Saratoga Rotary ClubMusical theatre is a rich tapestry of storytelling, emotion, and artistry woven together by performers and musicians alike. For South Bay Musical Theatre (SBMT), bringing this American art form to the community is not just a mission but a passion. Now, thanks to a generous grant from the Saratoga Rotary Club Charitable Foundation, SBMT is poised to elevate its performances to new heights with state-of-the-art sound equipment at the Saratoga Civic Theater.

At the heart of SBMT’s mission lies the desire to share the magic of live musical theatre with the community. Central to achieving this goal is the live orchestra that accompanies each performance. However, traditional theatre setups can present challenges for musicians.

In any theater, whether musicians are stationed in a wide, shallow configuration or in a tight pit area, ambient sound and proximity to other instruments can create challenges. Musicians may strain to hear each other clearly, impacting their ability to play together. This can affect the cohesion of the orchestra as a whole.

Powerplay mixerThe sound equipment revolutionizes the way musicians experience their performances relative to the overall sound. Through individual amplification of real-time audio playback, each musician can customize their sound mix, ensuring they can hear themselves and their fellow performers with clarity. This level of control allows for better coordination among musicians, regardless of their location within the orchestra layout. Whether it is a clarinet player who can more easily hear distant strings, or percussion and brass players who can more easily synchronize, the system empowers musicians to collaborate more effectively and enhances the overall quality of the orchestral sound. Musicians will have more fun performing – and our audiences will enjoy the result!

The Saratoga Rotary’s support for this project exemplifies its commitment to enriching the cultural landscape of the community. By investing in organizations like SBMT, the Rotary ensures that the arts continue to thrive and inspire future generations.

SBMT in turn will support the Saratoga Rotary by providing volunteers for its 2024 Art Show , held at West Valley College on May 4 and 5. Besides showcasing beautiful art works and providing festive music and delicious food, this year’s event will also host a 5K run/walk. All proceeds support local youth and community service projects and selected area nonprofits.

Anticipation is building as SBMT prepares to debut its enhanced sound experience at the Saratoga Civic Theater. The system will be used for the first time at SBMT’s production of Mary Poppins, running from May 18 to June 8, 2024 at the Saratoga Civic Theater. Tickets are available now at or by calling the box office at 408-266-4734. Many thanks to the Rotary for this generous gift, and for their many other good works in support of our community.