Peter Wienold sits at a table beside the sound booth with a laptop computer and some notes on a makeshift desk. This is his new era as sound director for Portal Players’ Wizard of Oz.
With the acquisition earlier this year of a new digital sound board, Wienold is able to operate projections, sound effect and music tracks—all from his laptop.
“The show is contingent on this working,” he says. That’s why he has a backup computer as well.
“For me, it’s all abut the timing and following cues in the script.”
Simply put, the digital sound board has computer input that gives the option for surround sound in the theatre. Each actor in Wizard of Oz is equipped with wireless microphones, so they can be heard even from the last row.
Other new technology used for Wizard of Oz include projections of major portions of the background. Teresa Drew (Wicked Witch of the West) drew each of the nine backgrounds and they are projected onto a screen.
Portal Players has also included “green screen” technology for the first time—an exciting addition to their set repertoire, co-director Elliot Drew said.
Steve Fairclough of Dentman Productions in Parksville spent “hundreds of hours” working with Portal Players, Drew said.
“We went down to his studio and shot a bunch of stuff, so we have live interactive projections,” Drew said.
He is excited about using this new technology in more productions in the future. “To have something like that is huge, especially in a fantasy show where you have people flying and globes being thrown.”