• The Rabbit Play

    Varda Behind the Glass

    China Doll: In Lavender

  • Teen One Acts Festival 2020

     

    Berkeley Repertory Theatre

    Virtual Performance

    *World Premiere*

    Context

    All three of these shows were originally conceived to be presented in the Peet's Theater at Berkeley Rep. As part of my fellowship at Berkeley Rep, I was responsible for mentoring and guiding two high schoolers through the design process of the two full-length shows. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival became virtual and the task of designing fell to me. We were working on an extremely abridge timeline and I only had a few days to integrate the designs with each show. Each of the actors filmed themselves, which resulted in varying, often less than ideal audio quality, so I cleaned that up significantly as well. Since I had been involved in the design process prior to becoming the designer, I knew many of the ideas that the original designers had been considering. I used those as a jumping-off point in my discussions with the directors, but knew that we would have to adapt to the new medium.

    Varda Behind the Glass

    By Maera Klein

    Directed by Milo Bailey

     

    ABOUT THE PLAY:

    In the midst of an escalating climate apocalypse, Varda finds that she has lost the ability to feel pain. She must decide whether to accept her girlfriend's attempts to protect her, or to risk losing everything she has to make what difference she can. A funny, touching examination of how we handle ourselves in the face of overwhelming odds.

     

    THE DESIGN PROCESS:

    My goal as sound designer with this show was to create the context within which this show occurs. This occurred most dramatically sequences of new montages that overwhelm Varda, but also guided my choices in creating the soundscape for the opening scene of the show. Finally, the script of this show relied heavily on music, calling out specific songs. I was able to work within those parameters to create a balance that justified some songs through diegesis and found thematic frameworks for others, including at the end of the play.

    China Doll: In Lavender

    by J. Xiang

    Directed by Tatiana Lira

     

    ABOUT THE PLAY:

    Rachel, a young Chinese-American woman, finds herself an unlikely visitor in her family's past. Given the chance to interact with her predecessors, she struggles to understand their outlook on the world. Merging dream and reality, past and present, this queer drama examines the complexities of history, generational trauma, and societal expectations.

     

    THE DESIGN PROCESS:

    Much of this design was about creating space for the actors to shine. At the top of the show, we hear the patrons and performers in the bar next-door. I allowed this sound to ebb a flow, filling some silences and creating others, matching the emotional beats of the scene. This show also involved a dream space which, due to the virtual presentation of the play, needed to be conveyed solely through sound, while also not being jarring to the listener. Finally, this play gave me the opportunity to explore the world of 1920's Chinese jazz, which while it didn't feature heavily in the show, provided great sonic context for the bar in which the show takes place.

    Rabbit Play

    By Sofia Valdez

    Directed by Sarah Schecter [Staged Reading]

     

    ABOUT THE PLAY:

    The world is full of danger if you're a vulnerable creature like a rabbit. Or a teenage girl. This evocative, poignant, emotionally charged staged reading is a meditation on powerlessness, control, and the space we take up in the world.

     

    THE DESIGN PROCESS:

    The Rabbit Play is a short play, less than 10 minutes. But in those 10 minutes, we have 4 location changes and a flashback. The structure of the play allows these locations and times to flow into one another, and my goal was to establish each of those locations sonically. This also gave the effect of having near-constant sound, allowing the single moment of silence in the show to hold more weight.