In a Word

Two years have passed since Fiona’s eight-year-old son mysteriously vanished. As Fiona goes back over the events she remembers leading upto that fateful day, logic buckles and language breaks.

"In a Word" was a new, award-winning play by Lauren Yee that workshopped at The Williamstown Theatre Festival under the direction of Ethan Heard. In this show, sound served to clarify the complex, nonlinear progression of time over the course of the play. Throughout the show there are flashbacks to various locations - a detective's office, a grocery store, or a school - each defined largely via sonic means. 

The design utilized a quadraphonic 'rep' system to its fullest extent by dynamically panning flashback sounds, accelerating them from the stage to behind the audience, essentially pulling us back in time. The system's cababilities were also harnessed to create a photographer character from prerecorded voiceovers reproduced behind the audience as the cast posed for their photos in front. 

Photo by Sam Hough

Photo by Sam Hough

  • Director: Ethan Heard
  • Playwright: Lauren Yee
  • Lighting: Matt Bathe
  • Set: Ryan Grossheim
  • Costumes: Steven Buechler