Sight & Sound Theatres Tap Riedel Bolero Intercoms for Epic Biblical Productions
Sight & Sound Theatres, producer of a series of live, Bible-themed stage shows, has adopted Riedel Communications’ Bolero wireless intercom for its 2,000-seat auditorium in Branson, Missouri. Bolero leverages an existing Riedel Artist digital matrix intercom system to deliver comprehensive and integrated communications for the entire production team.
Billed as a place “where the Bible comes to life on stage,” the Sight & Sound Theatres auditorium in Branson features a million watts of lights, 60,000 watts of sound, and a massive 20,000-square-foot stage that surrounds the audience on three sides. Each elaborate show uses dramatic performances, four-story-tall set pieces, and live animals to tell popular Bible stories, including the currently running “Samson.”
“Our latest show, ‘Samson,’ uses a significant amount of automation that requires more comms channels and a wireless intercom that can deliver outstanding voice quality anywhere in the auditorium. Then, from a safety standpoint, it is absolutely essential that the system is rock solid for those working with and around the animals,” says Luke Bates, ESFX Supervisor, Sight & Sound Theatres. “We’re glad to continue our collaboration with Riedel. Not only are their technologies extremely reliable, but the Riedel support staff can be counted on to answer any questions and walk us through any configuration changes we might need.”
After evaluating several wireless intercom systems, Sight & Sound Theatres chose Bolero to provide wireless two-way communications for all backstage crew at the Branson auditorium. In addition to now having six full-duplex channels, crew can use Bolero’s seamless handover to effortlessly move throughout the 330,000 square-foot facility without worry of dropouts.
A total of 56 beltpacks covers an equipment room, a large area under the stage, the catwalks, the animal holding area, and the dressing rooms. One particular requirement mandated that 50 beltpacks be able to operate simultaneously on the stage. With the ability to handle up to 10 beltpacks per antenna, Bolero was up to the task. Bolero also provides the flexibility for the Sight & Sound Theatres crew to manage beltpacks remotely and change settings on the fly, even during a live show. With the addition of a stage lift next year, the addition of just one more antenna will provide coverage for the entire basement area.
“With its spectacular live shows, Sight & Sound Theatres has been astounding audiences and bringing Bible stories to life since it was founded in the 1960s. Every year the shows get even more technically sophisticated, and the realism is truly exciting,” says Dave Caulwell, Northeast Business Development Manager, Riedel North America. “This is just the latest example of how the teaming of Bolero and Artist can deliver the industry’s most reliable communications in highly complex live production environments.”