May 10, 2023
Student Pursues Theater Tech Independent Study
At Kingswood Oxford, students are fortunate to find their passion and dig deeper into an independent study to become more proficient and adept in their knowledge base. After taking Theater Tech Director Michael Bane’s stagecraft courses, where Ryan Sadowsky ’25 built sets and learned to operate equipment in the theater, Sadowsky is pursuing an independent study in theater technology. Sadowsky received clearance from Bane, Academic Planner Carolyn McKee, and Upper School Head Dan Gleason to pursue the course.
Sadowsky is helping Bane deploy a Dante AV system in the theater area for greater connectivity. Instead of a jumble of cables and wires connected to the main tech booth, Dante streamlines the connection with a computer network and slender Ethernet cables. Not only is the system easier to use, but the system also delivers enhanced audio and visual performance.
One wall in Bane’s office is dominated by a whiteboard with scribblings of a pathway of connections from the booth to the various areas that will eventually be in the network that Sadowsky and Bane designed. Currently, the two have installed 12 to 16 thousand feet of wire in the system. Through his independent study, Sadowsky received Dante Certification Level 3, which includes the skills to navigate an extensive network and troubleshoot and connect devices across a space. As Dante is an industry standard, Sadowsky can enter any production house and become an integrator.
Bane said that although the school is implementing Dante first in the theater area, the goal is to expand it through the entire campus. For instance, if Commencement was ever held in the Roberts Theater, the ceremony could be piped into the audio and visual in the Hoffman Field House to accommodate an overflow audience.
A self-described LEGO kid, Sadowsky always enjoyed tinkering and building which evolved into his interest in running the soundboard and the lighting setups for the performances at school. The job does come with mishaps and snafus, but Sadowsky takes it all in stride. “He can get a little flustered when things go awry, but it is always professionally and calmly,” Bane said. “He is very even-keeled. I do more of the freaking out.”
Bane shared that recently, at the Stroud Science Symposium, they had an issue with a video in the presentation. The video was downloaded within seconds of it being shown. Although it was a tense moment in the booth, Sadowsky kept things flowing. “He was cool,” Bane said. “He’s great at that stuff.”
“I like having control in how a show can turn out, even an assembly,” Sadowsky said. “I’m a problem solver.”
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