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Non-profit reaps productivity benefits of professional intercom solution

SACRAMENTO, CA, OCTOBER 21, 2009─Clear-Com® Communication Systems, a Vitec Group brand, has donated a WBS analog wireless intercom system to Sacramento’s B Street Theatre, proving that great things can come in free packages. With its limited budget, the non-profit theatre was unable to invest in a professional communications system, leaving production team members to make do with a hodgepodge of workaround solutions.
According to Bill Blake, Managing Director for the B Street Theatre, the theatre had long been interested in trying out a Clear-Com system, but simply did not have the budget for it. Through serendipity, Clear-Com Director of Customer Satisfaction, Ed Fitzgerald, was a regular B Street Theatre attendee and patron. Thanks to a mutual love of theatre, he and Blake became friends. The two began discussing creative ways of addressing the B Street Theatre’s need for a quality intercom communications system, and ultimately decided upon pursuing the donation of an open-boxed WBS UHF wireless intercom system.

The B Street Theatre received a WBS-680/A2 two-channel base station, two WTR-680/A2 wireless beltpacks and three CC-40 single-ear Que-Com headsets from Clear-Com. Staff members immediately put the equipment to use for the theatre’s busy schedule of productions, and the system worked flawlessly. Thanks to the improved communications, the theatre needs fewer staff members backstage, leading to much smoother, more professional productions.

“The WBS has made an enormous difference for us,? says Blake. “Previously, we had to communicate through a very makeshift, cobbled-together kind of system ─ walkie-talkies, flashlights and hand signals, which was a bit chaotic. Now that we have a reliable, dedicated communications system, many of the production tasks, such as scene changes, take less time. It’s saved us money and taken a lot of the stress out of the productions.?

The company, currently housed in two former warehouse buildings and featuring a traditional stage that seats 110 and another seating 220 in the round, is planning a move to a new two-theatre, state-of-the art performing arts complex it is constructing. This factor, along with the limited resources typical for many non-profit organizations, prevented it from investing in a Clear-Com system. This donation will last the production team through the next two to four years while it prepares for its move to the new facility.

“We’ve wanted and needed a professional intercom system for years but something of Clear-Com’s quality seemed out of reach,? says Jerry Montoya, B Street Theatre’s Associate Producer. “What Ed Fitzgerald and Clear-Com have done for us as a theatre has allowed us to produce shows more easily and effectively. The system is simple, durable and, most important, reliable. Thanks, Clear-Com!?

“In providing access to high-quality theatre arts, the B Street Theatre performs an invaluable service, not only to its local audiences, but also to a much wider community. Through its Northern California touring program, it has reached an astounding 3.6 million children to date,? says Fitzgerald. “We’re delighted to have helped this worthy organization, and proud that our wireless intercom system is enhancing its audiences’ enjoyment of the theatre experience.?

As for Blake, he says that when the theatre moves into the new performance complex, Clear-Com equipment will definitely be in the budget.

The B Street Theatre was founded in 1991 by its parent company, Theatre for Children, which delivers a first-hand experience of the theatre arts to children in 12 counties in the Sacramento area, reaching about 200,000 youngsters per year through its touring program. B Street Theatre expands the Theatre for Children’s original mission to promote education and literacy, social interaction and cultural enrichment among children to an adult audience as well.

Clear-Com®, a brand of the Vitec Group plc, is the global leader of professional communication solutions for broadcast, live performance, military, government and commercial markets. For more than 40 years, Clear-Com’s signature products such as Encore Party-line, Eclipse Digital Matrix, CellCom®/FreeSpeak® Wireless and IP Communications systems have revolutionized broadcast stations, production trucks, houses of worship and performance venues. Recognizing Clear-Com for its history of intercom innovation, production teams around the world achieve ubiquitous communication with products to promote easy interoperability and global connectivity. More information can be found at www.clearcom.com.

The Vitec Group plc is a global leader in the supply of equipment and services to the broadcast, electronic media, photographic and live events industries, and is rapidly extending its reach into related areas such as government, security and defense. Vitec’s many industry-leading product brands have established a formidable reputation for innovation, technical excellence, and superior service and support. The diverse range of brands is united by a common Vitec Group commitment to delivering a world-class customer experience, and a visionary approach to the future. This befits an enterprise which has grown both organically and by acquisition to incorporate over 2000 employees worldwide and achieve a 2008 turnover of almost half a billion dollars. Vitec Group products are distributed in almost 100 countries, through both direct sales and by means of a strong, fully-resourced distribution network.

The Vitec Group comprises:
The Broadcast Systems Division, which develops, manufactures and distributes high quality manual and robotic camera supports, location lighting, camera and equipment bags, portable power solutions, prompting products, wireless camera links and communication systems used principally by broadcast and live entertainment professionals. Brands include Anton/Bauer, Autoscript, Clear-Com, Litepanels, MSC, Nucomm, OConnor, Petrol, RF Central, Sachtler, TCS (The Camera Store), Vinten and Vinten Radamec. www.vitecgroupbroadcast.com

The Imaging & Staging Division, which designs, manufactures and distributes photographic and video-camera support; lighting, trusses and suspension systems for the professional photography, video, cinematography and live event markets. Brands include Manfrotto, Gitzo, Kata, Avenger, Litec, IFF, Bogen Imaging, Tomcat and Brilliant Stages. www.vitecgroup.it

The Broadcast Services Division, a leading provider of professional video and audio rental equipment, and engineering support for major event productions. Brands include ASG and Bexel. www.bexel.com

More information can be found at www.vitecgroup.com.

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