This is a preliminary list of sessions scheduled for NATEAC 2021 and subject to change.
Why We Do What We Do
New Music in Old Buildings
Adapting historic theatres and other structures for contemporary programming and technologies
A discussion on the challenges of programming historic structures with contemporary music, creating the environment necessary for active audiences that support advanced technologies while still protecting historic structures and their place in the community.
50 Years of Show Technology Evolution
Have we reached a maturity point?
Over the last few decades, the entertainment technology industry underwent a period of enormous technological development and growth, but has now reached a point of stability. While innovation continues, of course, most of the equipment we use today is mature, and we are now able to standardize both the technology and the way we work with it to maximize safety, improve performance, and reduce costs. With fundamental solutions in place, innovation and development is moving into optimization, integration and connectivity. Citytech Professor John Huntington, author of Show Networks and Control Systems, has been studying and writing about show technology since the late 80s, and will present his research into this topic via a detailed show technology history timeline documenting the trends, look at where we are now, and speculate about the future.
Not Just a High School Theatre
Serving the client and surviving (?) the system
Interactive discussion about designing HS theatres that serve the students educational and performance needs while navigating the challenges of District standards, architect inertia and limited access to users in early design. How do we design functional spaces, and how do we determine the appropriate level of technology for young performers, overloaded teachers and limited budgets?
Adjustable Acoustics - Balancing Acoustics, Aesthetics and Construction
When are these expensive items vital, and when are they overkill?
Three Ceilings: Megastructures After 20 Years
The New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, and the Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall have complex, totally custom, motorized acoustical ceilings, each weighing many thousands of pounds. Each is at or near 20 years old. The panel will address what the nature and age of these systems means for designers, manufacturers, and owners. How does the anticipated lifespan of these systems affect their design? How does the perpetual need for inspection and maintenance affect owners? Over the years, how have these systems been retrofitted, due to changes in technology? What are the prospects for these systems for the next 20 years? What can we learn when designing similar systems today?
Design for All Genders
Inclusive Design for Practitioners and Patrons
Much has developed on this topic since the 2016 NATEAC panel addressing Gender Identity Accommodation. This panel will take the topic further and also address other areas for the public and theatre patrons.
The Transformation of the National Art Centre’s Southam Hall
Robin Glosemeyer Petrone
Canada’s National Arts Centre was designed in 1967 emblematic of a visionary future. A transformation of the 50-year old building was completed in 2019 and included upgrades to public lobbies, auditoria and performance infrastructure. This talk will focus on the transformation of Southam Hall, their 2,100 seat venue, home to the National Arts Centre Orchestra.
The first phase of work, completed in the summer shutdown of 2016 involved converting the original continental seating arrangement for improved patron circulation and wheelchair accessibility. The second phase of work included significant infrastructure upgrades and replacement of the original orchestra shell.
Comprised of eight moveable towers, four tip-and-fly overhead reflector pieces on stage and eight pivoting side wall panels and a forestage reflector forward of the proscenium, the new orchestra shell is one of the largest in North America. These changes have dramatically changed the character of the room, improved communication between musicians on stage and the projection of sound to the audience. Peter Rosenbaum, Robin Glosemeyer Petrone and Jennifer Mallard will share their stories and lessons learned from this transformational project.
NATEAC Squares: “Just because we can , should we?”
Hosted by Bill Sapsis and Eddie Raymond
A lighthearted look at some serious topics that design professionals, and their clients, face on a regular basis. The star-studded panel will provide discussions on such topics as: How is the end user included in the discussion? How does new technology better serve the intended programming of the venue? And a perennial favorite, Loading dock oh loading dock, where are thou? Attendee participation will be encouraged.
Implicit Bias that Women+ Experience in Theatre Engineering, Architecture and Construction
Each of us has implicit (unconscious) bias, and it influences the choices we make every day. But what is that doing to opportunities for women+ our industry? What are the experiences of women+ working in theatre engineering, architecture and construction? Does implicit bias discourage women+ from entering these fields and/or impede their professional progress? In this interactive session we will explore how to address implicit bias and build a more inclusive work environment.
Stage and House Ventilation
Keeping Actors Alive and Patrons Awake
Theatrical atmospheric haze, fog, and smoke, bullet hits (squibs), cold and hot pyro, dust effects, and flame in many forms, are used on stages. Stages in smaller houses and university theaters commonly double as set construction sites where painting, woodworking, and welding are done. The old standards for air exchange rates on stages are not sufficient for this work.
Audiences also are exposed as special effects (SFX) air contaminates which migrate to the house. In addition, some productions involve dumping massive amounts of fake snow, bubbles, Holi powder, confetti, and other materials onto the audience.
Many SFX air-contaminants are workplace regulated substances or come under limits imposed by professionals standards for theater. Since actors and audience cannot wear respiratory protection, ventilation designers must provide appropriate additional air exchange rates for this foreseeable use of regulated substances.
In addition, both the cast and the audience will foreseeably include members who are elderly, pregnant, infirm, disabled, or minor children. Ventilation designers must provide ventilation rates for these people that exceed occupational standards.
We will cover various SFX air contaminants, predicted levels of exposure when known, existing standards for these air contaminants, relevant lawsuits, and propose ventilation system solutions.
This Old House: A Chronicle of Technology Upgrades for the Boston Symphony Orchestra
A discussion of technological advances and upgrades based on four BSO concert venues – Boston Symphony Hall (1900), Koussevitzky Music Shed (1937), Seiji Ozawa Hall (1994), and The Linde Center for Music and Learning (2019). With its collection of venues purpose-built over the past 120 years the BSO has been in a position to continually update systems and infrastructure in four unique buildings to support a wide range of live performances and events. Here we will discuss some of the major updates and changes that have been made to support the BSO mission and how technology shapes the decision-making process.