Theatre Student’s Sound Designs Shine Bright at Theatre Festival
Tigerville, SC (February 28, 2019) North Greenville University (NGU) student Evan Hamlin (expected ‘19) from Greer won second place along with the Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas (SILV) Award for Excellence in Technology and Design: Don Childs Award at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) Region IV festival 51 for his original sound designs.
KCACTF’s region IV festival 51 includes college students from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Southern Virginia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The competition took place between Feb. 5 and Feb. 9 in Spartanburg.
Last spring, Hamlin met with all the theatre department faculty members and asked for the opportunity to expand his education beyond merely acting. Hamlin shared his passion for music and film.
“I wanted to test my skills in an unfamiliar area,” said Hamlin. As a result, the theatre faculty arranged for Hamlin to film scenes for “Antigone” and compose the music for “Silent Sky.”
When the production meetings started taking place for “Silent Sky,” Hamlin had the option to choose from using a live band or computer software. Hamlin decided to request the theatre department purchase a program called Logic Pro, a digital audio workstation. With this new software, Hamlin was granted access to hundreds of musical instruments to compose songs with.
Hamlin wrote incidental music for the show. This type of music is intended for the audience to hear, not for the characters performing on stage to react with. Incidental music establishes a tone for the scene. Hamlin also used Logic Pro to create sound effects such as car horns and doorbells.
Having the experience from working on “Silent Sky” gave Hamlin a competitive advantage at KCACTF’s region IV festival 51. Hamlin presented his composition using a laptop displaying Logic Pro loaded with his sound designs along with a cue sheet and a PowerPoint slideshow.
In addition to winning 2nd place for his sound designs, Hamlin was also awarded a one-week masterclass at the Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas. This allows students to pick a concentration of their choice and includes a full-tuition grant, housing, and meals. Hamlin was one of ten designers chosen to receive this honor.
Hamlin plans to attend audio classes at SILV from June 16 through June 21. According to the SILV website, this limited admission event is a “Comprehensive course developed for unique preparation for audio work. Includes but not limited to system design and installation, mixing tips for FOH, playback, and use of digital audio workstations, monitors and mixing for musicians and performers, and RF.”
Judges also selected Emily Smith (expected ‘19), Tanner Dean (expected ‘19), and Abby Gilbert (expected ‘21) to perform a scene from “Silent Sky” during the last night of the festival as a special part of the awards ceremony.
“To see our show come to life one last time was really great,” said Hamlin.
Hamlin explained there are several different theatre conventions that NGU students have the opportunity to attend and he hopes to submit his sound designs for more competitions in the future.
NGU theatre students are currently preparing their material for the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC), in Knoxville, TN from Feb. 27 through March 2. Hamlin shared that this event is much more competitive because it has a larger number of students submitting their work.
The SETC hosts over 300 workshops for theatre students to attend, along with job fairs and talent scouts.
Amy Dunlap, director and chair of NGU’s theatre department, will lead two workshops during this conference, “Actor’s Identity: How to Be Genuine in a World Full of Fakes” along with, “All About the Other: Discovering Deeper Connections.”
Cynthia Lohrmann, assistant professor of theatre costume design at NGU, will present a lecture, “Creative Costumes on a Tight Budget: Beauty and the Beast for $1,500.”
Dale Savidge, professor of theatre at NGU, will teach a class called, “Theatrical Masks in Therapy.”
For more information about the NGU School of Theatre’s upcoming theatrical productions, visit ngu.edu/theatre-season or to learn more about NGU’s theatre degree program, visit ngu.edu/theatre.
Story by NGU’s MAC Team Intern Hannah Hurst (expected ’19)
Photo by NGU’s MAC Team Photography Intern Jordon Conner (expected ’19)
Photo: Evan Hamlin performs in the recent School of Theatre’s production of “Songs For A New World.“