The Stage & Auditorium
The stage is big, high and was designed in 1984 to impress music industry professionals. But this layout presented a challenge in thinking about how to use the theater as a community space. After recent upgrades, the theater comfortably seats more than 416 members of the public. It is an intimate space where fans can get up close to the music and really feel the performance.
Embellished with crystal chandeliers, velvet drapes, comfortable seating, and views all around, the stage is illuminated by George and Stanley, two Golden Gods discovered in a dusty corner, polished up and finished with new antique art deco glass lanterns. They now stand guard over every show.
Bearsville Theater auditorium —designed with no right angles, no boxy corners —is perfect for sound. Architect John Storyk originally added flying wings to the original low gabled Dutch Barn roof to disperse sound waves. The roof itself serves to enhance reverb as if it were a drum skin. But sound bounces, ricochets and echoes. To provide the best experience, an auditorium needs baffles and soft surfaces. Over the years the seating and soft furnishings – drapes and wall coverings – had worn thin and been replaced with hard surfaces.
Working with veteran sound engineer Stan Dennis, Lizzie and Robert installed a Danley SH46 Point Source powered by DNA 20k4 PRO with built in DSP (Digital Signal Processing). Danley is a sophisticated, powerful system, designed to fill the uniquely shaped room with mellow, muscular tones. Its technology reads the shape and content of a room and pitches sounds in exactly the right combinations to produce the best aural result for every seat, including the often-forgotten back rows and balcony.
The magical VIP balcony near the ceiling at the rear of the room, received special treatment. Sitting there looking down below the crystal chandeliers onto the jewel box of a stage, sound hangs and does not bounce back or become fuzzy. But overall, every seat in the theater offers the audience an all-round immersive experience of sound, light and creature comforts. The final result is that of a sophisticated light show and theatrical experience never before seen at Bearsville.