New lights in North Grand Auditorium to premiere this weekend
By James Grob, email@example.com
The return of live productions this weekend at North Grand Auditorium will come with an added bonus for audience members.
They’ll get a first look at the new lights.
Charles City High School will present the musical comedy “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” Friday night at 7 p.m. and Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m., and this past weekend, directors, cast, crew members and even Charles City Superintendent of Schools Mike Fisher spent hours of work installing the theater’s new lighting system.
Jason Lester, a private lighting consultant, spent over 14 hours teaching a dozen drama kids and their directors how to unpack, assemble, install and program the lights.
“It was a long two days, but well worth it,” said CCHS drama director Michelle Grob. “We are so grateful to the Charles City School District, the Stony Point Players, and the high school drama department for helping to fund this upgrade.”
Earlier this month the Charles City school board approved a bid from BMI Lighting Supply of New York for $48,996 for the purchase and installation of auditorium stage lights, as the old lights were malfunctioning and beyond repair, and many of them were no longer replaceable.
The budget for the project was not to exceed $50,000, of which $8,000 was funded by the local community theater group the Stony Point Players and the CCHS drama department. The purchase included a new lighting control board, which directors and students were trained on Saturday and Sunday.
The lights can be removed and reinstalled in a new venue, should the district build one in the future, and the district’s balance of the purchase was paid as a COVID Cares Act expenditure, as the lighting is needed to expand available spaces to hold fine arts classes.
Fisher said it was a good use of the money, and that it will help save the community some taxpayer expenses down the road.
“We want to continue to invest in our kids with the right equipment,” Fisher said. “We also want to have them learn from professionals in the industry for authentic earned learning.”