Amplified Speech in Live Theatre, What should it Sound Like?

University essay from Luleå tekniska universitet/Institutionen för konst, kommunikation och lärande

Abstract: Sound on-stage has always been part of the theatre experience. Today the usage of microphones to amplify speech is very common and has become more of a rule rather than an exception. This study investigates amplified speech in live theatre. The goal was to understand the sound engineers’ choice in how, when and why they would apply certain techniques when amplifying speech in live theatre. Six theatre sound engineers were interviewed using a semi-structured form and the analysis was of a grounded theory. The interviews were conducted via skype where both video and audio were recorded. Four main categories were created; microphones, voices, aesthetics and technical, and subcategories were developed from the interviews. The research showed that theatre engineers strive to optimize the illusion for the theatre audience to believe that during the performance, they’re located in the same world as the actors are located in.   

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