Wilson Czech Opera House Amphitheater
The Wilson Czech Opera House has had the honor to team with the following to create a design for an open-air theater:
Clemeth Abercrombie | Acoustics and Theatre Consultant, | ARUP
David Vance | Architect | openhandesign
Don McMican | Engineer | DGM Consultants
“The venue will be community driven, providing a place for civic organizations and private users from Wilson and the surrounding areas to gather, dance, listen, perform and eat. The space will also include the flexibility to support larger events such as pop concerts and festivals that will attract audiences from as far away as the state boundaries.
The venue will also be designed with the flexibility to support professional performances. This means that accommodations will be provided for the amount of space, equipment, power and rigging required to put on touring productions targeting audiences of a few thousand persons.
The design will also take into account the desire for outdoor cinema screenings.
The following event types will drive the venue’s design, ordered in groups according to priority:
- Wedding dances
- Community dances
- Church events
- School convocations
- Banquets and picnics
- The Wilson Czech Festival
- Outdoor cinema screenings
- Regional and touring pop concerts
- Regional and touring theater performances
- Craft shows
In order to provide maximum flexibility, the venue will be designed to operate with as little permanent oversight as possible. Every effort will be made to minimize maintenance and operational costs resulting from elements of the building’s design. We will aim to facilitate low-cost, low-tech community events while putting in place measures that will allow event promoters and rental companies to stage more elaborate performances using their own personnel and equipment.
In addition to the design drivers described above, the following functional characteristics will be taken into consideration in the venue’s design:
- The venue will be an open-air performance space, paying tribute to the historic opera house by celebrating the beauty of its remaining stone ruins. The open-air concept will also help the venue stand out from other facilities in the region
- The design will take into account the possibility of fully enclosing the building in the future
- In addition to the space within the remaining opera house walls, the venue will engage the empty lot to the east of the building (also owned by the Board) for use as an audience and gathering space
- The design of the venue should maintain as much of the existing opera house structure as possible. However, portions of the existing structure will be removed or reconfigured as necessary to accommodate the design”
Theatre planning and acoustic design were provided by Arup, led by Clemeth L. Abercrombie