Gear Review

The Point Source Audio CM-i3 headsetPoint Source Audio’s CM-i3 comm headset delivers big sound in a light package

f you have ever needed to use a comm headset in a loud environment, you know that any headset that provides isolation is usually rather bulky. These aviation inspired headsets do a great job when you are running a spot for a loud performance, but they can be heavy and cumbersome. Point Source Audio is promoting a lightweight alternative with their new CM-i3 intercom headset. 

Read more: Converting Audio to Light(weight)

Acting and Stage Management

Emily Wells calling a showVeteran stage manager Emily Wells applies her wisdom and talent to both theatre and raising health awareness

When it comes to dedication, hard work and brains, Emily Wells is one of the industry’s go-to stage managers. Well-respected for her work on numerous productions at Portland Center Stage, Wells has also worked extensively on Broadway and on touring productions. Wells is also a spokesperson for the Adult Congenital Heart Association—she survives and thrives after being diagnosed with two heart conditions herself and wants to inspire others to do the same. 

Read more: Strength of Heart


Masque Sound just recently supplied a custom audio equipment package (including networking) for Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame at the La Jolla Playhouse. Ciara Renée (center) and the cast are shown here. Digital audio networking is its own revolution – and isn’t just for the elite 

Right around the same time Pro Tools rewrote the book on recording, another revolution was getting off to a somewhat quieter start. With the 1996 introduction by Peak Audio of CobraNet, digital audio networking entered the mainstream of audio production. Less than 20 years later, networked audio is everywhere and quickly extending even further. And not a moment too soon for the theatre community, where the size and complexity of audio systems has similarly exploded over the same time period. 

Read more: Sound in the Age of Networking

Light On The Subject

A slice of the LDI 2014 show floorLDI 2014 brought creativity in the lighting, power and staging industry to the fore

LDI was a sugar-rush of flash ‘n’ trash, laser lights, powerful followspots, and moving staging, all shrouded and highlighted by stage haze. But there was also a sense of creative ferment sparking through this year’s show, too. No one product dominated the discussion, but everywhere you turned people were unveiling some truly remarkable innovation in their products and processes and there was a sense that searching for the biggest and brightest LED was no longer enough—people were looking to innovate in new directions and it felt like we were turning the corner into a whole era of what we can do with lighting, power and staging.

Read more: Flashes of Brilliance

Answer Box

Left-right: Rich Lounello, Warren Jackson, Marcus D. Harvey in the WAM production of In Darfur.Immersive, site-specific lighting helped make an immediate In Darfur for the Women’s Action Movement Theatre

When Kristen van Ginhoven, artistic director of the Berkshire-based Women’s Action Movement Theatre (WAM) planned her production of In Darfur, Winter Miller’s gut-wrenching exploration of the Darfuri genocide, she wanted the audience to feel the realities of the story in a way that was personal and immediate. I was recommended to her because of my experience in immersive, site specific work using non-traditional lighting equipment, and along with the rest of the design staff—sound and projections by Brad Berridge, costumes by Govane Lohbaur and scenery by Juliana von Haubrich—we geared up to introduce the Berkshire audience to the political realities of the Sudanese conflicts. 

Read more: Displaced Desert

Sound Design

Hugh Jackman and Laura Donnelly in The River at Circle in the Square on Broadway.Capturing the Sounds of The River

Great sound design is not defined by a bigger, louder sound or a lengthy list of gear; it is defined by character. When Ian Dickinson first received the request for an interview with Stage Directions, he immediately presumed it was for his bigger Broadway show, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, an intense drama about an autistic teen investigating the death of a neighbor’s dog while also coping with his parents’ bitter divorce. But when the designer learned he would be discussing The River, an intimate three-person production starring Hugh Jackman at the Circle in the Square Theatre, he was pleasantly surprised.

Read more: Making a Splash

Editor's Note

Jacob CoakleyThoughts on Sarah Ruhl’s ideal audience member, and why we’re all experts of story

I finally had a chance to crack the cover on Sarah Ruhl’s 100 Essays I Don’t Have Time to Write, and of course it’s engaging, challenging, smart and a lot of fun. True to its title, it’s a sketchbook of ideas, all clearly articulated, but never exhaustively explored. Examples include Ruhl wondering what the loss of swordfights mean to theatre (#3), why there are so many participles in current titles (#5) or railing against the word “whimsy” (#61). 

Read more: Bedroom DJ's

Editor's Note

Stage Directions editor Jacob CoakleyWhy a Fearless musical and its fearless creators are my New Year's inspiration

I recently spent a week in New York City visiting friends and family, doing research for a new project—and of course seeing theatre. Lots and lots of theatre. Broadway, Off-Broadway, Indie theatre and even a show in development at Ars Nova. 

Read more: New York, New Work

Tools of the Trade

The GUI for Pro Tools First, a new, free version of Pro Tools softwareAvid introduced their Avid Everywhere “global ecosystem for the audio industry,” which includes a free version of Pro Tools, flexible licensing options for Pro Tools, cloud collaboration, new marketplace services, and cloud publishing to help audio professionals create, collaborate, and distribute music.

Read more: Avid Delivers Avid Everywhere Ecosystem for Pro Tools

Tools of the Trade

The Mackie FreePlay Portable PAThe Mackie FreePlay Personal PA is a portable, stereo PA designed to deliver powerful, full-range sound. FreePlay can run off AC or battery power, including an optional rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack or standard D Cell batteries.  FreePlay allows users to connect microphones, line or instrument level sources and features an easy-to-use 4-channel digital mixer to control levels, EQ and more. It includes Bluetooth music streaming, a full-featured 4-channel digital mixer and a control app for iPhone and iPod touch.

Read more: Mackie FreePlay Portable PA

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