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SPAC plans season of enhancements

Venue rolling out big screen and other amenities, online and off

Work being done on SPAC’s façade. New shield shaped panels have been pre-fabricated and will be installed by May. Submitted photo.

Work being done on SPAC’s façade. New shield shaped panels have been pre-fabricated and will be installed by May. Submitted photo.

— If you frequent SPAC you’re going to love what they’ve got planned for you this season. If you’ve never been, this is the season to take in a show.

“I think we have a rather spectacular season, I think we will all make a fairly strong impression. We probably have as impressive a program this season as I’ve seen in many years,” said Chairman William Dake at the opening of SPAC’s Board of Directors spring meeting.

The board met on Thursday, March 29, at The Desmond Hotel to discuss financial and operational issues.

Dake , who is serving his final term as chairman after seven years in that role, then referenced studies done by the Philadelphia Orchestra that identified interaction with and education of audiences as elements of successful arts venues.

“All of the arts organizations I believe have felt the stress of what I refer to as the electronic revolution. What I’d like to point out is possibly the solution to some of the problems they’ve faced and that we face,” he said.

Part of the solution is the addition of a 15-by-26-foot projection screen that will be placed in the theater. Audiences will see coming attractions, artist profiles and a behind-the-scenes look at performances.

According to Shane Williams-Ness, SPAC’s director of development and marketing, the cost of the screen won’t be reflected in ticket prices.

“Saratoga is a place where we can test, use it as a beta site and see if it works. The market up here loves the ballet, they love the orchestra, they’re not as critical as in New York and we like to think that (SPAC President and Executive Director)Marcia (White) has a vision for this and this is something we don’t see other venues doing and we know that we constantly have to change. And change before change happens, and be ahead of the curve,” said Williams-Ness.

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