ST. LOUIS, MO, AUGUST 16, 2012—When The Muny kicked off its 2012 musical theater season, Masque Sound, a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company, was backstage, providing audio equipment and services for the St. Louis institution.
Recently concluding its 94th season, The Muny is America's largest and oldest outdoor musical theater, having been a St. Louis tradition since 1919. Masque Sound has been providing AV equipment and services to The Muny for seven years and has enjoyed a long relationship with the organization.
“The Muny is one of the most challenging and unique projects we work on all year,” says Gary Stocker, director of development, Masque Sound. “With a rapid integration schedule, we do not have room for any delays or setbacks. Masque Sound's ability to provide audio equipment, services and solutions under such a tight timeline is a testament to our expertise.”
In addition, because the speakers, consoles, cables and all usable elements are exposed to St. Louis' unpredictable and often stormy summer weather, it is essential that Masque Sound helps the Muny staff protect the gear. These conditions, combined with The Muny's outdoor exposure to the inclement summer weather, make equipment selection and preparation extremely important.
"We can always rely on Masque Sound to provide us with audio solutions that will continue to enhance the audience experience at The Muny," says David Shapiro, Muny's resident sound designer. "When Masque recommended we incorporate a HARMAN Studer digital console into our equipment, it was a game changer. Time is at a premium and the Studer console not only allows sound checks to move a lot quicker, it also proves to be extremely durable. "
The Muny produces all of its musicals in the summer season and operates every year from mid-June to mid-August. During the winter, a full-time staff of less than 20 people prepare for the approaching summer season. During the season itself, the summer staff expands to include more than 700 people in various positions. The outdoor amphitheater seats 11,000 people, with approximately 1,500 free seats in the last nine rows available on a first-come, first-served basis.
“When audio systems are used outdoors, it's not a matter of if there will be a problem but when,” says Jason Krueger, Muny sound designer. “With our unyielding performance schedule, we cannot afford to be without equipment for an extended period of time. Masque Sound's ability to repair or replace the equipment within a 24-hour time period is a huge benefit to us. It's a first-class operation all the way, with resources and staff expertise that is second to none.”
Thoroughly Modern Millie was the first of seven shows this summer at The Muny. Chicago, Aladdin, Dreamgirls, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Pirates! (or, Gilbert & Sullivan Plunder'd) and The King and I rounded out the rest of the summer's scheduled plays.
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 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.