Richelle Thompson's Blog (129)

Back to the Basics

Sound design is usually challenging because a show is BIG. It has lots of cues, lots of microphones, lots of, well, something.

My next project is a challenge for the exactly the opposite reason: it has to be simple.

The show in question is…


Added by Richelle Thompson on August 20, 2013 at 5:00am — No Comments

Changing Faces

Being in the "biz" of theatre - or, for that matter, any aspect of the entertainment industry, means that you get to work with a lot of fabulous people. The up side to that is all the different people you get to know, learn from, create art with - even if you don't love or even like all of them. The down side is that you are constantly saying "good bye" to some one, either as folks move on, a season ends, a tech wraps…


Added by Richelle Thompson on August 13, 2013 at 9:48am — No Comments

All Over But the Strike... (And why is it called strike, anyway?)

The last performance of the last show of the '12-'13 season finished this past Sunday afternoon. After the audience cleared, I said good-bye to a great bunch of folks.  Parting with this latest bunch of musicians, actors, and crew seems some how more "final" than previous productions of the season - maybe in part because I seemed to spend more time with this bunch and the needs of this specific production and got to…


Added by Richelle Thompson on August 6, 2013 at 2:01pm — 2 Comments

Everyone is a PR Person

There's been a lot in the news and (ironically) on social media about what's appropriate to share on social media regarding the work place, fueled by individuals who have posted comments or photos that they're employers found inappropriate on Facebook accounts, blogs, Twitter, etc.. In many cases, those individuals have lost their jobs as a result. Several folks have gone to court over these situations, with…


Added by Richelle Thompson on July 30, 2013 at 10:12am — 3 Comments

Adventures in Wireless - A Follow Up

Getting Ring of Fire ready to open was an amazing ride... and here are some of the things we worked out.

If you read the first installment - Adventures in Wireless - you may remember that two of question marks for me were the…


Added by Richelle Thompson on July 16, 2013 at 11:00am — No Comments

Adventures in Wireless

Last week I wrote about the idea of biography play, inspired by my next production - Ring of Fire. Today, I'm writing the impeding…


Added by Richelle Thompson on July 2, 2013 at 5:00am — 3 Comments

On Stage Biography

This week at ASF, we began rehearsals for Ring of Fire. As the title implies, it's about legendary musician Johnny Cash. This play (not surprisingly a musical) is the story of Cash's legendary life and career, including his upbringing, meeting and falling in love with June Carter, and, of course, his music. The play uses Cash's own music to tell his story, images and action added, with surprisingly little…


Added by Richelle Thompson on June 25, 2013 at 5:00am — 3 Comments

Tangle Theory

It's that time again... spring cleaning. Everything in my front of house position gets unplugged, the racks taken out and restructured, the standard console cased, a deep clean of the area undertaken, and then  whatever…


Added by Richelle Thompson on June 18, 2013 at 5:00am — No Comments


On Sunday I got home from a 5 day "personal technology free" trip (which I can't quite use the word vacation to describe, since I did more work than anything else).  Right after getting me and my "stuff" in the door, I turned on the TV to catch the last of the Tony's, then fired up the lap top and spent much of the remainder of Sunday evening and yesterday morning reading e-mail and scrolling through my Facebook feed…


Added by Richelle Thompson on June 11, 2013 at 9:56am — No Comments

Ready, Set... Puke!

I’ve been a part of many productions that had unusual production requirements – assorted fake body parts, fake heads, fake headless actors (well… the actor wasn't fake but they got to keep their heads,) real seeded dandelions, animatronics, extensive numbers of Twinkies, water, gag guns, levitating plants, talking plants, moving pictures, moving books, magic tricks, and a whole host of other unusual requests – but the…


Added by Richelle Thompson on June 4, 2013 at 5:00am — 1 Comment

Summer Camp

The words "Summer Camp" invoke images of tents or cabins and canoes, roasting marshmallows over a fire -  but the summer camps I'm talking about don't involve the woods or the outdoors except for maybe lunch on the lawn - instead kids of various ages come to ASF for day camps and are learning about acting, singing, dancing, and various types of stage craft.…


Added by Richelle Thompson on May 28, 2013 at 7:00am — No Comments

The Show (and the blog) Must Go On

At the end of last week, a long going minor sinus irritation decided to settle in and become a full on sinus infection - and with the beginning of a low grade fever I decided it was time to go see a doctor. Much to my surprise, the infection had not only taken over my nose, but had moved on into my lungs - a mild case of Walking Pneumonia. …


Added by Richelle Thompson on May 14, 2013 at 5:00am — No Comments

Brushing Up - From the Otherside

Last week, I wrote about getting ready to brush up a pair of shows that been on hiatus. Our productions of  Macbeth and To Kill a Mockingbird go into rep this week, and last week we got them out, dusted them off (in the case of the sets literally) and made sure we were ready to present them for an audience. Here's a…


Added by Richelle Thompson on May 7, 2013 at 3:16pm — No Comments

Brushing Up

This week I have two "brush-up" rehearsals - tech runs of two shows we opened earlier in the year, and that have been on hiatus. Wednesday and Thursdays, they are getting back on their feet to get ready to run in a three show rep.  

In January, we staged and opened Macbeth. In late February, it went on hiatus, and we staged…


Added by Richelle Thompson on April 30, 2013 at 2:17pm — No Comments

Thinking in Rep

The bulk of my professional career has been spent at Shakespeare Festivals, which are also (as a whole or in part) repertory companies. That means designing doesn’t just take in to account the needs of a single show, but all those that will be performed in repertory -- usually two or three shows, every now and then more. 

This may or…


Added by Richelle Thompson on April 23, 2013 at 5:00am — No Comments

Mini Speakers - the iPod's Gift to Theatre

When I started as a sound designer, the idea of hiding a speaker was finding a space for a 5" x 10" box somewhere off set or behind a wall - somewhere as close to the action or object (breaking glass, magic trick, radio) as I could get it with the assistance of the carpenters or - if I was lucky - hiding it in an oversize piece of furniture. I did a little bit of experimentation with smaller home or computer speakers,…


Added by Richelle Thompson on April 16, 2013 at 12:56pm — No Comments

Critique and Constructive Criticism

This past week, I had the opportunity to read a new work written by an acquaintance.  Specifically, he was interested in a realistic response to what he had written, and wanted as much constructive criticism, comments, and other feed back on the work as I was willing to offer. I hope he was REALLY looking for that - because I gave him what he asked for. Truthfully, I enjoyed the piece - but that said, I did write and…


Added by Richelle Thompson on April 9, 2013 at 5:00am — 1 Comment

On Stage Cell Phone Call - Revisited

A long while past there was a discussion on the Theatreface Forum about on stage cell phone calls. The post: The onstage cell phone call... asked the question - how to remotely ring a cell phone, or to replicate a cell phone ring. There were a lot of suggestions from folks about how to use a real cell phone or to…


Added by Richelle Thompson on April 2, 2013 at 7:51am — 2 Comments

Remounting a Design Long Distance

As a sound supervisor, I've remounted several designs for productions by other designers who, for one reason or another, weren't able to come with a remounted production, or weren't available for a later version of a show. I've also remounted my own designs for productions at my own theatre. (I talked about this in a past post,…


Added by Richelle Thompson on March 26, 2013 at 8:20am — No Comments

Up Stage Down Stage - Origins of Theatre Terms

A few days ago, I came across this image on Facebook:

 and it made me laugh a lot.

It also reminded me of years past when I was a tour guide, and took…


Added by Richelle Thompson on March 19, 2013 at 5:00am — No Comments

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