ideas/pics for "control booth" set up in the back of the house?

Stuart R

Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2017
Location
Miami FL
Hi all,

Our performance space is a cafetorium, and the only "control booth" we've had is at floor level along the audience left wall maybe 15 feet from the stage.

At show time, the cafeteria tables are struck and a 48' wide wall of retractable tiered seating is wheeled out and extended toward the stage. The last row is perhaps five feet off the ground. After the show, the tiers retract and the whole unit is stored behind curtains on the audience right side.

My idea is to build a "booth" that can occupy part of the last row of the temporary tiered seating. We have or will be buying iPad or MacBook based lighting, sound, and video control, so I won't have to worry about lugging a couple of full-sized lighting and sound boards up there. However, I am concerned about the spillover of light and (especially) headset conversation to the audience adjacent to the booth.

Do any of you folks run your shows from a temporary FOH booth in this manner? Do you have any pics of your set-up? Anyone else, got any ideas for making this approach workable?

Many thanks.

Stuart R
 

Ben Stiegler

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2017
Location
Sf Bay Area
Some pix of this would be nice. For HS musicals, I have 2 students mixing from iPads supported on sturdy music stands, with tiny LED lamp for following the script, from a near-rear part of the house. There is audience behind them because one can't mix well from under the balcony, so we run as dim as possible. We eventually made a custom slip-in support (wooden backing with strips to support top and bottom of iPads) that was attached to 2 stands - sturdier than just balanced on the Manhasset black stands. You can probably put a Mac mini with Qlab and a smallish monitor in place.

As long as headset use is listen-only (receiving cues), or you use a cue-light system (on for warning, douse for go), should be ok if they are behind the audience in your case. But your stage manager or cue caller ... perhaps that person should be offstage L or R vs. in the house, with a camera view from FOH if needed. And ... while there's a certain amount of fun with non-cue chatter than can develop, having good headset hygiene will benefit the show and the audience alike.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RonHebbard

dbaxter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2007
Location
Rochester, NY
We have an "open booth" at our theater, the same as you describe. We usually run with one person, the Stage Manager, in the booth doing both lights and sound. Prompts for the followspot operator, if needed, are done via video messages. You can see pictures, description, etc. at this YouTube link. It's more than temporary, it's our normal setup. You could do a similar configuration with laptops as Ben suggests.