Sonny Sonnenfeld to Chair Panel at NATEAC 2012

by Jacob Coakley
Sonny Sonnenfeld will chair a panel about dealing with manufacturers reps at NATEAC 2012.


Sonny Sonnenfeld will chair a panel about dealing with manufacturers reps at NATEAC 2012.

Sonny Sonnenfeld, a lighting legend, will participate in a panel at the 2012 NATEAC conference. He will participate in a panel with ETC's Mark Vassallo, Jonathan Resnick of Barbizon and Bob Lorelli of Robert Lorelli Associates covering the best way to deal with manufacturers reps when outfitting a new performance space.

Sound Designer Richard Brooker Uses Waves Plugins on I Dreamed a Dream

by Jacob Coakley
Sound Designer Richard Brooker used Waves SoundGrid on a DiGiCo SD8 for I Dreamed a Dream.


Sound Designer Richard Brooker used Waves SoundGrid on a DiGiCo SD8 for I Dreamed a Dream.

I like with Richard Brooker has to say about sound design in this release from Waves Audio plugins. Waves Audio makes digital audio processing plugins for various sound editing platforms (like Pro Tools), but they also work on mixing consoles, too. For example, Brooker is using a fully-integrated Waves SoundGrid platform on a DiGiCo SD8 mixing console for the new musical based on Susan Boyle’s life, I Dreamed a Dream. That’s the new, but Brooker has a good comment about using plugins and what it’s like designing sound for musicals now: “In theater, the sound design should support the storyline, the emotional journey of the characters and the score itself. We must draw the audience in during the dialogue, in order that they can commit to the show emotionally. And we have to push them back into their seats and overwhelm them in the big numbers. Traditionally, sound designers have taken a ‘less-is-more’ approach in musical theater. That is still partially the case, but we have seen the role of the sound designer evolve moving into the current era. Audiences today tend to be a bit more demanding of things like a fully-produced sound, a surround-sound layout and special effects. It is a challenge, but Waves tools have helped me make those transitions. As intense as it can be, I love my job and it’s tremendous fun.” More details, and info about which plugins he uses on I Dreamed a Dream and the new musical based on The Bodyguard below.

Soundcraft Vi4 Logical Choice for Absurdist Revival

by Jacob Coakley

David Gotwald, production audio engineer, with the Soundcraft Vi4 at the FOH mixing position
NEW YORK—The recent brief revival of the stage classic Waiting For Godot won widespread critical acclaim and garnered Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations for Best Revival of a Play, as well as Tony Award nominations for Best Featured Actor, Best Costume Design, and for three of four of its cast members: two-time Tony Award winner Nathan Lane, Tony Award winner Bill Irwin and Tony Award winner John Glover, who joined Golden Globe winner John Goodman to round out the sparse but powerful production.  The play is intensely intimate and dialogue-driven, making the quality of the audio critical to its success. To ensure every line came through, a 48-input Soundcraft Vi4 digital live mixing console was installed in the Roundabout Theatre Company’s Studio 54 venue.  The latest addition to Soundcraft’s Vi Series of digital live sound consoles, the Vi4’s compact frame offered the processing power and sound quality the designer demanded and, crucial for Godot, quiet operation.




Southern Theater Dismisses Artistic Director

by Breanne George

MINNEAPOLIS – The Southern Theater of Minneapolis has dismissed Artistic Director, Jeff Bartlett, who has been an active part of the theatre for 33 years. According to reports, Bartlett said theatre management gave no rationale for its decision.   

Soweto Theatre in South Africa Opens with ETC Source Four Luminaires

by Jacob Coakley
The Soweto Theatre in Johannesburg, South Africa, uses more than 200 ETC Source Four lighting fixtures. Photo credit: Sarah Rushton-Read

The Soweto Theatre in Johannesburg, South Africa, uses more than 200 ETC Source Four lighting fixtures. Photo credit: Sarah Rushton-Read

The Soweto Theatre in Johannesburg opened on Africa Day, May 25, 2012, with more than 200 ETC Source Four fixtures, including the new Source Four Fresnel. ETC fixtures will be part of the main overhead rigs in the two studio theatres. The Soweto Theatre is one of the final projects of the 2010 World Cup initiative and resembles (intentionally) a giant child’s toy. It brings a purpose-built theatre to an area that was beset with crime in the ‘70s and ‘80s.

Spring Awakening Rises with Shure

by Stage Directions

NEW YORK — Hailed by critics as the most explosive Broadway musical since Rent, Spring Awakening is a tale of passage from youth to adulthood told in a groundbreaking style taking full advantage of the primal force of rock ‘n’ roll. The winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical in 2007, the show also relies on 20 channels of Shure UHF-R wireless. 

Stage Management: The SM/ASM Conundrum

by Ross Jackson
SM Work Station

Why you might decide to ASM when you could be SM?
If you’ve ever seen a stage manager’s resume you might notice the phrases “stage manager”, “assistant stage manager”, and “production stage manager.” Throughout academic theater, you learn that there’s a sort of hierarchy to the assorted stage manager (SM) positions. Production assistant < assistant stage manager; and assistant stage manager < stage manager/production stage manager. But if such a hierarchy exists, you might wonder why it is that so many SMs bounce between the positions. In the past, when it comes to more “conventional” jobs let’s say, there’s an advancement ladder on which you climb your way up the ranks. The salesperson becomes a supervisor, the supervisor becomes an assistant manager, who then becomes a manager and so on. However, when it comes to live entertainment, there’s a far more fluid way of working. Particularly influenced by our current generation of theatrical practitioners, there’s a focus on collaboration and versatility. The more versatile you can be, the greater your opportunities of collaborating become. Which leads me to what I want to discuss: why do stage managers shift from one position to another so often?

Stage Research Introduces PowerPointManager and Video101Manager

by Stage Directions
NORTHFIELD, Ohio – Stage Research has introduced PowerPointManager and Video101Manager. To be used with the SFX for cost-effective playback, these two new applications provide content delivery with ease and flexibility.  SFX will now trigger slides or video to add to any live production, or as stand-alone elements themselves.