How do you make actors heard 50 rows back? How do you make them heard as they sing over an orchestra? How do you make them heard as they mutter conspiratorially to themselves?
The answer to all these: wireless microphones. Large theatres (and even many small ones) rely on this technology to make sure audiences hear every word of a performance. Unless something goes wrong with the equipment, like interference, most audience members don’t even think about what makes it possible. But many U.S. resident theatres worry that interference in their systems might increase, and it’s out of their hands. It’s in the hands of the Federal Communications Commission.