DALLAS, TX, OCTOBER 2, 2015 — When the barn doors were kicked open on the highly anticipated world premiere of MOONSHINE: That Hee Haw Musical at the Dallas Theater Center, Masque Sound, a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company, was there, providing a custom audio equipment package to Sound Designer John Shivers and Associate Sound Designer/Mixer Kevin Kennedy for the hilarious and irreverent musical hootenanny.
MOONSHINE: That Hee Haw Musical distills the spirit of the iconic television series Hee Haw, and bottles it into an original musical comedy. Set in present-day Kornfield Kounty, this highly anticipated show introduces a new generation of irresistible characters as it tells the story of Misty Mae, the ultimate hometown girl who heads out to follow her dreams in the big city...of Tampa. When she returns home to introduce her slick city-boy beau to her friends and family, everything goes haywire.
In designing the sound, Shivers and Kennedy’s goal was to create ambiance tailored to the Dallas Theater Center’s Wyly Theatre, with each audience member having an equal sonic experience, no matter where they sat in the house. They also wanted the show to sound natural. In addition, with the energetic nature of the production, it was essential to ensure the dialogue was crisp and clear for everybody to hear over audience laughter.
Shivers and Kennedy collaborated with Masque Sound to come up with a cost-effective solution that provided the complete coverage and dynamic audio they sought. “The theatre is a black, boxy and versatile space, so we needed something small, light and powerful, which made the Meyer Sound MINA™ boxes ideal,” says Kennedy. “We used the MINA boxes and Meyer Sound 500-HP subwoofers for the main arrays in the orchestra level and center cluster. We used Meyer Sound UPJ-1Ps to hang on the second and third level for a left and right and Meyer Sound UPA-1Ps in the orchestra for in-fill in areas that were harder to get with the main array.”
Kennedy adds that overall, the speaker package was the perfect combination for the space. “We included some extra equipment in the package in the event we needed it, and Masque Sound was great in supplying us with what we needed in excellent working condition. They really take into account the big picture, and provide a rock-solid, excellent audio equipment package.”
One of the more interesting components of the audio setup was the new Lectrosonics SSM Digital Hybrid Wireless® Miniature Transmitter. “We first demoed the SSMs when we were doing Kinky Boots in Toronto, and we were immediately impressed,” adds Kennedy. “The transmitter is very small, light and reliable, and operates on a little camera battery. Due to these factors, you can fit it in wigs, hats and really tight places.”
Kennedy also likes the ability to change the menu setting in the transmitter, and its compatibility with other receivers. “It worked well with the Sennheiser EM 1046 wireless microphone receivers Masque Sound provided us,” he says. “We were very happy and fortunate that they purchased eight of them for us to use. They worked out really great. Our costume and hair designers absolutely love them.”
In addition, Masque Sound also supplied 24 Sennheiser transmitters, along with a DiGiCo SD10 console. Kennedy likes the SD10 for its power, flexibility and ability to fit in the small footprint required for the production.
“Masque Sound was once again incredibly supportive and a pleasure to work with, as was Brian McDonald, sound supervisor for the Dallas Theater Center and his crew, including Ashton and Erik,” says Kennedy. “Brian came with me to Masque Sound for a week, and once we built the show, he loaded the whole thing in. From the crews at Masque Sound and the Dallas Theater Center, this was a great team effort. The show sounds amazing, and we’re excited about its future.”
Moonshine: That Hee Haw Musical is produced by Opry Entertainment and Fox Theatricals in conjunction with Dallas Theater Center. The production runs through October 11 at the Wyly Theatre. For more information, and to purchase tickets, please visit dallastheatercenter.org.
About Masque Sound
Founded in 1936 by a trio of Broadway stagehands, Masque Sound evolved into one of NYC’s most successful theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design companies specializing in theatrical, house of worship, sporting, corporate, TV broadcast and live concert events. Celebrating more than 75 years in the industry, the company is led by President Stephanie Hansen and the firm’s third generation owner, Geoff Shearing. The company also operates Florida-based Professional Wireless Systems, a leader in the development and implementation of wireless technology. Credits range from major Broadway shows and tours including Phantom of the Opera, MAMMA MIA!, Lion King, Jersey Boys, The Book of Mormon, Once, Kinky Boots, Aladdin and Fun Home to yearly Super Bowl broadcasts and installations of varying sizes, including Western Connecticut State University, the Jim Wise Theatre at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and the historic St. Patrick's Cathedral. Masque Sound’s 70,000 sq. ft. corporate headquarters and main assembly facility is located at 21 East Union Ave., East Rutherford, NJ, 20 minutes from midtown Manhattan. For more information, call (201) 939-8666 or visit www.MasqueSound.com.