From the outside little appears to have changed when it comes to the round building housing the Yuba College Theatre, but step inside one of the the the newly tiled entrances and to your left you see one of the newest renovations: a wheelchair lift. This is just one of the newest parts of the theatre, thanks to money from the Measure J Bond that was voted into being to help with the physical upgrades on campus.
Built in 1963, the theatre underwent few alterations until last year. Now, after a $3 million remodel that has all changed.
The lobby was given a fresh coat of paint and new carpet. An extra ticket window, replete with roll-up wooden doors, was added, along with computers and Internet access that allow for credit card payments.. The men and women bathroom were switched allowing for not only more stalls to be added to the women’s room, but unimpaired wheelchair access as well.
To comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, space was made near the stage and at the back of the theater to accommodate wheelchairs, braille graces the signage and an assistive listening system with receivers that can be checked out at the ticket windows was added.
To improve performance quality, sound locks, small rooms separating the lobby from the stage area, were added along with new acoustical curtains to prevent sound and light from bouncing. There is a new color palette within the theatre as well. Gone is the green that graced the seating and carpeting, now rich reds are everywhere.
A brand new lighting system was created that uses less power and allows for more lighting options during performances. This new system can be controlled from the screen of an iPad or iPhone and helps bring the theatre in line with the kinds of equipment students pursuing theater arts will encounter as they move forward in their education.
The Yuba College Theatre’s grand opening occurred last year with a performance of Shakespeare’s Othello. This fall Gina Alvarado is directing The Cripple of Inishmaan by Martin McDonagh.
Note: This article appears in the Fall 2011 print edition of the Prospector.