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Sound and Music for the Theatre, 3rd Edition by James LeBrecht, Deena Kaye

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The Evolution of Sound Design

“The trouble with life is that, unlike movies, it doesn’t have background music. We never know how we’re supposed to feel.”

Lewis Gardner, 1985

In a play, not a single word is arbitrary. The director and the actors in a production attribute a value and a reason to every action and every utterance. The set is carefully designed to work within the physical requirements of the script, as well as the specific needs of a particular production. Lights are integrated into the mood of the piece to create a specific atmosphere. To ensure their continuity with the rest of the production, costumes are not created until the director approves the renderings.

Sound design works the same way. The silences—as well as the dog ...

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