Theater renovations to update lights, stage, dressing rooms

Program adapts to Auditorium closure through November 2020


Ryan Barnett

Seniors Ruby Stillman and Sam Sietsema rehearse their roles for “Legally Blonde” Nov 14 in the Auditorium. Renovations to the Auditorium will start in June 2020 and end in November 2020.

Marta Hill

Looking forward to the Auditorium renovations that will start in June, sophomore stage manager Jacob Khabie said many theater participants are nervous because of the lack of information they have received.

“Honestly not a lot is known, and that scares a lot of people in theater right now,” Khabie said. 

According to facilities manager Tom Bravo, the renovations that will be taking place until November are necessary because some equipment is outdated. 

“Because we can’t get parts anymore for the rigging and for stage lighting and things like that, the district is using some of our long term facilities maintenance dollars that we get from the state to make improvements,” Bravo said. 

Theater director Jodi Schifsky said the theater program is adapting to the renovations by doing the musical in the spring. 

“The plan for next year for the theater program is we will do a straight play, so a non musical in the fall and we will do something sight specific, so somewhere else in the building in the fall,” Schifsky said. “So we don’t plan to use the Auditorium at all, it might be that it takes place in a classroom, or a gym, or the cafeteria, something like that, so we don’t need the space.”


Schifsky said there are shows designed to be performed in other areas of schools. 

“There are (shows) that are specifically set in schools, some that are set in one room, some that might be a traveling thing where you travel from room to room, so we are looking at options for that for next year,” Schifsky said. 

Bravo said because the theater has not been renovated in recent years, the lights on the chairs, in the ceiling and the lighting controls will be updated. Additionally the dressing rooms will have new counter tops, sinks and lighting. The sound system is not being updated at this time because it was updated 2 years ago, according to Bravo.

“The theater is pretty old, last time it was touched was many many years ago, we are just going to give it an upgrade,” Bravo said. “We have to look at not only the rigging part of it because we are going to be retouching the theater. We are going to give it a face lift.”

Jayde Claussen
Behind the Auditorium, a room full of student art is kept from Park alumni. The room was used by the crew to prepare for the show Nov. 22. Whether the art will remain intact after renovations is still in question.

According to Schifsky, the renovations will help the theater program work better in the future. 

“I am excited that we will be able to function better as a program because we will have better technology and a better structure to work with,” Bravo said. 

Khabie said the theater community is concerned that the renovations will remove the marks students have been leaving in the theater for years. 

“One thing that a lot of people are worried about is we have a lot of signatures in their dressing rooms and in the shop of people who have graduated, a lot of the worry about the renovation is around if they are going to erase those things,” Khabie said. 

According to Bravo, the planning committee is aware of the student marks on the walls in the theater, and is working on maintaining them. Additionally, Bravo said the current renovation schedule is the best schedule because of the many uses for the Auditorium.