Merrimack Repertory Theatre Blog



Next up in a series of interviews with Merrimack Repertory Theatre employees is Jason Weber. Ever wonder how all those lights get hung, or who is responsible for the sound effects you hear during a show? Well that’s just some off what Jason does as the Lighting and Sound Supervisor for MRT.

Where are you from originally, and how did you get your start in theatre?

I am from Euclid, Ohio, on the east side of Cleveland. I started doing theatre as a high school actor, and despite my previous inclinations to go into Architecture, Graphic Design, or American History, I decided that theatre would be a much more fulfilling way of life and chose it as my major in college. There I was exposed to all of the facets of the art form including what I do currently: Lights and Sound.

How long have you been at MRT and what is your role?

2009-2010 will mark my third year at MRT. I am the Lighting and Sound Supervisor. My job is to work with the various guest designers and directors that our theatre jobs-in to make their design visions a reality. I hang and focus lights, run cable, install speakers, mix sound, and various other odd and ends associated with assuring a high quality product for our audience.

What is the biggest challenge you face when working on a show?

Each different show has its own unique challenges. For example, A Moon for the Misbegotten was a transfer from Virginia Stage Company, and in Virginia they created a beautiful moment where a lighting fixture on the floor of the house illuminated Josie in her bedroom and projected her silhouette on the sky behind her. Since MRT’s theatre is constructed differently, it was not possible to come up with right angle for such a “trick.” This is when Andrew Cissna, our Assistant Lighting Designer came up with the idea of projecting a film of her on the sky and lighting her in her room separately. We liked this idea, and it was then our job in the Lights and Sound Department to film the actress, edit the video to make it look like a silhouette, rig up a monitor in the house so that she could watch herself and mimic the video’s movements, and then present the silhouette on the sky properly to allow for the audience to believe that the effect was achieved the same way it was in Virginia. It was a lot of effort that went into a very short, very specific moment that really turned out to be truly stunning.

What is your favorite show from your time at MRT and why?

I’d have to say that my favorite show so far has been The Four of Us by Itamar Moses. I really enjoyed working with director, Kyle Fabel, on the sound design for that production and I thought the performances delivered by Jed Orlemann and Bhavesh Patel were very entertaining. Not to mention, overall, I thought it was a great script. Great scripts almost always make great shows.

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