Helen Meyer of Meyer Sound and Susie Medak, Managing Director of the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, ceremoniously demonstrated a lightning storm to an invited audience today in their newly renovated thrust theatre. This beloved 35-year-old stage, renamed Peet’s Theatre to honor an almost 50 year relationship with Peet’s Coffee, doesn’t look so different as much as it sounds different. It now features the first North American installation of Meyer Sound’s Constellation Acoustic System for live, unamplified theatre. Made up of 84 speakers, the new system creates a genius map of sound that can literally change the acoustics of the space instantaneously.
I look forward to their upcoming production of Aubergine, a Berkeley Rep commission, and how future sound designers use a system that can pan sounds through the room in intricate ways, as well as simulate the acoustics of the Grace Cathedral, as we heard today. Other renovations include a skylight in the lobby, a larger box office, and a courtyard cafe with a mini-stage for after-show musical acts.
Peet’s Theatre Grand Opening is free and open to the public on Saturday, January 9, 2016 at noon-3pm.
Photo by Cheshire Isaacs