HM Electronics, Inc. (CA)Advance Corporate Objectives & Strategies
Top-of-the-line techs hook up with world-class theatre
San Diego. Known for its sun and beauty and its abundance of … radio frequencies.
Which sets the stage to tell the story of The Old Globe… and the electronics company that came to the rescue.
The famous Old Globe sits neatly amidst the area’s chaotic Radio Frequency zone, dodging signals from both the U.S. and Mexico. Which wouldn’t be a problem, except for the fact that today’s theaters live and die on the high-tech wireless mics the performers use on stage. And the walkie-talkies that are found among the crew backstage.
For a theatre that puts on 16 unique shows and 600 performances each year, quality wireless communication is crucial to the company’s success. And with the added pressure of historic visits from Queen Elizabeth II, recognition as one of the nation’s top regional theatres by the Tony Awards, and record-setting subscription ticket sales, the Old Globe understandably had some performance anxiety.
Enter (stage right) HM Electronics, Inc. As providence would have it, this industry-leading communications provider was also headed by theater and opera nuts. So in 2003 they offered to better manage communications between crew members, performers and their audiences. HME hooked them up – literally – with the donation of a state-of-the-art wireless system that would have cost the theatre more than $40,000. The system easily adapts to RF competition in the area and provides a wider wireless communications range for stagehands, making it perfect for the Old Globe.
So was it just the love of theater that prompted such a great gift? Well, yes and no.The Old Globe, HME had the perfect guinea pig – a professional theater right in the area where they could test their newest inventions in a real-live, real-time setting.
HME gets an authentic testing ground for its technology. And the Old Globe gets the newest whiz-bang equipment for free. HME gets timely feedback and suggestions from the very clients they seek. The Old Globe gets techs close by, ready to make adjustments at a moment’s notice.
“Wireless systems are a big part of any performance, and for that reason, they have to be dependable, night after night,” says Paul Peterson, sound director at the Old Globe. “The systems we have are very compatible with one another and provide us with the rock-solid reliability we demand. ...With a reputation like ours at stake, there’s no other way to approach this job.”
Adding to the win-win scenario: HM Electronics gets recognition as a “Season Sponsor” of the theatre with mentions in the program as well as backstage access for their staff and guests to meet the stars of the show during a gala night out. And HME CEO Chuck Miyahira and his wife get to hear the theatre they love, without any interference.