Hypersonic speakers for The Crucible at Studio 58 In a production of The Crucible, I wanted the audience to feel what it might be like to hear voices in their heads. We realized that the best way to achieve this was not simply to focus the speakers from the grid above and point them in one…
The dreaded book dance cue. 5 years. 5 long years. It’s not often that we get the chance as designers to re-work our creations over a long period of time. We are usually constrained by timelines, the influence of the visioneer, etc… I was fortunate to have that rare opportunity to work on a show…
The challenge to reinvent the stage for theatrical design has resulted in more interactive and immersive experiences. The selections below represent a wide range of work and these examples, part of a body of work presented at Hive in Vancouver (a unique offering of mini-pieces in the same warehouse space and rotating small audiences) represent one future of theatre and are a prototype for crossdisciplinary research opportunities.
At Home With Dick and Jane
An Electric Company Theatre collaboration, the video of At Home with Dick and Jane provides the audience member’s POV as if they were watching a film unfolding…rolled along a track through an interactive room as in the picture below. I had many little concealed speakers and wireless speakers attached to a rolling cart. We went old school with playback devices including CD and minidisc.
A Felix Culpa collaboration, these photos represent a different idea of theatre in the round. Audience members become characters unto themselves observing the antics of two ‘normal’ people living in a box.
A collaboration with Western Theatre Conspiracy, this chilling and highly experimental work provided theatre-goers with a visceral experience of being detained prisoners, complete with uniform, shielded goggles, binaural mix and a freight container to provide them with a sense of isolation, and the uncomfortable feeling of an experience that might just last a little too long.
The productions below highlight some of my ongoing exploration of integrating live and pre-recorded songs into the design using text from the script and coaching actors to deliver. Many productions I’ve been involved in have demanded some kind of live element and/or live, mixed with recorded. This has been a worthwhile challenge and one of balance, not just in levels, but also in identifying the purpose of the recorded and live sounds in the design.
Songs and Pre-Recorded Sound for Mother Courage & Her Children
Musical/Operetta and Pre-Recorded Sounds for an outdoor production called Quasimodo
Comedic Songs for a variety of theatre and dance environments. The song below, a satire from a Song Book of Protest Songs with Jumpstart Productions in Los Angeles.
A song with French lyric in a cabaret style show for a mixed-language show. Pi Theatre’s Elisa’s Skin.
The photos below with Dances for a Small Stage in a Cabaret environment.
My ongoing work with Bard on the Beach in Vancouver over the years has challenged me to compose music and design sound for a tent. Subwoofers beneath audience members, speakers pointed in all manner of places, inside and outside the tent…actors performing instruments, rhythmic voice and choral work using the text as inspiration. All have been prototyped. Below are a few examples of the variety of music that have supported transitions, underscored scenes and supported more choreographed moments (All’s Well that Ends Well, Richard II, Merchant of Venice, Henry VI, Elizabeth Rex)
The Virtual Stage is an interdisciplinary theatre company pushing the boundaries of what is and what is not reality. Click here for a short film co-produced by the Virtual Stage for the Vancouver Short Film Festival. The stills below are from our first collaboration. Future collaborations include a combination of live theatre with VR exploring the Oculus Rift in a non-gaming context.