Playhouse Renovation Includes Updated Loudspeaker, Stage Lighting Systems

The Parker was recently renovated.
(Image credit: Martin )

Founded in 1967, the Parker Playhouse is a fixture of the local Fort Lauderdale, FL, arts community, hosting a variety of Broadway shows, plays, concerts, dance, and educational events. Last year, a $30 million renovation and restoration project transformed the building from a historical playhouse into a modern live music venue.

Now known as The Parker, the theater has more than 1,100 seats and began welcoming audiences back this fall with a variety of events. As part of the effort to transform The Parker into a multifaceted venue equipped to serve the needs of modern live productions, The Broward Center for the Performing Arts, which has managed The Parker since 2005, upgraded its loudspeaker and stage lighting systems.

Joshua Delasant, CTS, who served as project leader for contractor Peerson Audio, said the renovation was completed in two phases. Phase 1 included the integration of a new AV system for the back-of-house area and existing lobbies, while Phase 2 included the overhaul of the auditorium AV and the addition of expanded lobby areas.

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Chris Carlton, owner of Carlton Audio Services, developed the d&b loudspeaker system specification to meet venue’s budget while providing excellent coverage. It includes 16 V8s deployed eight deep left and right, a single custom red Vi7P point source loudspeaker at center, seven 8S units for front fill, and three SL-GSUBS subwoofers under the stage in a horizontal array. D80, 30D, and D20 power amplifiers along with DS10 signal conversion and distribution complete the audio package.

The three-way passive V-Series comprises both line array and point source systems for medium to large-scale sound reinforcement applications, with complete efficiency and broadband directivity control to low frequencies. “The choice of the d&b V-Series system was easy for us,” explained Anton Foresta, head engineer for The Parker and director of production – affiliated venues. “The goal was to put a system in place that would meet any rider’s requirement. Nine times out of 10, d&b is on every rider as the first choice, so we wanted to provide the first choice.”

The Stage Equipment & Lighting (SEAL) division of Pro Sound Inc. designed The Parker’s lighting system featuring Martin ERA 800, MAC Aura, and ELP CL lights. The main component of the new lighting setup is the Martin MAC Aura single-lens wash light, with 16 on electric line sets and four on a motorized truss. Featuring a broad RBGY color spectrum and eye-candy Aura effects, the MAC Aura combines multicolor beam LEDs with a backlight LED array to generate deep washes, subtle shades, and more.

“The Auras are our main wash,” explained Robyn Allemand, technical coordinator, The Parker. “We placed them on most of our electric line sets to give an even wash and also because they can zoom in really well. It’s great to have the option to provide movement. We wanted to make sure the line sets were even in rows that fit onstage to allow for a fun look or a general overhead wash look.”

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Eight Martin ERA 800 Performance LED profile fixtures were installed in a V-shape pointing upstage for wide washes, powerful beams, and eclectic patterns. The CMY color mixing and six-slot color wheel provide numerous blending options, while static and rotating gobos, as well as full stage framing blades with +/- 60° rotation, make the ERA adaptable to any production.

The Parker’s lighting system also includes 38 Martin ELP CL LED ellipsoidal profile lights. The ELP is equipped with the gear-driven Fine Focus, which allows for adjusting and locking in the focus instantly, as well as an RGBAL Luxeon Rebel LED engine for a vivid color palette.

“One of the primary goals of the renovations was that concerts hosted by The Parker started getting bigger and requiring higher production values for today’s touring artists,” said Foresta. “When people see that you have Martin fixtures, that's as far as they need to go. Everybody already has the profiles for it. It makes it really easy for touring companies coming through with their own consoles to take over and merge the system to their files.”

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