February 20, 2014, by PSW Staff
When Peter And The Starcatcher, the five-time Tony Award-winning musical play, set out on its first U.S. national tour Masque Sound was along for the ride with a custom audio equipment package to help bring Designer Darron L West’s Tony Award-winning sound design alive.
Peter And The Starcatcher, a grown up’s prequel to Peter Pan, is the innovative and imaginative musical play based on the best‐selling novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. A company of a dozen actors play more than a hundred unforgettable characters, all on a journey to answer the century‐old question: How did Peter Pan become The Boy Who Never Grew Up?
This epic origin story of popular culture’s most enduring and beloved character proves that your imagination is the most captivating place in the world.
Both West and Masque Sound have been involved in the play from its original production at NY Theatre Workshop to its successful run on Broadway, as well as its post-Broadway run at New World Stages, so collaborating on the tour together was a natural fit.
“I depend on Masque Sound to provide me with the gear I need for my shows, so when the Peter And The Starcatcher tour became official, there was no doubt that it was going to be the shop I called on to take the show on the road,” says West. “When a problem arises that needs to be solved, there is never a moment that I feel like I can’t call on Masque Sound to provide a solution, equipment recommendations, etc. Scott Kalata at Masque Sound has been great to us since the very beginning.”
West’s goal for Peter And The Starcatcher was to try to create and preserve a simple and minimally invasive design.
“We wanted the play to feel like it was an old Victorian show, so we thought a lot about our microphone choices and speaker positions,” he says. “The show features two musicians and ‘musicians towers’ in direct view of the audience, and we designed the system to sound as though the audio was coming from these points, since the musicians are crucial to how the show is received by the audience.
“We utilized our surround sound capabilities through a story-driven approach, and we really tried to keep the audio as centralized around the sound effects and music that those musicians were creating.”
In order to create the atmosphere that West was looking for on the tour, Masque Sound provided a DiGiCo SD10 digital console. The SD10 is a flexible, complete integrated system powered by Stealth Digital Processing and floating point Super FPGA technology. According to West, “There is a lot of really intricate reverb work that happens in the show that is really being driven by the SD10. The SD10 works incredibly well with the theatre software we are using and is crucial to the show’s success.”
Additional equipment provided by Masque Sound includes both Meyer Sound and D&B speaker rigs, as well as wireless gear from Sennheiser.
Putting together a traveling production is not without its challenges and West credits Masque Sound as well as his associate Charles Coes for helping to pull it all together.
“We really needed to figure out the amount of gear we needed and how to set it up for 22 different sized venues for a show of this magnitude,” concludes West. “Masque Sound has a great crew at the shop and we really depend on them to bounce ideas off of and to figure out exactly how to put on a production of this size.
“Between Masque Sound and the Proof crew who built the towers, we couldn’t believe how incredible it worked. Charles did an amazing job in designing the tower and putting it all together.”