Intimate Apparel

by Lynn Notage directed by Christine Menzies
designed for Studio Theatre, Cal State Northridge opened: November 21, 2008

Music

All the music I pulled for Intimate Apparel was a piano rag, classical piano, or klesmer music. Christine Menzies wanted our production to appear as a memory play, so I was careful to take the audience in and out of the action at the top and end of acts. When bringing the audience into the act, the audio was treated to sound like it was being played through an old phonograph. As the scene started on stage, the veil lifted, the scratchiness of the record disappeared, and the music became more vibrant.

The script calls for leading women to play and sing a specific rag, and Christine wanted this to happen live. I wrote an easy piano rag that the two women could perform without too much trouble. It is called "Give me a Man."

Give Me a Man Rehearsal Track Download Link
Give Me a Man Sheet Music (PDF - 64k)

Paperwork

Sound Cue Sheet (PDF - 44k)

Design Concept

Intimate Apparel requited incredibly delicate cueing to work correctly. The Studio theater was an extremely cramped space for the production, but we wanted to keep transitions tight. Many different locations were utilized in a short amount of time, so sound was integral to establishing scene. I was careful to pick a different style of music and different ambiences for each setting, all while making sure the chosen tracks reflected the mood at the moment.

Design Analysis

I am very pleased with how this production turned out. This show required a greater attention to detail in terms of timing of cues than any production I had worked on before. I wanted to make sure the cues timed out so that the music didn't fade out too jarringly, and I believe I was successful. Crossfading between distressed and undistressed copies of the same music worked incredibly well and it is a technique I plan to utilize again in the future.