Ladies and Gentlemen, We Proudly Present Casey and Maxwell, Designers.
With the show performed in total darkness, many of the more typical theatrical design elements were not needed, but all new ones were. We rely on Casey Bentley and Maxwell Shults, smell and sound designers respectively, to create the world of ...Julia Pastrana. It is our pleasure to introduce them to you!
What's your name, what are you doing on this show, and how did you get involved?
CB: I'm Casey Bentley and i get to be the smell designer!
MS: My name is Maxwell J Shults, and I am the official sound designer / composer for Tympanic.
Are you scared or excited to be doing a show totally in the dark? Why?
CB: Excited and scared. I've never worked on smells for a show before, let alone a show in the dark, so that's exciting! But, I'm a little nervous to be working on a show in a way that I never have before. But, it's a good nervous. I guess I just don't want any of my smells to make anyone barf.
MS: I am super excited, because it's something very unique, but a little scared, as it's hard to fix something in the dark if it goes wrong…
What inspired your designs for this piece?
MS: Josh and I talked a lot about texture & atmosphere, so my main goal was to find the appropriate underlying sound to have consistent throughout the entire play, which I made using my bow guitar (a guitar with four strings tuned to CGcg which I play with a cello bow) and a bunch of effects. The rest of the sound design is pretty much in line with the script (of course with my own subtle touches). What I got to do differently, though, is make even more of the script into songs. There are plenty of places where it calls for Julia to sing (and one place where another character sings), but I took it one step further and made a bunch more music. One of the pieces is something I wrote about 10 years ago after hearing a live, flamenco-style song by Björk, and it never found a home until now. Another piece (which gets reprised twice and then warps into a completely different version) is in a style that I have worked with a couple times and that's always fun…but I don't want to say too much about how it sounds and ruin the surprise…
Check out the soundtrack Maxwell created for Julia Pastrana here.
Was there ever a time you felt judged or maligned for the way you look, like Julia is?
MS: I was made fun of a bit in junior high and then pretty consistently in high school. I was always kind and respectful to pretty much everyone, but I was treated like a "freak" by my so-called peers. I got called a very specific, awful word every single day I went to school, and even got stuffed into a locker once. So…yeah.
In five words or less, why should people come see Julia?
CB: It's gonna stink good.
MS: Songs, smells, and brilliant cast.
Join us Wed, Oct 9, for our industry night performance, and get your tickets for $12!
The True History of the Tragic Life and Triumphant Death of Julia Pastrana, the Ugliest Woman in theWorld
By Shaun Prendergast Directed by Joshua Ellison
Sept 26 – Oct 20 Thurs – Sun, 8pm Berger Park Coach House 6205 N Sheridan Rd (near Granville Red Line)