Expert sound engineer Tim Frey and production manager Drew Maciula are the Williams Center for the Arts’ champions in any season, and especially now during the pandemic.
Last spring, when live performance everywhere came to a halt, Tim and Drew quickly began to re-conceive how to deliver the 2020-21 performance season, determined above all to ensure that Lafayette students, faculty, and staff would continue to experience top-tier cultural and educational programs. By imagining alternative frameworks, researching innumerable options for socially distanced production, and acquiring the equipment, software, and training to deliver the arts virtually, they made it possible to not only fulfill our mission this fall but also to expand on it in exciting new ways.
Based on their research, the Williams Center acquired a Tricaster Mini-4k production switcher system with pan-tilt-zoom cameras and incorporated new camcorders. With state-of-the-art technology and their own instincts for creative derring-do, Tim and Drew transformed the Performance Series’ presenting profile to a producing enterprise. To meet the challenge, they’ve put in countless hours learning new skills in cinematography, video production, and video editing, as well as incorporating third-party content streaming, creating 11 unique 75- to 90-minute documentary-style shows that normally require dozens of film or television professionals to produce. Through their efforts, the Williams Center Performance Series is at the vanguard of “pandemic programming”, and they are supporting the theater and music departments to fulfill their performance objectives as well.
An exceptionally skilled recording engineer with 40 years of experience, Tim Frey has served the Lafayette community for the past 28 years. Drew Maciula, with 22 years as a theater production specialist, just passed his first-year milestone at Lafayette. Happy anniversary, Drew! We live in an age when technology allows artists to perform or exhibit their work—and audiences to experience that work—online. Here at Lafayette, we are fortunate to have such dedicated and experienced professionals to make that possible.
—Hollis Ashby, artistic and executive director, Williams Center for the Arts/Performance Series