DESIGN GUIDE: MUSIC AND DRAMA CENTERS
CHAPTER 3: PRIMARY AND SECONDARY USES
Preferable to build-in pit space if Musical
Drama is a substantial use.
This is a reasonable capacity for Musical
Drama, small for professional road shows
but modest for community theater.
House size begins to be viable. With a sub-
stantial flown orchestra shell a 40-piece
group could be comfortable within the 35'
proscenium. Retractable legs permitting
enlargement of the opening by 10' would
accommodate 70 musicians.
As the orchestra increases in size, longer
reverberation is generally desirable for
blending of sound. At 1.5-1.9 seconds, for
contemporary works or Mozart sympho-
nies, Room volume would preferably be
50% greater (250,000 cu. ft.). However, this
creates a relatively "live" house unsuita-
ble for primary Drama use. If medium-size
orchestra is contemplated as a fairly reg-
ular event, electro-acoustic enhancement
Conclude that primary Drama use is not
readily compatible with larger orchestral
A demountable shell designed to reduce
sound losses in the stagehouse would
make choral presentation possible.
Substantial choral works are typically writ-
ten for orchestral accompaniment, and are
therefore likely to be limited according to
pit accommodations for musicians. A
string/woodwind ensemble and 40 voices
DRAMA ROOM-650 SEAT
could reasonable occupy the stage with-
Decay time slightly longer (1.2-1.6 sec-
onds) than for Musical Drama would be
Comments noted under 300 seat similar.
which lyrics must be intelligible.
Absorptive quality of the drama house and
scale of stage tend to make recital prob-
del) should have 1.7-2.0 seconds decay.
lematic without electronic assistance and
An electronic system is recommended.
careful visual setting.
Liturgical music, composed for reverber-
The first problem, absorption, is especially
ation extending 2-3 seconds or more
critical with a balcony arrangement that is
could not be finely accomplished even
a bit too deep. Over-sizing the volume for
with electronics. The audience will im-
Music and introducing added absorption
mediately note the artificial character of
for Drama, the primary use, will compro-
"big sound" in a small Room.
mise voice audibility and require speech