After reading Ghosts In The Machine and getting an understanding of the world and what the overall message was, I started to think what kind of soundscape would best fit this world. Since the play has a large focus on technology I immediately decided to focus on creating some sort of electronic musical soundscape. This easily overlapped with the fact that the show was streamed which made the electronic style music really make sense for this piece. The plot of the play felt like that of a classic 80’s action movie but also infused with the creepiness and intrigue of something much bigger going on underneath the all the layers of technology utilized throughout the play. I then decided to focus on choosing music that utilized an almost 80’s like style of electronica with synths reminiscent of that period but contemporary as well. This was mixed with music that had a dark and almost cyberpunk like aesthetic. So I created both a dark and mysterious but also nostalgic style soundscape by finding a way to utilize or even combine both styles of electronica before and during the show.
Pre Show music is composed of the type of current day electronica that utilizes those types of synths and elements from the 80s, along with more mainstream electronic music. The overall vibe I wanted to create was that of mystery and intrigue while also keeping up a high level of energy before the show. Short clips of each song can be heard below.
There are three different ambience tracks used throughout the show. There is one for the hallway scenes, one for the cafeteria scenes and one for the bus scene. The same hallway and cafeteria sounds would be used anytime we returned to those areas. The hallway and cafeteria ambience tracks are layers of people talking on top of one another along with sounds unique to that area. For example, for the hallway ambience we added the sound of lockers slamming every once in a while and shoes skidding on the ground. The bus scene ambience is actually background noise taken from inside an actual bus. All of these tracks loop back on themselves so that the ambience can continue throughout the scene. The hallway ambience cue was created by my assistant designer, John Hobbs, while the others were done by me.
For certain moments within the show I put in electronic underscoring to emphasize as important. The first is when Zelda is outed by the the alternate versions of the characters, the next is when they realize that the alternate versions of themselves are talking to one another through their phones, and the last is when they are warned to get out of the school. These moments in particular stood out to me because of the significance of each. All of these moments are turning points for the characters, as well as the audience understanding of this other world. The music I picked highlights the unsettling nature of these events and helps the audience feel the same way as the characters.
One other moment that utilizes underscoring is when Zelda receives the text saying that the boilers are about to explode and that everyone is in danger. I wanted this part of the scene to have an especially high drive because it is the climax of the show. I chose music that has a fast tempo and a driving beat and “Danger Snow” was just that. I changed it to have an even faster tempo to emphasize the adrenaline fueled chaos that is about to ensue. I also edited it to sound more fluid when it looped back on itself.
For curtain call, I wanted there to be a song that not only had an upbeat and energetic vibe to end the show, but also represents both the real world characters and their phone counter parts coming together. “Deep State” combines typical electronic elements with acoustic elements like like drums and electric guitar to show two worlds colliding musically while also representing the collision of these worlds in the play coming to a head.
Director - Brad M. Carlson
Asst. Director - Jaime Bridges
Stage Manager - Justin Sweeny
Asst. Stage Managers - Natalie Reidemann & Savannah Carmicheal
Anthony - Adam Brehob
Shawn - Cameron Courtwright
Charisse - Addie Godsy
Melissa - Bonnie Jeune
Cody - Courtney Klein
Zelda - Genesis Sanchez
Taylor - Tori Smith
Pels - Jakob Todd
Graphic Designer - Kayla Decker
Scenic Designer - Brad M. Carlson
Lighting Designer - Brad M. Carlson
Visual Media Designer - Brad M. Carlson
Asst. Visual Media Designers - Faith Nagel & Zac O'Keefe
Costume Designer - Michelle Elliot Winchester
Asst. Costume Designer - Sav Rice
Hair & Makeup Designer - Regan Boyd
Asst. Sound Designer - John Hobbs
Props Designer - Maddie Meyer
Production Manager - Kelly Decker
Asst. Production Manager - Faith Nagel