The Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale, which includes the 1,147-seat Lillian S. Wells Hall that has hosted a variety of live performances since the venue opened in 1967, recently underwent a $30 million renovation funded through a campaign by the Broward Performing Arts Foundation with support from the City of Fort Lauderdale that includes a new sound reinforcement system utilizing d&b audiotechnik V-Series loudspeakers.
The venue’s head engineer, Anton Foresta, who also serves as director of production in addition to being a touring front-of-house and monitor engineer for Arrival from Sweden, The Music of Abba, explains, “I’ve had the opportunity to mix in some of the greatest venues with some of the greatest sound systems, with my personal favorite being Red Rocks with their d&b GSL rig. The choice of the d&b V-Series system was easy for us.
“A few years ago, we had established ourselves as a d&b house with a rental Q system provided by Jack Hammer Live Audio,” he continues. “A few shows in and including Ringo Star & His All-Star Band and Joe Satriani requested something a bit more powerful. We rented a V-Series system for those shows and knew from that point on the V-Series was the way to go. The goal was to put a system in place that would meet any rider’s requirement. Nine times out of 10, d&b is on every rider as the first choice, so we wanted to provide the first choice.”
Chris Carlton, owner of d&b sales partner Carlton Audio Services of Sunrise, FL developed the loudspeaker system specification to meet the Parker Playhouse budget and expectation. “Anton and I had talked for quite a while on developing the d&b specification,” he says.
Specifically, the system consists of 16 V8 loudspeakers deployed eight-deep left and right, a single custom red Vi7P point source loudspeaker at center to match the Austrian curtain, seven 8S loudspeakers for front fill and three SL-GSUBS under the stage in a horizontal array. Audio power and control are provided by D80, 30D, and D20 amplifiers along with DS10 signal conversion and distribution.
Rusty Cadaret of TSG Design Solutions (West Palm Beach) served as the design consultant for the renovation, while the contractor for the project was Peerson Audio of Jupiter FL, in an effort headed by Joshua Delasant, CTS, project leader. “Peerson provided installation expertise, all video and 70-volt lobby and backstage systems along with the entire building QSC Q-Sys signal infrastructure, and front of house electronics and developed a unique way of handling single point rigging for a small to medium line array,” Carlton says. The APE Rigging-designed BB-1 allows for pan and tilt of the array and can be locked off when desired angles are met.” (APE Rigging is the sister company of Peerson Audio.)
The project had two phases, Delasant adds: “Phase one was to be implemented in a short time frame (roughly three months) during the off season between scheduled shows, and consisted of integration of a new AV system for the back of house area (green room, dressing rooms, administration offices) and existing East and West Lobbies. Phase two was for the overhaul of the auditorium AV with the addition of expanded lobby areas to the existing building.”
Control and transport for the new video system is also handled via the Q-Sys platform. A video camera located at the front of house position can be controlled and routed to several video displays throughout the facility. “A digital signage package for the facility will include content from owner provided devices to several lobby displays based on the space and function,” Delasant says.