Q&A Spotlight: America’s Oldest Little Theatre

America’s Oldest Little Theatre

After 100+ years, how does a “little theatre” continue making a big impact in its community? To learn more about The Players at Barker Playhouse in Providence, Rhode Island, we visited with Kathleen Oliverio, President. YPP: When did “little theatres” get started? Oliverio: The movement arose in the early 1900s, when cinemas were gaining popularity. Some people involved in live theatre decided to counteract cinemas with smaller theatres presenting more intimate, not-for-profit productions. Little theatre is for non-professional, non-paid actors – for amateurs. Our volunteer actors have “real” jobs: doctors, …

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Wenger Wins Three WFX Awards for Transcend and Transform

Mike Duba, Wenger Regional Sales Manager for Florida and Georgia, accepts Transform’s two awards at WFX 2015

Wenger recently attended the Worship Facilities Conference & Expo 2015, the world’s leading event for church management, design and construction. In its 15th year, WFX has always focused on presenting church managers, designers and musical directors with innovative technology and products to help them in both ministry and management. This year, Wenger came home with three awards, given to our Transcend Active Acoustic System and Transform Motorized Acoustical Banner products. Wenger’s groundbreaking Transcend, which recently made its public debut at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, was recognized by WFX for …

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Q&A Spotlight: Military Bands Inspire & Salute Veterans

Wenger Music

In honor of Veterans Day, we’re recognizing the inspiring contributions of our nation’s military bands. We visited with Specialist Christopher Short, a French horn player with the 257th Army Band, District of Columbia – Army National Guard. The 257th is recognized as “The Band of the Nation’s Capital.” YPP: What attracted you to music and the military? Short: I’ve always had interest in the military, based in part on family history. My father served in the Navy in Vietnam and my grandfather in the Army Air Corps during WWII. I …

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Q&A Spotlight: Duluth Mayor Reflects

Don Ness

At the polls today, residents of Duluth, Minnesota, will elect a new mayor to succeed Don Ness. Ness is stepping down after two four-year terms; he ran unopposed in 2011. According to Minnesota Public Radio, “Ness is credited with helping place Duluth on firmer financial ground…and transforming its image from a struggling industrial town to an outdoor tourist mecca.” In a 2014 survey, Duluthians gave him an 89% job approval rating. We asked Mayor Ness about performing arts in his personal background and his city. YPP: What’s your personal history …

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Transcend Active Acoustic System Wows the Crowd at Wartburg College Debut Event


October 19th marked a milestone in Wenger history: the public debut of our Transcend Active Acoustic System at Wartburg College’s Neumann Auditorium in Waverly, Iowa. It was a magical evening featuring luminaries from Wartburg, the leaders of our Transcend team and stunning musical performances by the Wartburg brass ensemble, string trio and the world-renowned Wartburg Choir directed by Dr. Lee Nelson. This was a night long in the making. Wenger and our technology partners at HARMAN have made a considerable investment to create an active acoustic system that can deliver …

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The 411 on Lighting Design for Grand Opera

Grand Opera

The annual LDI conference just happens to start this year on the first day of National Opera Week (October 23), so it seemed like the perfect time to find out what it’s like to design lighting for grand opera. We asked , 28-year resident Nic Minetor, lighting designer for the top-ranked opera program at the Eastman School of Music, and lighting designer for the Finger Lakes Opera and theater, musical and dance productions at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, among others. Q: Is there a difference between lighting …

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A Look at the New Technology Behind Wenger’s Transcend™ Active Acoustic System


On October 19th, the first installation of the Transcend™ Active Acoustic System will be unveiled at Wartburg College’s Neumann Auditorium in Waverly, Iowa. Wenger has partnered with the legendary audio company HARMAN to create this new active acoustic system. The result is an efficient, reliable and affordable solution for active acoustics. By combining the technology and experience of two professional performance companies, Wenger and HARMAN have created the newest technology in active acoustics. In this blog, I’ll tell you how Transcend’s technology can transform the acoustics in any venue. If …

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Dazzling in Des Moines: New Acoustical Shell Debuts

Wenger Acoustical Shell

The art and science of acoustics meet beautifully in a full-stage acoustical shell, which blends technical precision and functionality with the aesthetic artistry of finely crafted furniture. Last month, a new Diva® acoustical shell debuted at the Des Moines Civic Center (DMCC). Excerpts from the Des Moines Register’s articles about the preliminary fine-tuning event and the opening concert illustrate some of a shell’s key benefits: better onstage communication, easy enhancement and improved audience experience. Better Onstage Communication An earlier blog described how “achieving ensemble” means musicians are creating a balanced, …

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Flexibility is Key for Convention Centers

Convention Center Infrastructure

How can a venue take a huge sports arena or a wide-open trade show floor and turn it into a space that can host small, intimate events—while retaining the ability to use the whole space for a national convention? The solution is flexibility, noted Patrick Finn, Product Manager for J.R. Clancy, Inc. “The ability to host an event that is both small and intimate or large and grandiose in the same location—that’s the kind of solution that boosts revenue for convention centers,” he said. “To be able to use a …

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D.M. Symphony breaks out of its shell

A towering acoustical shell clad in maple veneer is part of a $1.5 million project to improve the acoustics at the Des Moines Civic Center. "It's the next best thing to building a new concert hall," Des Moines Symphony Executive Director Richard Early said.
(Photo: Rodney White/The Register)

Jonathan Sturm stood alone in the middle of the Des Moines Civic Center stage, lifted his violin to his chin and ripped from its strings a Paganini solo, a chutes-and-ladders dash of flashy runs and broken chords. Then he took about 10 steps forward and played the same thing on the edge of the stage. The difference was subtle but clear. It was a little warmer the second time around. “I sound like a million dollars more than I did back there,” he said. His estimate was pretty close, actually. Towering …

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