URINETOWN: THE MUSICAL
by Mark Hollman and Greg Kotis
Oberlin College Theater Department - December 2019
Directed by Matthew Wright
I was both the sound designer and audio engineer for this production of Urinetown: The Musical, a satirical show about capitalism, social irresponsibility, populism, bureaucracy, corporate mismanagement, and environmental catastrophe. The space we were in is an adaptable black box and the stage was flipped for this show in such a way that the playing space was where the audience risers were intended to be positioned. This set up created some unique acoustic challenges because there was a small proscenium wall dividing the audience. The FOH mix position was also on the side of the wall furthest removed from the stage, adding an additional challenge to creating a balanced mix. I addressed these challenges to be best of my abilities.
I successfully line mixed 21 miced actors during this show, an accomplishment I am proud of considering the fast paced nature of the dialogue. Every mic was also outiftted with an ear rig built from Hellermann sleeves and floral wire. I also worked closely with the costume designer, Chris Flaharty, and the wardrobe supervisor/costume shop manager, Heather Leigh Brown, to find solutions for secure mic pack placement given the intense choreography of the show.
Photo by Daniel James; Set Design by Laura Carlson-Tarantwoski; Lighting Design by Jeremy Benjamin; Costume Design by Chris Flaharty; Choreography by Holly Handman-Lopez
To the left is the ear rig built for Bobby Strong, one of the leads of the show. The mic is a Countryman B3 and the materials used are two different gauges of floral wire and Hellermann sleeves.
Photo curtesy of Lake Dillon Theatre Company
by Ulvaeus, Andersson, and Johnson
Lake Dillon Theatre Company - June-August 2019
Directed and Choreographed by Adam Estes
Sound Design by Matthew Eckstein
I served as the A2 for this production, ensuring the maintenance and organization of all 22 wireless mics that were used in this production. I helped actors into mic and worked with them and the wardrobe team to keep mics discrete and secure them on several actors wearing minimal clothing. The characters of Eddie and Pepper performed several acrobatic movements in this production, including flips and cartwheels, and I worked with the actors and wardrobe team to keep the mics secure while maintaining actor safety and range of motion.
This show contains a significant amount of offstage singing. I helped to build an offstage singing area with monitor headphones and speakers and a conductor video monitor to ensure that the offstage singing was in time and as easy to mix as possible. Different mixes were sent to the headphones and speakers to allow the music to be in time with no feedback.
POLKADOTS: THE COOL KIDS MUSICAL
by Melvin Tunstall III, Douglas Lyons, and Greg Borowsk
Lake Dillon Theatre Company - July-August 2019
Directed by Colt Neidhardt
Sound Design by Stefanie M. Senior
I was the audio engineer for this production of Polkadots: The Cool Kids Muscial, a musical about integration and acceptance. Set in a world where everyone has shapes on their skin, it tells the story of Lily, the first kid with polkadots on her skin to attend a school filled with people who have squares on their skin.
The biggest challenge of this show was the body paint used to make the actors' skin colorful and covered in shapes. The sound designer, Stefanie M. Senior, and I worked with the wardrobe department and the costume designer to find the best application techniques to keep the body paint from damaging the mics. When the paint was dry, it stayed well. However, sweat made it run and prone to getting on costumes and mics. Part of my post-show responsibilities included cleaning off body paint that had coated the mics and working to minimize staining on the lavs.
Photos curtesy of Lake Dillon Theatre Company; Set Design by Ben Witmore; Lighting Design by Cory Sprinkles; Costume Design by Jillian Parzych; Choreography by Alexa Hendrickson