WILLIAMSTOWN, MA, JULY 17, 2013—When the Williamstown Theatre Festival kicked off its 2013 summer season on June 26, Masque Sound, a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company, celebrated its tenth season of providing audio equipment and services to the highly regarded event. In addition to supporting the Williamstown Theatre Festival this season, Masque Sound is once again providing audio equipment to Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte Theater in New York and The Muny in St. Louis.
Taking place in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, the Williamstown Theatre Festival brings together a vast and impressive group of artists. The festival's 58th season kicked off with the opening of Animal Crackers on the Main Stage and American Hero on the Nikos Stage.
“Masque Sound has done an incredible job of providing the equipment and services we need to put on plays that sound amazing and captivate our audiences,” says Alex Neumann, sound supervisor, Williamstown Theatre Festival. “Masque Sound always works within our budget without compromising on the quality of the gear we are using. They have been great to work with all these years.”
Managing audio for the Main Stage and Nikos Stage, which put on seven plays throughout the summer season, one of Neumann’s biggest challenges is keeping track of all the gear spread among the separate spaces, including the five smaller venues and five rehearsal spaces. “On the two main stages we turn over shows in 24 hours, so we need to make sure the sound equipment we are using can hold up to the rigors of our crazy schedule,” adds Neumann. “Equipment selection is essential and knowing that Masque Sound consistently provides reliable and well-built gear allows me to focus my attention elsewhere. That is a huge help.”
The two main stages at the Williamstown Theatre Festival feature an array of Meyer Sound and d&b speakers, including Meyer M’elodie line arrays, UPQ-1ps and UPQ-2ps and d&b E0s, E4s and E9s, as well as L-ACOUSTICS 108ps and DV subs. The 511-seat Main theatre features an Avid Profile console, while Nikos is equipped with an Avid SC48 console. For wireless needs, Neumann utilizes the Sennheiser 2000 series, supplementing it with Sennheiser SK 5012 transmitters and EM 1046 receivers.
A host of Broadway talent and recognizable film and television stars will appear on the Williamstown Theatre Festival's stages throughout the summer, including Heather Lind, Elena Shaddow, James Cromwell and Kate Burton.
Masque Sound is no stranger to supporting regional summer theatre. Its involvement in these types of events dates back over half a century, when it first supplied rental equipment to New York City’s Delacorte Theater for Shakespeare in the Park. The Delacorte Theater became the permanent home of Shakespeare in the Park in 1962, and 51 years later, Masque Sound continues to help New York natives and visitors alike enjoy the free performances each summer season. The majestic, open-air theatre has a seating capacity of 1,800, and more than 100,000 people attend each season.
The company also recently signed on for an additional three summers at The Muny in St. Louis, following a successful eight-year working relationship. Currently in its 95th season, The Muny is America’s largest and oldest outdoor musical theatre, having been a local tradition since 1918.
When working with outdoor venues, such as Delacorte and The Muny, equipment is often exposed to the elements, requiring speakers, consoles, cables and all usable production elements to be protected—making equipment selection essential. Manufacturers such as Meyer Sound have developed water-resistant loudspeakers and rain hoods to protect the speakers from water getting inside. Masque Sound incorporates these weather-resistant products into their equipment packages.
“Although we provide unique audio equipment setups to each of these summer festivals, our goal is to supply the sound designers with the flexible, customized equipment packages they need to create an environment in which every audience member feels a connection to the show,” says Dennis Short, Masque Sound. “It’s exciting for Masque Sound to be involved with these productions and we look forward to working with them for many more summers to come.”
About Masque Sound
Founded in 1936 by a trio of Broadway stagehands, Masque Sound evolved into one of NYC’s most successful theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design companies specializing in theatrical, house of worship, sporting, corporate, TV broadcast and live concert events. Celebrating more than 75 years in the industry, the company is lead by Geoff Shearing, the firm’s 3rd generation owner, and Vice President and General Manager Stephanie Hansen. The company also operates Florida-based Professional Wireless Systems, a leader in the development and implementation of wireless technology. Credits range from major Broadway shows and tours including “Phantom of the Opera,” “Mamma Mia!,” “Lion King,” “Jersey Boys,” “Memphis,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Newsies” and “Once” to yearly Super Bowl broadcasts and installations of varying sizes, including New York’s New Victory Theater and historic St. Bartholomew’s Church. Masque Sound’s 70,000 sq. ft. corporate headquarters and main assembly facility is located at 21 East Union Ave., East Rutherford, NJ, 20 minutes from midtown Manhattan. For more information, call (201) 939-8666 or visit www.MasqueSound.com.