NEW YORK, DECEMBER 29, 2015 — When D.L. Coburn’s Pulitzer Prize–winning show, The Gin Game, returned to the John Golden Theatre (where it first astounded audiences in 1977), Masque Sound, a leading theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design company, helped raise the stakes with a custom audio equipment package for the highly anticipated revival.
Starring two-time Tony Award®-winner James Earl Jones and three-time Emmy®- and Tony Award®-winner Cicely Tyson, The Gin Game tells the story of Weller Martin and Fonsia Dorsey who meet on the porch of their nursing home and strike up a friendship, with Weller teaching Fonsia how to play gin rummy. As they play, they share stories about the lives they led in the outside world. But when Fonsia wins every hand, Weller becomes increasingly frustrated, until their gin games and conversations become a battleground, with each player exposing the other’s failures, disappointments and insecurities.
As the entire play takes place on the porch of the home for the elderly, where the two characters live, Sound Designer David Van Tieghem’s goal was to create the world inside the house behind them, conveying the life and activity within. “The sounds needed to weave seamlessly between background and foreground throughout,” says Van Tieghem. “As is usual with good theatrical sound design, it’s very important to support the play, but remain unobtrusive, not calling attention to the sound unless the script requires it. This play was no different in that respect. There needed to be careful attention to the detail, timing and location of every aural element and I was really happy that Masque Sound was able to provide me with the equipment I needed to bring my vision to the stage.”
At the heart of the custom audio equipment package, supplied by Masque Sound, was a Yamaha CL1 digital mixing console. Van Tieghem chose the Yamaha CL1 not only for its sonic purity but also due in part to its compact size, as the area available for the mixing position was relatively small.
For his speaker selection Masque Sound provided Van Tieghem with a selection from Meyer Sound. The company’s UPJ-1P and UPA-1A speakers were his preference for the main proscenium array which, according to Van Tieghem, delivered the clear, natural sound necessary for the sonic environment that he was creating.
“It’s always a pleasure to work with Masque Sound on any production,” adds Van Tieghem. “They really go the extra mile to make sure we have everything we need to realize our artistic vision, and to ensure that each performance runs flawlessly. In addition, my A1 Brien Brannigan has done a wonderful job in ensuring the show sounds as great as it does.”
The Gin Game’s limited engagement runs through January 10 at the Golden Theatre (252 W. 45th Street). For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.thegingamebroadway.com
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 led by the firm’s third generation owner, Geoff Shearing. 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, The Book of Mormon, Once, Kinky Boots, Aladdin and Fun Home to yearly Super Bowl broadcasts and installations of varying sizes, including Western Connecticut State University, the Jim Wise Theatre at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and the historic St. Patrick’s Cathedral. 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.