In October of 2017 I received an email from our friend Andrew Neisler.

Andrew and I had worked together a few months prior on Cesar Alvarez’ musical, Noise. He mentioned that he was directing a musical in the spring of 2018 and, having had a great experience with Five OHM on Noise, he was hoping we would be on board to do sound design for the new show called Folk Wandering. I also had a great time working with Andrew on Noise and was excited to say yes to the opportunity to work with him again.

After receiving a few introductory emails I found out that a few more friends from Noise were also participating, the incredibly talented Ellen Winter was going to again be the music director, Chris Bowser would be doing Lighting Design, Ben Hobbs choreography, and Kristy Bodall would be our stage manager.

I also found out that Mike Brun was one of the composers. Mike and I had worked together a few years ago on the second production of Old Hats at the Signature Theater Center. My excitement grew and at our first production meeting Mike discovered that it was me who would be the sound designer. He said that he felt relieved and I very much appreciated his confidence in me.

I attended a few rehearsals at a church in Greenpoint. I love any excuse to go to Greenpoint as several of my favorite restaurants are there. Mmmmmmm…. pierogi. But I digress. It was great to meet the cast. So many talented actors and musicians that welcomed me with the same enthusiasm that I had for working with them.

One of our biggest challenges was finding our A1 and A2 crew members for the show. It was getting close to load in and we still hadn’t found anyone. Finally, the hand of God himself (Mike Lenox) delivered us a saint from Baltimore, by way of Boston, very aptly named Matthew Good. Soon after, an angel named Sarina Rivera manifested out of the cosmos and all was right in the world. I could not have asked for a better crew and I’d like to thank them both for their hard work.

At this point in the narrative I must give special thanks to our friends Dave Horowitz and Iain Fisher for their assistance in getting us up and running. Dave lent us his ears and his brain one early morning before mixing A Bronx Tale over on the Broadway. His help was instrumental in tuning the room and providing general consultation that was very much appreciated by this rather green sound designer. Iain was invaluable getting us set up in A2 world while Sarina was traversing the galaxy to get to us in time for first preview. Superheroes the whole lot of them.

The show was written by playwright Jaclyn Backhaus with music composed by 9 composers of which I would meet three more in addition to Mike Brun. Andrew Butler, who played the characters Talisman and Everett Rues, sang my favorite song, if I had to choose one, of the show called, Tomorrow. Blake Allen played the violin and viola in the show. Finally, I met Joel Escher who dropped in from time to time.

The vibe in the room every day was so uplifting. Everyone felt like family and we were all enjoying ourselves and doing what we love. We made an incredible piece of theatre that we all deserve to be proud of.

The show opened on March 4th and was a wonderful success. The opening party was a blast. Although it was bittersweet because it meant my work as a designer was complete and I was not going to be showing up every day to work with these fine folks. I am sure we will all meet again in another theatre soon. Some of them real soon. Like already happening soon.

Go see Folk Wandering and I hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it!