King Lear at the
William Shakespeare's King Lear is considered by many a literary masterpiece on the level of Hamlet. The tragic story of King Lear, the aging king of Britain, who decides to step down from the throne and divide his kingdom evenly among his three daughters was brought to life at the Newmark Theatre in Portland, Oregon last year.
As expected, Stage
Research's SFX was backstage helping Sound Designer Demetri Pavlatos create a
rich and natural soundscape for the show. What sets this production apart from
others, however, is that SFX handled not only the sound, but also a major set
piece -- a servo controlled turntable that would rotate during the show.
"Many people know about the deep sound capabilities of SFX, but not many designers have explored the possibilities of SFX to run other MIDI controlled devices," says Stage Research President, Carlton Guc.
Sound Designer Demetri Pavlatos describes how he used SFX's capabilities to run more than sound for the show:
"The set, designed by
William Bloodgood, consisted of two stone wall sections with an 'inside' side,
and an 'outside'. side. These were mounted on turntables to allow them to be
reoriented to suggest different locations.
Once we had all the bugs worked out (with Carlton's help) it worked perfectly!"
"Demetri's King Lear
project afforded us an opportunity to extend the understanding of SFX among the
theatre community," added Guc.
A shot of the on-stage turntable.
The Portland sound booth
for King Lear
The motor mechanism and and backstage controller used to operate the turntable.