recently opened in May 2016, the centre boasts a 500-seat proscenium arch Theatre and a flexible 130-seat ‘Studio’ space, suitable for emerging artists or digitally linked to the Theatre as an orchestra room. Amazingly, this beautiful venue was 100% council funded, and brought in at a relatively modest construction cost of $12.7m. The investment is already reaping dividends for the area hosting local theatre companies and events along with attracting high-quality touring acts.
Julie Vaughan, Project Manager, The Art House Wyong reflects on the process: “We worked with The P.A. People’s Brett Steele and Chris Dodds on the project. They walked the council through the process and, as a result, the council got amazing value for a regional theatre, and the community is now enjoying a very professional space, “she continued. “We didn’t have to sacrifice on the technical aspects, and we installed industry standard equipment. The lighting and sound equipment we use every day isn’t where the cost savings were made. The equipment that makes the venue run is where the quality is, so the shows don’t suffer.”
GEARED UP & READY FOR USE
Theatre consultant Schuler Shook, with Simon Austin taking the lead, prepared the spec, while The P.A. People installed the heart of The Art House’s technical systems.
The Theatre’s PA is a JBL VRX 900 Series system, with four elements each of VRX932LA-1 at left, centre and right. Two VRX918S subwoofers are flown above centre. Front fill is provided by seven JBL AC18/26s. The rig is powered and processed by a combination of Crown DCi4 and DCi8 amplifiers. Further processing for the back of house system is courtesy of a BSS BLU-100, also connected to the Dante network.
Yamaha digital mixing desks reside on a Dante backbone, with a QL5 for large shows in the theatre, and a smaller TF1 digital console for the Studio.
STAGE & LIGHTS: RIGHT TRACK
The stage management console is a custom P.A. People build, and houses a Jands Ezicom 401 master station, a Leon Audio QLM16 MK4 cue light master station, Shure mic and a dual eight-inch LCD video monitors. Comms headsets are from Beyerdynamic, and back-of-house area paging is through a combination of JBL and TOA ceiling and surfacemount loudspeakers.
Theatre lighting control is from an industry standard ETC Gio, while the Studio is run from a smaller ETC Element 40. The system is built around 20 Jands HPC12 digital dimmers, which control a predominantly LED rig built around ETC Source 4 LED models and Selecon Rama LED Fresnels, flown from Jands JLX-Pro lighting bars. Cyclorama wash is provided from seven Chroma-Q Color Force CF72 LED battens.
LEAN BUT CLEAN
“It’s great to see local councils building theatres,” said architect Tim Greer of Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects. “They’re very difficult buildings to deliver, with their multiple stakeholders. Wyong, with its limited resources, now has a great asset. It’s terrific they’ve delivered this. There’s a strong culture of theatre and performance groups within the local government area of Wyong who have agitated for this venue for a very long time, and it’s good they’ve got such a great facility.”