Paging A Legend

Since its first production, a staging of Shakespeare's Hamlet, in 1913, the Shubert Theater in New York City has risen to National Landmark status. Over the ensuing 92 years, the Shubert Organization has extended its reach, owning and operating more than 50 theaters in the city.

Four of those theaters-the Barrymore, Broadhurst, Plymouth and Imperial-needed to bring the level of their communications into the current century, not only to upgrade the equipment but to add capacity as well. Specifically, they wanted to add zones to their paging system, add internal communications throughout each theater and improve the speakers.

Enter Sound Associates, a sound company founded in 1946 which itself has won two Tony Awards. For these four theaters, the organization needed refined paging control, added zones and a "set and forget" capability so the staff could worry about their real jobs and not the paging system. Tim Mazur, project manager at Sound Associates, recommended the TOA D-901 modular digital mixer as the key element of the system.

The new software from TOA made it easier to set up scenes and recall them when needed and offered gain control over the matrix, which allowed the setting of different levels for each zone.

Using a Shure 527B push-to-talk microphone, paging can be accomplished from FOH, backstage (where the stage manager pages actors), stage left and stage right and the doorman at the backstage entrance (for announcing deliveries, visitors, etc.). There is a lighted panel of buttons to page separate areas or "all page."

The system director of the Shubert Organization is Ted Jacoby who also called for an update of the speakers, opting for JBL ceiling-mounted 24CT micros and for an internal communications system for occasions when they want to keep it off the paging system. Sound Associates selected the ClearCom MR202 at all locations.