Meet the Sun Lakes Community Theatre’s sound man, Dave Stevens. He has been a member of the theatre since 2005 and became the sound man at that point. Every season he spends approximately 400-500 hours of his time volunteering for the community theatre each year.
Dave just happens to have the talent needed to keep the Community Theatre going when it comes to sound. For each show, he designs the sound program, developing sound effects and music, as well as determining how the sounds of the show will be captured for the audience. He and his crew maintain the equipment and mic the actors and test the sound for feedback and clarity prior to every show. Another important step is to mic the stage manager, house manager, lights and sound so they can communicate during the show and prior to the show and intermission. But in addition, Dave also works to bring in the necessary sounds during the productions themselves, i.e., the sound of a doorbell, a ringing phone, running water, gun shots, trains and more. Dave finds himself lost in his work for hours just listening to and perfecting the pitch, depth and duration of each of these sounds.
In our most recent stage production, An Olde Time Radio Show, he not only had to improvise to find ways to create sound live from the actors, but he designed some of the sound props too, i.e., the old fashioned microphones used on stage, the police siren, the old fashioned radio and more. His favorite prop was using an old hot water bottle to make the sound of tires screeching.
When you enter the theatre you listen to background music all choreographed by Dave in keeping in tune with the theme and era of the show, or just enhancing our patron’s experience. He knows how long the breaks will be and what would be appropriate for the audience at that time. Nothing is left to chance.
Dave also ensures that the microphones on the stage, the speakers, receivers, etc. are all working for each show. And he does it all with quiet expertise. Some repairs he completes himself while others need to be sent out for more extensive work.
When our Children’s Theatre hits the road to perform for over 3,000 students in the Chandler Elementary schools, Dave makes sure that they have the sound effects they need recorded and batteries and connection equipment needed to ensure students have an enjoyable experience.
Dave is oftentimes called upon in support of activities and other things as well such as providing sound for the Easter Parade and the Holiday Party at Cottonwood, providing sound for the Chordaires Chorus annual show and the recent Doo Wop productions.
Dave and his wife, MaryAnn, along with Bob Hollar, Bob Peck, Norm Harris (also in charge of SLCT lighting), Wanda Johnson and Kathy Jones make up the sound crew. “We are grateful to have them all volunteering for the theatre”, says President Sandy Bocynesky and we are especially grateful for the expertise and leadership of Dave Stevens.”
Sun Lakes Community Theatre is a 501c3 non-profit organization which is open to all residents of Sun Lakes and SunBird. To learn more or to apply for membership, go to www.slctinfo.com.