The Talent Behind Blueberry Toast! Part 6

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We were very fortunate to speak with the technical director and the sound designer for Blueberry Toast. Read on to learn a bit about them and why you should see our newest show! Sanow Headshot IIITympanic: What's your name and what drew you to become a Technical Director?

Michael: Michael Sanow. Theatre isn't just actors, it's also all of the little nuances associated with the set, the lights, the sounds, the props, etc.  The set is another character in the show.  It, too, tells part of the story.

Tympanic: What inspiration did you draw from for the design in Blueberry Toast?

Michael: I read the blue prints designed by Set Designer Michael Lewis and built what he drew.  Craftsman, Porter Cable, Sears, Home Depot, and Menards are my inspiration.

Tympanic: What would be your ideal breakfast? OR If you could only eat one thing for breakfast for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Michael: Normally, I don't eat breakfast, but if I do, it's usually the middle of the night after a bender and it's rare, however, I always start my day with a medium coffee with extra cream and extra sugar from Dunkin Donuts.  If I do eat a breakfast meal, I'd have a cup of coffee loaded with the extra cream and extra sugar, and I'd eat a Belgian Waffle with butter and syrup, a glass of OJ, an English Muffin with butter, 8 strips of bacon (NOT well done, must have some bend to them), hash browns (well done), and a bowl of oatmeal complete with sugar and milk.  However, if I could only eat one thing for breakfast for the rest of my life, it would be Lucky Charms cereal and a cup of coffee with extra cream and extra sugar, mostly because I like the marshmallows, but, I'm also somewhat lactose intolerant.

Tympanic: What's the weirdest thing you've ever put on toast?

Michael: I'd have to say joint compound.  Toast can be handy when filling in seams on drywall.

Tympanic: Why should people see Blueberry Toast?

Michael: Because I said so, damn it.  People worked hard on this and it should be seen.  It's that simple.

 

Dan CaffreyTympanic: What's your name and what drew you to become a sound designer?

Dan: My name is Dan Caffrey, and I hate to give the humble-braggy answer of "I just kind of fell into it," but that's honestly what happened. I designed one of Tympanic's earliest shows a while back simply because we couldn't find anyone else to do it (these were in the bad old pre-stipend days), so I learned the ropes of GarageBand and QLab and all that. I'm a huge music and sound nerd, so I enjoy designing from time to time.

Tympanic: What inspiration did you draw from for the design in Blueberry Toast?

Dan: The beautiful thing about Blueberry Toast is that the good stuff is all on the page. Because it's set in real time in a realistic suburban kitchen with only one mandatory in-show cue, there wasn't a ton needed on my end. Sure, there's an argument to be made for including a lot of incidental sound, but as a designer, sometimes it's your job to just get out of the way. And that's mostly what I did here.

That being said, there's an important soundscape at the top of the show before the lights even come up, and I view the pre-show music as equally essential. With both of these cues, Michael and I wanted to establish that this neighborhood as a very nice, peaceful place to live. So I started off with a lot of '70s piano pop, or at least music that sounded like it could be from that era—Laura Nyro, Carole King, Todd Rundgren's more straightforward songs, that sort of thing. From there, we made the decision that the songs should come solely from female musicians, as to reflect the huge stand Barb ends up taking in the play. That led us to using some more modern artists as well, from Stars to Aimee Mann to Jenny Lewis and Rilo Kiley.

Of course, the irony of all this is that the neighborhood in the play turns out to not be a very nice place to live, as the audience discovers pretty quickly. But it was still important to set that sunny, perhaps too bubbly tone from the beginning. 

Tympanic: What would be your ideal breakfast? OR If you could only eat one thing for breakfast for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Dan: They're hell on the stomach and make me logy, but my favorite breakfast food far and away would have to be chicken and waffles. Have you been to Fork? They top them with honey butter and candied bacon. Oh man is it good. There's no way I could eat them every day for the rest of my life though! Unless I was cool with not living past 40.

Tympanic: What's the weirdest thing you've ever put on toast?

Dan: I can't remember if I toasted the bread or not, but one time in college, I made a cake-icing and cookie-dough sandwich because there was nothing else to eat in the house. Most people get really grossed out when I tell them that. But cake is kind of like bread, right? So I viewed it as eating cake.

Tympanic: Why should people see Blueberry Toast?

Dan: I read this script quite a long time ago, and have always been drawn to how minimal yet grisly it is. Mary's writing always says so much with so little, which I'm in awe (and good-naturedly jealous!) of. Also, it's like an hour long, and doesn't even need to be any longer. How many plays can you say that about? 

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Blueberry Toast by Mary Laws directed by Michael Carnow*

February 13th - March 13th Previews begin Thursday, February 11th Thursdays - Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. Sundays at 2 p.m. Athenaeum Theatre, Studio One (2936 N. Southport Ave.) Tickets $20 general, $15 students/industry/seniors

Get your tickets here!

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