The truth behind NC construction

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Kat Shambaugh

With all the construction, the new theater plans to look the best in the whole state.

Kat Shambaugh , Copy editor

Walking into the Candice Corcoran Oz performance hall, the structure oozes grandeur. Chandeliers deck the ceilings of the lobby of the theater, and sweet tunes dance through the air when played by the around-the-clock organist. As NC drama students run through the building, director Candice Corcoran, the theater’s namesake, talks animatedly with famed composer Stephen Sondheim at the lobby’s Starbucks.

The performance hall, payed for by SPLOST dollars and officially erected by the county on April 1, 2017, serves as NC’s theater after the destruction of the previous structure last winter. The hall comes with a wealth of upgrades as compared to the old building, from larger dressing rooms to an understage tunnel network.

The stage itself received an update, with a turntable built into the floor to keep actors mobile. The turntable, complete with a 360 degree motion vinyl can reach a top speed of 30 mph. The curtains now boast a thin coat of 24 karat gold and catch the light with inspiring glitters, and a grandiose orchestra pit takes up the area outside the stage’s apron. The ceiling comes outfitted with not only the aforementioned chandelier, but a new 50-light system, five catwalks for maximum ease of transportation, and a built in high-wire system for flying stunts.

Situated at the back of the house, two tech booths became home for many of NC’s students. On the first floor sits the sound booth, outfitted with a completely new system, including subwoofers and the highest-quality microphones available. Connected with a staircase on the second floor lies the lights booth, where students control all 50 lights and eight spotlights, to fully illuminate the ginormous stage.

“I really wanted a slide connecting the light and sound booths, but, I mean, this is okay too,” light technician and freshman Jackson Riedesel said.

The building now provides complete comfort for the audience with plush seating in the orchestra, loge, balcony, or any of nine boxes. The theater classes keep one box, box five, closed due to complaints about a strange man stealthily positioned there who constantly sings of angels and revenge.

“I absolutely love our new theatre! Everything is perfect, from the seating to the turntable to that gorgeous chandelier, though I guess I am a little worried about that weird guy in box five. Maybe if he’d just take off the mask we could help him out. But whatever, he’s not as annoying as that group of Jellicle cats at stage door,” actor and sophomore Hope Kutsche said.

Moving backstage does not diminish the amazement. Each wing boasts a dressing room that measures 150 feet by 150 feet, furnished with marquee-style lighting, vanities, bathrooms, ornate showers, vending machines, a kitchenette, and bunkbeds. Behind the eighth curtain and the cyclorama lies the entrance to the garage, where the tech crew works on building sets and which opens straight to the back of the theater.

However, the shining jewel of the building lies in its underground. Accessible by multiple trap doors both backstage and on stage, the area below the theater allows complete transportation with a system of underground tunnels that lead to a lake, right under the garage. The lake quickly became a favorite spot of both the actors and tech for late night pondering or a quick dip.

“I actually spend a lot of time by the lake now, or sometimes I like to swim in it. Though every once and awhile I swear I can feel something watching me,” senior Jordan Warren said.

NC also built a new gym, which sits at the previous location of the tennis courts and altogether measures about 100 feet by 100 feet. The county planned to spend more on the gym, but ran into budget troubles after purchasing all of the amenities for the theater.

“Yeah they had to take away some of the funding from the gym, but just look at how gorgeous this new theater is! With a place like this, we’ll have more revenue than any sports. They’ll see,” Corcoran said.

April Fool’s, you fool!

XOXO, The Chant