Masque Sound, a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company specializing in live concert, television broadcast, corporate, industrial, theatrical, house of worship and sports events, continues its Broadway run by providing a custom audio equipment package for the groundbreaking new production of Tennessee Williams’ masterpiece, The Glass Menagerie.
The Glass Menagerie, starring Cherry Jones, Zachary Quinto, and Celia Keenan-Bolger, is directed by John Tiffany and the Tony Award®-winning creative team behind ONCE, and tells the story of Amanda Wingfield, a Southern belle past her prime who lives with her two grown children in a small apartment in St. Louis. Amanda, dreaming of a better life for her shy and crippled daughter, Laura, pressures her son, Tom, to find a ‘gentleman caller’ for the girl. The arrival of the suitor, however, sends shockwaves through the family and causes cracks to form in the delicate fantasies that keep it going.
For sound designer Clive Goodwin, there were two main goals: To make the play sound as natural as possible and to ensure that the whole audience, even members seated in the very back of the mezzanine, could clearly hear Nico Muhly’s beautiful composition. “Nico’s music sets the theme for the show,” says Goodwin. “The Glass Menagerie is a memory play about the character Tom’s recollections, and Nico’s music beautifully creates that atmosphere. It makes it slightly surreal, so as the sound designer, I wanted to do justice to Nico’s composition and try to make it sound even more exquisite than it already is, and Masque Sound helped make that possible.”
Goodwin’s biggest challenge was dispersing the sound on stage to the back of the theater without it sounding mic’d. In order to do this, Masque Sound provided him with an array of Funktion-One speakers, an unorthodox speaker for the Broadway stage.
“The Funktion-One speakers that Masque Sound provided really allow me to control the dispersion, especially upstairs,” adds Goodwin. “By using the Funktion-Ones, we have the most control possible and are able to minimize room reflections that would otherwise muddy the sound. Masque Sound does a wonderful job of providing me with these non-traditional speakers, even though they are different than the normal Broadway stock. They go out on a limb and are fantastic in supplying me with the rare equipment I like to use.”
Masque Sound’s custom equipment package also included a Midas Pro1 compact digital console, Rode RF-Bias Shotgun mics, Sennheiser wireless microphones, XTA DP428/448 audio management system, D&B E3 speakers, Meyer UMS-1P subwoofers and a Clear-Com Intercom system.
“Masque Sound has always been great to work with,” adds Goodwin. “They work very hard and go the extra mile to make me, as a sound designer, happy.”
The Glass Menagerie is currently playing on Broadway at the Booth Theatre. The production officially opens on Thursday, September 26, 2013, and its 17-week run is slated to conclude on January 5, 2014.
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 lead by Geoff Shearing, the firm’s 3rd generation owner, and Vice President and General Manager Stephanie Hansen. 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,” “Memphis,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Newsies” and “Once” to yearly Super Bowl broadcasts and installations of varying sizes, including New York’s New Victory Theater and historic St. Bartholomew’s Church. 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.