Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association

Last Halloween in Austin, Shakespeare in the Dark: Macbeth took the stage at the historic and allegedly haunted Driskill Hotel. Adding to the spookiness—and giving special power to its sound designer, Emily Duncan Wilson—the show was performed in pitch blackness, with the audience seated in the middle of moving actors and four audio speakers.

When the show, a co-production of Past is Prologue Productions and the Filigree Theatre, was in the planning stage, Wilson gave the producers a wish list of three tiers of equipment. It included “top-tier equipment, middle-tier equipment, and then a list of just the necessities,” she recalled. After the budget was reviewed, only the necessities remained. But Wilson said she found the constraint creatively freeing. “It was awesome,” Wilson said. “In the beginning, it was like doing a radio play.”

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