So my highschool is nearing completion of a new $14M "performing arts center," and the time has come that I am starting to meet with all of the various contractors for the mandatory training. So the other day I was with the director of the theater program, my lighting guy and the Strand rep being trained on our new Sub Pallete.
My light guy and I have both had lots of experience on the 300 series so we were just sitting back ocasionally paying attention when he noted the differences between the two, but our director, having never operated a digital console, decided that he needed to know exactly how the cue sheet worked, from programming cues, to looks, to cue parts, to effects etc etc. And at one point my director wanted to know if you could do a manual fade from one cue to another with a slider on the board. The Strand rep said that he had never been asked that question, and I asked why he would want to know because I had never had to do anything like that. Now my director swears that on Broadway cue times aren't the same every night depending on how the scene played out because he had acted on a Broadway stage before (long before digital consoles). The director said that he wanted the board ops to make "judgement calls" about fade times during the show. I said that the whole point of a cue'd show is so that each fade is the same every night, and all of the artistic control is in the SM and when she calls it each night.
So, my question is, when on Broadway or other up-scale professional theater, is this done? Does the board op really have any artistic control in terms of the fade time of blackouts?