Medea
by Carlton Guc

 

Medea is a pretty serious play about broken love and revenge. People love. People die. Needless to say it was the directors desire along with mine that this show should have the feeling of being dark with the sound design complementing what is happening on stage. The show played in the fall of 1996 and the following is the implementation of SFX Standard. 
The computer used was a Pentium-90, 32 Meg of RAM, with an Iomega Jaz drive, and one sound card. 

Cues View and the Edit Desktop
In the process of creating the sound design for this show, multiple different copies of wind, thunder, and other percussive sounds were stored on the hard drive. Since the effects were crucial in how the actors performed, it was important to have most of the show designed and running weeks before we opened. Although the design was not complete until we opened, during every rehearsal, timing and effect changes where made with simple drag and drop control.

 

 

It was also necessary to have longer effects that were thought necessary in case the show timing changed during the run. In most places, the wind effect I used was 2:23 minutes long. Looking at cues P, Q and R, you will notice that P and Q are long effects (Wind and a Low Rumble). Cue R is a single stop cue that will abruptly end BOTH cues P and Q when the operator presses the "GO" button. This particular scene is when Medea is in a "dream like" state and is awaken. The underscore must be there when she is deep in thought, but must stop when interrupted.  MEDEA3.jpg (37473 bytes)

Medea in Production

During the run of Medea, SFX was switched over to the Play Desktop where the operator will see some notes about the show, the "GO" button, two cue status windows, and the main cue list. The show was under control of the stage manager, with the exception of the opening cues of Act II. Timing required actors to come on 23 seconds into the first music cue. The operator would look at the Cue Status window and wait for the music to hit 23, notify the SM, and timing was perfect night to night.

 

In the final week of rehearsal, one scene needed to be reworked. (Cues AA-AJ) This particular scene really wanted to be loud. Wind, thunder, crashes, lighting, fog - it was all there, except we could not hear the actors voices. I did not want to use microphones in this show - did not really need them except for this one scene. Since the scene involved Medea and voices we heard were really in her head, we recorded them. One hour before rehearsal started, we gathered the three women that had the original lines, recorded them on the computer - using Sound Forge - edited, and added them to SFX (Cues AD-AJ). I quickly created the sequence of events and we were ready to go. Now we could have that scene be as loud as we all wanted, and hear the voices too! With some tweaking, and volume changes, the scene was ready to go. Just hit the "GO" button.

MEDEA4.jpg (156672 bytes)