LED lights will eluminate the Sauk stage
JONESVILLE — Only days before the opening of "Shrek: the Musical" at the Sauk Theater, volunteers were busy installing a new lighting system at the theater.
Over the past year the Hillsdale Community Theatre board has been working to raise money for the new lighting system. The new LED system came at a cost of $25,000 for each phase.
Work currently underway is for phase one of the project. The board is hoping to have the second phase complete by the first of the year.
Kristin Hood, a member of the board, said the lighting upgrades are something the board has talked about for the last five years.
“The improvements are going to save us money in the long run,” she said.
She said the board had a hard decision to make when it came to the project because of other work that needed to be done around the theater.
The possible safety hazards posed by the old equipment's condition, however, became an issue for the board.
Hood who works with the theater’s lighting said she is looking forward to working with the new system.
“Working with the old equipment could be frustrating at times,” Hood said. “I am excited about the new system.”
The new technology will take some getting used to for those working the lighting board because all of the light changes can be programed into a computer.
Hood and other volunteers have been working with Michael Beyer, lighting and design professor at Hillsdale College, learning the system. Beyer is also production manager for the Sage Center at the college.
Beyer said the new LED lighting system is state of the art for the theater.
The new lights will allow the lighting crew to change the color, brightness and hue of lights with the click of a mouse.
The theater relied on different colored gels to light the stage with the old system.
“LED is the future of lighting,” Beyer said.
For “Shrek” the theater will be utilizing about a third of the lighting it needs. The new LED lights will be mixed in with the old lighting system.
Beyer said to those people sitting in the audience, the LED lights will look more vibrant and richer in color.
“You have an infinite number of color options with the LED system,” he said. “It is exciting to see a theater of this size make the investment in lighting.”
Peggy Young, a member of the board who worked on the lighting project, said the theater received numerous donations from patrons for the lights. The Jonesville Community Foundation and Kiwanis of Hillsdale also supported the project.
The theater’s production of “Shrek: The Musical” will be June 13-16 and June 20-23. Tickets are available by calling 849-9100.