Gypsy

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Gypsy was produced by New York University's Steinhardt Vocal Performance department in 2019 and was directed by Jessica Bashline. The show has a reputation of being a huge golden age musical, and this production lived up to that expectation with 25 actors and close to 30 musicians playing over 45 instruments. Combined with a small sound system and no pit divider between the audience and the band, I was in for a challenge.

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The decision to not put the band through the main system was simple. It was already going to be nearly impossible to cut the vocals through the giant orchestra and I couldn't add more instruments to the mix (literally.) With that many musicians, I also couldn't do the individual monitoring needed to keep the level of the pit at a minimum. Instead, I had to rely on monitor speakers covering different sections. The speakers were faced away from the audience to limit the direct sound. The individual instruments had microphones solely for monitoring. We also tried to create a sonic divider between the audience and the orchestra by draping cloth over the front row of seats. It may have helped a bit, but the level of the orchestra meant that I had to work hard to cut the actors' vocals through. The final product was a loud and brash show, which felt like a throwback to the original production's acoustic sound.  

Director: Jessica Bashline

Music Director: Joshua Rosenblum

Scenic Designer: Sylviane Sherwin

Lighting Designer: Jimmy Lawlor

Costume Designer: Emily White

Sound Designer: Megan Culley

Stage Manager: Shannon Stewart

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