Thinking outside the “Black” Box

by Larissa Backhaus

The Principal Black Box Theatre currently provides Simpson College with a multi-purpose space perfect for concerts, formal dinners, group activities and countless other events.
“We are realizing we can do just about anything in that space. We have anything from craft nights to bands to formal dinners to receptions,” Rich Ramos said. “It is getting more use than almost any other room in this building, which is kind of exciting.”
New speakers have just been added to the Black Box. The speakers are called front fill speakers because they will fill the front of the room with the sound.
These speakers were necessary because people who sat in the front center rows during Black Box concerts were not getting the full effect of the sound. This was a problem because there were only the large speakers on each end of the stage previously.
Another addition to the Black Box this year will be a black curtain that will be put up behind the stage.
Ramos said the addition of the curtain “will make it look like a stage in a theater” not like we “just put a stage up in a room.”
The Black Box has hosted a variety of genres of concerts ranging from folk to hip-hop to country. The activities have ranged from crafts to dances to Bingo.
There is always something for everyone.
Ramos really enjoys showing the room to anybody looking to use the theatre.
“It is a killer room, and they are not going to find a room like this on hardly any other college campus across the country.”
Ramos said visitors are impressed with the space. “All of them are blown away by the room. They are blown away by the way it sounds, the way it looks, and the way it’s presented,” Ramos said. “They realize there is no other college with it.”
Freshman Jordan Beem recently performed an acoustic set in the Black Box. His favorite part of the Black Box was the sound and great acoustics in the theatre.
“It got a bit loud, but I liked it otherwise,” Beem said. “If the volume had turned down a bit, it would have been perfect. Compared to other
places, it was awesome.”
When asked what he would change about the Black Box, Ramos said, “There is not a lot I would change; it is a really cool space. It has a great feel and a great vibe.”