SALEM New lighting will make productions brighter and clearer

A computer will be used to control stage lighting.
SALEM -- Audiences attending productions at Salem Community Theatre in the upcoming season are likely to get a better view of plays, thanks to lighting improvements now under way.
Electricians have been working this summer at the theater, 490 E. State St., upgrading the structure's electrical service.
The work will allow for installation of a computerized light board, explained David Hazen, who volunteered to oversee the improvements. Hazen is the husband of Joyce Hazen, theater board president.
Light boards are used in theater productions to control the many lights used to illuminate plays.
Traditionally, the boards are staffed by a lighting person who controls the lights during a production.
Computerized light boards are able to more quickly and precisely accomplish the many adjustments needed.
A person will still run the computerized board, prompting it to make pre-programmed changes, Hazen said.
In addition: The theater is adding new production lights to go with the new light board.
This will result in patrons seated in the 300-seat venue being able to watch brighter, clearer stage productions, Hazen said.
Faces and costumes will stand out better. There should be less shadow on the stage, unless the production actually calls for it.
The lighting improvements should be in place when the theater embarks on its 25th year this fall, Hazen said.
"Nunsense," which is opening Oct. 5, will kick off the season.
The nonprofit theater is paying for the lighting improvements with a $70,000 grant from the Salem Community Foundation, a city-based charitable organization.

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