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  • Adam Shalleck

February 2017 PAMC Keynote Introduction of Radio Host Peter Sagal

The Shalleck Collaborative continues to sponsor the keynote and featured speakers at the Performing Arts Manager’s Conference (PAMC). With the sponsorship, I am given the mic for a few minutes to say a few words of my choosing and introduce the speaker. Following here is the Introduction to Radio Host Peter Sagal at the February 2017 PAMC in Chicago:

I am happy to sponsor the keynote for the third time. Year one in San Francisco I spoke of the connection between an organization’s business vision and the buildings; year two in San Antonio I expressed appreciation that the Tobin Center’s team appeared to do just that. This year, after conducting focus groups and extensive polling, it seemed I have left out one detail: to tell you, simply, about The Shalleck Collaborative.

We are theatre consultants, with a main office in San Francisco, soon to emigrate slightly eastward to Berkeley, and we have recently established a satellite office in Portland, OR. We’ve been at it for 14 years and hundreds of projects, generally in the western US, starting at about Iowa extending to Asia, from Juneau to San Diego.

We get involved from early planning through implementation, bridging the arts and production with architecture, engineering and construction – I am blessed to do this with 10 incredible people of complementary skills and backgrounds. Just a few relevant examples: with Robyn Williams and the marvelous staff at the Portland 5, supporting the OR symphony with a study at The Arlene Schnitzer, a grand former movie palace used as a concert hall, on a scheme that would improve and stretch the acoustic range in the house and on stage, unburden the stage from the cumbersome orchestra shell and the regular bill to set and strike it, put back some historic elements and keep the implementation to a matter of months. Ask me at a break how we’re doing that.

Another - with Cal Performances’ Matías Tarnopolsky, Doug Warrick and Professor Jill Schinberg (at the time) on a master plan for Zellerbach Hall at UC Berkeley. Led by Stephen Weeks and team from Bora Architects, we were asking the big question of what is the PAC of the 21st Century, and we were delving into another example of what will undoubtedly mark this era in facility planning: what to do with the buildings we have from the mid century. I like to understand buildings as statements of the culture of the time - those must have been epoch years for arts:

  • so well funded that they did not need food & beverage revenue,

  • stagehands grew on trees,

  • no one was disabled,

  • audiences in those days didn’t have to pee (and this is where I think we’ve since really gone wrong).

We have many other client types and serve in various ways; We look forward to combining our talents with yours. That’s the news from The Shalleck Collaborative, where the women are strong, the men are good natured, and the consultants are way above average.

And now back to our regularly scheduled program, but first:

Are there any representatives here from the management of the Chase Bank Auditorium in Downtown Chicago, the biggest little theatre around? They are skilled and lucky: Our speaker brings in an audience of 3 million people per week cramming them into 456 seats – it’s amazing.

Of course it’s the 620 public radio stations nationwide and radio’s digital protégé that does that. I would say that Mr. Sagal has been a major part of this current golden era of audio entertainment that came about with the proliferation of the pod cast. We benefit from the popularity of his show – Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! – in its format that it brings the energy of the live show to so many, perhaps encouraging them to come to the theatre.

Each week, Mr. Sagal leads legendary announcer wild Bill Kurtis and esteemed guest panelists through an hour-long satirical review of the week’s news in the form of a quiz.

A graduate of Harvard University, Peter has worked as a literary manager for a regional theater, a stage director, an actor, an extra in a Michael Jackson video, travel writer, an essayist, a ghostwriter for a former adult film impresario and a staff writer for a motorcycle magazine.

Sagal’s first book, The Book of Vice (Naughty Things and How to Do Them) is a series of comic essays about people who misbehave, why they misbehave, and why they’re not necessarily having more fun than you are. I’ve left a few copies around and Peter will be signing them at the break.

Mr. Sagal is the host of PBS’ new series, Constitution USA with Peter Sagal. The show follows him as he travels across country—on a Harley Davison Road King—to find out where the Constitution lives, how it works, its history and its vital relevance today.

I listen to the podcast version of Wait Wait religiously and it allows me to recover from the week's news by laughing about it on the weekend. I am hoping we can learn among many other things just who's voice is on HIS answering machine.

Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of the PAMC organizing committee, please join me in welcoming Peter Sagal.

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