Brighton Beach Memoirs 2014 Purdue Theatre
Written by Neil Simon | Directed by Richard Stockton Rand | Set Design by Derek Miller | Costume Design by Emily Ganfield | Lighting Design by Greg Freeman
As the play is Eugene’s memoir, he becomes the conduit for all sound in the production. While the sonic landscape exists largely in a realistic context, moments will be subtly altered to make an emotional statement.
A “functional” radio is a large component of the sound design, bringing the context of the world at large into the Jewish family’s home. Comedy programs, news reports, and music all drift into the house through this device giving our family, and audience, a look into the larger drama surrounding this small section of Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach. It’s through the radio that the darkness of the historical climate is subtly suggested for our audience.
The music used in the production is selected from a largely Jewish canon of 1930’s popular songs. These songs often lyrically acknowledge various hardships and struggles, while the music carries hopeful overtones. While sound during the play is presented primarily through the radio, we’re allowing it to spill into other areas of the theatre during preshow, intermission, and directly following the production. A conceived historically correct radio program welcomes our guests into the Hansen Theatre, and world of the play, from the moment that they enter the lobby. Music, period accurate news broadcasts, and short comedy shows are heard in the lobby and house as soon as guests arrive so as to acquaint them to both the time period and the desired emotional feel of our production.