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The Sounds of 1984

Sound design and music selection is always an integral part of our productions, and “1984” was no exception. It did present some unique challenges. Several characters in the play only appeared as either a sound or a video cue–what should the quality of that sound be? What kind of music would exemplify this world? What other sounds would enhance it?

Scott Kump, our sound designer for the show, worked closely with videographer Brent Kuster, to achieve just the right quality for all the sounds. You’ll hear a difference between the announcer’s voice on-camera, versus his disembodied voice in the Ministry of Love. This is different again from the flatter sound in the arrest sequence (where we are presuming the equipment being used is cheaper).  Goldstein’s voice is given a deliberately vintage, distorted quality.

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Some Notes on Production Design

We have opened!  It is so satisfying to see the finished product, after weeks–or months–of planning, discussion, scrambling to find or make props and costumes, etc.  I thought it would be interesting to give you a bit of insight into choices we’ve made in a number of areas:  costuming, set design, videography and lighting design… I was going to create multiple posts, but as it turned out, all these areas were tightly interconnected. Decisions made in one area affected them all.

Costuming challenge

The script calls for identical coveralls for the Party members–they are blue in the book, though navy versus light blue is not specified.  The Inner Party are supposed to be attired in black coveralls. This all sounds simple and straight-forward, doesn’t it?

But inquiries with our area’s uniform company revealed that no black coveralls were available–navy blue and gray were my choices. And the company, while willing to loan uniforms to us, did not have the number/sizes we needed. Meanwhile, I was unsure that blue was the right choice for our production…and I did not care for the Inner Party wearing coveralls, either.

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