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Julian Wiles, Founder and Producing Artistic Director
Marybeth Clark, Associate Artistic Director

October 26, 2011

The Daily Vampire: The Sounds of Thunder and More

Filed under: Back Stage Blog — julianw @ 10:48 am

What would a production of Dracula be without sound effects—and in this production, the goal was to create almost horror movie like sounds throughout the play. Also we’ve added surround sound to the theatre’s sound system allowing spooky sounds to come from all over the theatre.

“We decided to invest in the equipment necessary to create surround sound effects in the Dock, in particular for this show, to really engulf the audience in the spooky experience that the Dracula script calls for,” says Sound Designer Amanda Wansa. “Current audiences are used to surround sound in the movie theatres, their cars, and even at home. There’s two benefits to having this kind of system in a theatre. The first is the obvious ability to project sounds from specific locales, such as the wolf howls in Dracula that come from the back of the house, indicating that they are in the distance, ‘behind’ the audience. Likewise, many of the thunder, storms, winds, and whispers have effects coming from the back of the house, and bouncing to the front (it creates a moving effect).”

“The other benefit, which is less heard by the common ear (but trust me, your ear buds will thank us later) is the dissemination of the sound. Instead of having a loud thunder crash or underscore cue come solely from the 2 speakers up front at fairly loud volume, we can put them in 4-6 speakers at a lower level and spread out the sound.  The audience still gets the same volume, but its easier on the ears, easier on our system, and just plain cooler to listen to from multiple angles!”

Dracula continues this weekend for four more performances! Running Oct. 27, 28, and 29 at 7:30pm and Oct. 30 at 3:00pm.  Don’t miss your chance to experience surround sound in the Dock Street Theatre!  Purchase tickets online at


From left to right: Charleston Stage Resident Actor Josh Harris as Abram Van Helsing, Garrett Flood as Norbert Briggs, Michael David Wilson as Robert Renfield, and Resident Actor Derek T. Pickens as Dr. Thomas Seward.



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