MegaHurtin': Boosting the Bard
The Driftwood Theatre Group
The Driftwood Theatre Group
September 27, 2012
Driftwood Theatre Group, Ontario's longest-running outdoor summer touring theatre company (sharing accessible theatre with nearly 100,000 people since 1995) has a challenge of Mega proportions: we need to replace our entire existing wireless microphone system prior to our 2013 season.
And for our supporters who remember last year's Bard's Bus entry, we're also hoping to make some after-market additions to our new Bard's Bus.
What's the Frequency, Shakespeare?
Wireless microphones work by using radio frequencies to send a signal from a receiver (kept at our control booth) to the microphone pack (cunningly hidden underneath our actors' costumes). The microphones currently used by Driftwood operate in a fixed frequency range, from 700 - 780 megahertz (MHz).
In the spring of 2012, the federal government restricted the use of frequencies ranging from 750 MHz to 780 MHz for emergency services exclusively, effectively cutting our available frequencies in half. As of March 2013, the remaining 700 MHz frequencies will ALL be restricted to emergency services use, making our current microphone system unusable.
If we want our audiences across Ontario to keep hearing us, we'll need to replace our microphone system.
Boosting The Bard's Bus
Everyone at Driftwood Theatre is currently keeping fingers crossed that a recent application for the financing to purchase a new Bard's Bus will be approved. We'll know whether or not we'll be able to replace our recently-retired, and much loved ,"Charlie" (a 1987 Ford E350 bus that served as our transportation, wardrobe storage and change area from 2005 - 2011) with a spiffy, brand-new and custom designed Aerolite bus, by November of 2012.
The Bard's Bus is integral to our annual tour, and although our plan is to have most of the vehicle configured for our specific needs, there will be some after-market additions required in order to make our new bus just perfect.
We'll need to install storage lockers for some of our equipment (like the kit for our Shakespearience workshops for Budding Bards), and a safe to keep our valuables locked up safe-and-sound.
About Driftwood Theatre Group
SIMPLY CLASSIC. Driftwood Theatre is a federally registered, non-profit company dedicated to sharing classic stories. We take as inspiration not only the works of William Shakespeare but also the many playwrights both past and present whose work shares the same classic quality. Our aesthetic is one of simple clarity: to tell the best stories and to tell them honestly. Everything we do, from adapting existing texts for The Bard’s Bus Tour and workshopping new plays created during Trafalgar 24, to designing the costuming, lighting and scenery, to working in rehearsals with actors, directors, musicians and choreographers focuses on clear, imaginative storytelling. It’s what we do: Simply Classic.
GUIDING PRINCIPLE. But great theatre is only of value if an audience has access to it. That is why our most important work, the annual Bard’s Bus Tour, will always be available for Pay-What-You-Can admission. We share our productions directly with communities that would not normally have access to professional theatre and present the summer tour in outdoor venues, completely accessible to all members of the public. Everyone who wants to be entertained, provoked, inspired or moved by theatre should be afforded the opportunity to do so.
OUR WORK. Under the leadership of award-winning Artistic Director and General Manager Jeremy Smith, The Driftwood Theatre Group has grown over the last eighteen years from a small, Durham-based company to a thriving, provincial organization with a focus in four key areas of theatrical production.
This work includes: The Bard’s Bus Tour (professional, accessible theatre touring to 25+ communities every summer); New Play Development (annual Trafalgar 24 Festival and Beyond The Castle programs); Professional Development (apprenticeship training program for young artists and technicians); Education & Outreach (school workshops & performances, annual Shakespearience Festival).
OUR COMMUNITIES. Driftwood Theatre currently shares its Bard's Bus Tour with the following Ontario communities: Ajax, Belleville, Bloomfield, Bobcaygeon, Bowmanville, Burlington, Cobourg, Dundas, Greenwood, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Madoc, Marmora, Mississauga, Oshawa, Peterborough, Pickering, Port Perry, Quinte West, St. Catharines, Streetsville, Toronto, Whitby, Windham Centre.