Clear-Com infrastructure underpins storytelling at NYC’s Public Theater

Having long had Clear-Com solutions at The Public Theater in NYC, the venue recently implemented a new system to serve the performance spaces in its Lower Manhattan headquarters.

One of the United States’ first non-profit theatres, The Public Theater has supported emerging playwrights and performers for over 60 years, including the premiere of Hamilton in 2015, and has won numerous awards, including six Pulitzer Prizes.

The project they’re currently working on is a system designed to provide reliable comms throughout their headquarters’ five theatres and their cabaret venue, Joe’s Pub.

Audio Supervisor, Malachy Kronberg explained: “The building wasn’t meant to be a theatre. It’s actually three buildings with the walls blown out in some areas. The Luesther Theater’s dressing rooms are in the basement, and the theatre is on the third floor, which creates some interesting comms issues.”

“The end goal is to have full connectivity between the theatres,” Kronberg continued. “From the dressing rooms in the basement on the south side of the building up to the theatre on the third floor on the north side – and never lose connectivity.”

To achieve this, Kronberg worked closely with Clear-Com’s James Schaller (Regional Sales Manager, Northeastern USA), ultimately designing multiple systems comprised of an EclipseHX , with an E-IPA high-density IP interface card, FreeSpeak II beltpacks, and V-Series Iris and V-Series Desktop Panels.

Beyond connectivity, there are many other benefits the system provides. Flexibility and the ability to provide discreet comms channels for multiple departments allow users to revisit cueing and workflow, using comms to streamline workflow in the development of shows and throughout their run, not just during performances. Kronberg noted: “These days, intercom isn’t just a communications tool – it’s also a workflow tool.”

In their Central Park venue, The Delacorte Theater, Kronberg hopes to include Clear-Com’s Arcadia Central Station. Kronberg said: “For the Delacorte, we also purchased a FreeSpeak II package. The ease of programming with FreeSpeak II, HelixNet, and now Arcadia, lends itself well to the various skill and experience levels at The Public. We’ll often be the first place many people start in NYC, but we’re also a place where veterans of Broadway will come back to, as a home base, to do something ‘arty.’” So, for the veterans, Clear-Com is a familiar technology, and for new folks just making their bones in the industry, it provides an education in industry-standard comms.

With The Public now fully connected with a Clear-Com intercom system, there’s no limit to how they craft their art of storytelling.