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Oxford University Theatre Technicians and Designers

St. John's Auditorium

Theatre

St. John's College Auditorium

Location

St. John's College, St. Giles, Oxford

Capacity

197

Introduction

St. John's College Auditorium is located under Garden Quad, towards the rear of the college ( it is closer to Parks Road than St. Giles.) It is a 197 capacity end-on layout theatre, with a limited amount of technical equipment. There is no established bid process by which a production may stage a show, all hires must be individually arranged with the college office, who have a habit of charging conference rates for any event that does not involve a substantial amount of St. John's students. There is a small technical position at the rear of the auditorium.


Layout/Stage

The theatre is in the basement of Garden Quad, which is normally accessed through the college main entrance, but deliveries to the theatre should be taken to the gates on Parks Road, which can be opened by a member of college staff. There is level access onto the theatre's balconies and onto the stage, but not onto the floor of the auditorium. There is a single width door onto stage on SR, which is slightly hidden behind an exterior column, but with care standard size flight cases and road trunks can be manoeuvred through it. On SL, there is a set of double doors of stage into a storage area, which itself has a 1.5 width door to the outside, however this door has one step inside and two steps outside, so is not easily useable by rolling/heavy items. The dimmer room is also adjacent to this storage area.
Also on stage left, there is access to a backstage corridor which can be used to access front of house, has a set of toilets, and also a large dressing room, which can be split into two if needed. Inside the theatre, there is U shaped set of small balconies running around the edge of the auditorium, with the technical position at the rear and some seats on the side balconies. On the SL balcony there is also a door into the backstage corridor, and a cupboard containing the majority of the technical equipment.
There is an electrically retractable projector screen over the stage, as well as a midstage set of tabs that can be opened and closed electrically, and some legs to either side, none of which are movable. There are also blackout curtains over the windows, which again are electrically controlled, all from a panel SL. The stage has no flying to speak of, as the ceiling is very low, and there are very few facilities for rigging extra drapes or backdrops.

Lighting

Lighting possibilities in the theatre are somewhat limited - although the infrastructure is in place such as dimmers, desk and some rigging positions, there are very limited rigging positions front of house and the theatre does not own any lanterns.
There is a full houselight system activated from controllers positioned around the auditorium, on stage, or at the technical position. There are 72 installed dimmers and a DMX input provided at the technical position, as well as a Jands Event lighting desk. There are 5 overstage Internally Wired Bars (IWBs) although not all of these work (check in advance.) There are very, very limited lighting positions front of house - the only rigging provision is three small IWBs with a few sockets each, one right at the back of the auditorium, and one on either side over the side balconies. Due to the shape and structure of the roof there are no rigging points front of house for flying a truss or bar over the audience to provide more hanging positions. There are also some outputs on either side of the stage - all dimmed sockets in the theatre are 15A.
There is also no house lantern stock - all lanterns must be hired from a company such as Henley Theatre Services.

Sound/AV

There is a small sound system in place in the theatre with 4 radio mics and the capability to play back from laptops/iPods etc. There is a small mixing desk (Allen and Heath SR12) at the rear and some tie lines from this position to a cupboard on stage, in which is located a very small patchbay and the power amplifier. Also connected to this patchbay are some mic tie lines to either side of stage. There are a small number of various microphones and cables in the technical cupboard.
There is a projector at the technical position with VGA input.