NIC auditorium receives new sound/lighting equipment

The bedtime stories in the Travolta home were a little different from typical children's books. These stories were filled with the same imagination and wonder, but also character lines, developing plots and stage cues.
Helen Travolta used to read plays to her six children at night, so it's not surprising that Ellen, Sam, Margaret, Annie, Joey and John all followed their imaginations into careers in the entertainment industry.
“Our mother truly believed that there was no better way to spend your life than in show business,” said Ellen Travolta, the eldest of the Travolta children.
Helen Travolta fostered their love of show business and the children decided to give back to the industry through a fund established in her name.
More than $120,000 went to the Helen Burke Travolta Fund following a fundraiser for Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre last August, during which the six siblings united in front of 800 ticket holders at the home of Duane and Lola Hagadone, who underwrote the entire event allowing every dollar raised to benefit the fund.
Ellen, who has numerous film and television credits including six years in a lead role on Charles in Charge, now lives in Coeur d'Alene with her husband Jack Bannon. Both have been active players in Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre shows over the years and helped spearhead the fundraiser when they learned of the need for new sound equipment in North Idaho College's Boswell Hall Schuler Auditorium.
Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre leases operational space from the college and uses the auditorium for the production of four Broadway shows each summer with a total of 36 performances. The auditorium also hosts NIC's fine arts productions as well as events by other community organizations that rent the facility.
“The need for new sound equipment was eminent,” said Rayelle Anderson, executive director of the NIC Foundation, which accepted the award on behalf of the college. “And through this partnership between NIC and Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre, as well as the generosity of the Travolta family and all those who contributed to the fundraiser's success, we were able to purchase equipment that will benefit the entire community—anyone who goes to a Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre show, an NIC production or any other event held in the auditorium.”
More than $92,000 of the proceeds from last summer's fundraiser recently went to the purchase and installation of a new sound system for Schuler Auditorium.
The new system is an EAW line array system, complete with a new high-tech soundboard, 20 high-definition cabinet speakers and a delay ring to even out the sound for those seated in the back of the nearly 1,200-seat auditorium.
“Sound that used to seem muddied is so clear with this new system,” said Justin Van Eaton, auditorium director, who along with the auditorium staff, spent nearly a month installing the new system. “We were using 1970s technology and can do so much with this system that we were never able to do before. It is state of the art.”
In addition to the sound equipment, the auditorium completed its overhaul with a new state-of-the-art lighting system, funded through a gift from an anonymous donor to the NIC Foundation.
This equipment consists of a new lighting control console and four moving beam lighting instruments. The new ETC Expressions 3 consol is a computer-based control board. This console not only controls more than 400 dimmers and lighting fixtures, which consume more than 140,000 watts, it also controls the new moving beam instruments.
The moving beams are computer-based lighting fixtures that are computer programmed by the auditorium's lighting designer to set individual cues. Each moving beam can change location, color, pattern and size instantly. 
This summer's Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre season kicks off June 9 with “Some Enchanted Evening.” This summer's productions also include “Footloose,” “Guys and Dolls” and Disney's “Beauty and the Beast.”
For Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre tickets or information on NIC events, call the NIC TicketQuick Box Office at (208) 769-7780.|photo1|

For More Information
Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre Operations Director David Hollingshead, (208) 769-7780, NIC Foundation Executive Director Rayelle Anderson, (208) 769-5978, Schuler Auditorium Director Justin Van Eaton, (208) 769-3424

Posted: Thursday, June 9, 2005

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