Have you had the opportunity to see some of the recent productions over the last couple of years at the beautiful BeeKay Theatre in downtown Tehachapi?
If you didn’t know, the BeeKay reopened its doors in 2008 in partnership with the city to provide a place for Tehachapi Community Theatre to continue bringing quality live theater to our citizens. It is now beaming with fresh paint, inside and out, and new carpeting too.
Our 51st season is already underway with the production of "Little Women," which has been extended due to public demand. TCT’s accomplishment is continually updating and bringing the best production quality possible to the BeeKay Theatre stage.
Of course, this is difficult financially. Musicals are especially expensive — even before one ticket is sold. Rights and royalties, music, costumes, sets, props, publicity, and printing of programs and posters are just some of the costs.
That said, we still have been able to upgrade production values through generosity and connections of our patrons and friends of the theater. Through donations, we acquired a new fantastic ultra-short throw laser projector and a 11 foot by 21 foot high-grade projection screen. These allowed us to do the very ambitious production of "Young Frankenstein the Musical." In addition, we added a new computer to operate the stage lighting and a new audio board to upgrade the sound system.
Another amazing new feature at the theater is our ability to allow the hearing-impaired greater enjoyment of our shows. This was made possible by another donation and the hard work of members to install. It works through a dedicated Wi-Fi signal using a free app called AudioFetch. You use your ear buds or headphone with your smart phone and connect to the app — and you’re good to go. This will allow our hearing-impaired friends to come back and enjoy the shows again more fully.
On our wish list was a long overdue upgrade of our stage lighting instruments to LED. We only had antiquated theater lights that are incredibly inefficient and require maximum power use. Modern LED lighting allows color changing through the same instrument for greater creative lighting design. They operate cooler, making it much more comfortable for the actors on stage and more comfortable for the audience, too. Although the initial price for this upgrade was expensive, they will last a long time, and don’t require continuous maintenance. Environmentally and artistically, LED theatrical lighting is a smart move. We are also working with the city to replace the work lights over the stage area, too. This will make our backstage a brighter and safer work place. Let there be light.
And the latest “new” item at the BeeKay Theatre is several new executive board members. We just held our annual elections Sept. 9, and the new seated board members are: President Gary Mazzola, Vice President SilentWolf, Treasurer Fran Riggs, Secretary Dawnnie Mercado-Genochio, Member-at-Large Lewis Brown, Managing Producer Kenny Chugg and Executive Producer Doug Jockinsen. General meetings are held the second Monday of each month.
So, come down to the BeeKay and see for yourself. Great live theater is alive and well in our small mountain community. Break a leg. Or better still, volunteer to get in on the fun.
For more information about the BeeKay or TCT, visit our website at tctonstage.com. You can make donations there, become a member, raise your hand to become a volunteer, purchase show tickets and see what’s in store at the BeeKay.
Doug Jockinsen is a member of the TCT executive board.