BRANSON MO NEWS: USA – Old Town Temecula Community Theater sits in the heart of the historic district of Temecula in Southwestern California. Surrounded by antique shops and quaint cafés, the theatre is housed inside the old Mercantile Building on Main Street, dating from the 1890s. But the theatre is just 12 years old, and its production is led by a concert touring veteran who steers the venue toward new technology. Its newest purchase of 12 elektraLite SLA Retina LED fixtures is testament to that.
Bill Strawn, the venue’s technical director and lighting designer/director, joined the theatre before it opened. He bought a home in Temecula while he was on tour with Riverdance. When the tour was over, he noticed a theatre under construction while exploring Old Town. Checking in with the theatre manager and members of the Temecula Theater Foundation, Strawn said: “I’m off the road, why don’t you hire me?” And they did.
Strawn, whose career started with Sacramento Theatrical Lighting, led to Morpheus Lights, then to Branson, Missouri as Andy Williams’ lighting director, then back to Morpheus, put his concert touring experience to work at the new theatre.
The venue has two performance spaces: the main 354-seat proscenium theatre and a more intimate 48-seat Club at the Merc black box theatrical space. Between the two is an open courtyard, which can be open for events.
The theatre’s season features family-oriented community productions. In addition to his supervisory role, Strawn also handles the lighting design and operation for many local productions as well the bands that perform for the theatre’s Legends tribute series. “I’m an ex-rock and roller,” he says, “so we can’t afford KISS, but we can get the KISS tribute band, and everyone has a good time with those acts.”
Strawn gets help from his assistants …
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