BOOTYCANDY officially opens on February 2, and our creative team has been busy working to bring this exciting production to life! We were able to get a few words from Sound Designer Lindsay Jones on the process, and his own work leading him to this point.
Lindsay has quite the design career, but everyone has their start somewhere! For him, it was on the stage.
“I actually started out as an actor. I went to the North Carolina School of The Arts and got a BFA in Acting. From there, I started working as an actor/musician and acting teacher in Chicago. In fact, a fun trivia fact is that I taught [Windy City Playhouse Artistic Director] Amy Rubinstein when I was working at Northwestern University.”
Lindsay found sound design by accident, when a friend of his asked if he would be willing to write some music for a show at his company:
“He said ‘Oh, and you may have to do some sound design too. Is that OK?’ I said yes, without having any idea what I was supposed to do. The show wound up becoming a big hit and suddenly, people were asking me if I would sound design their shows too. Over 20 years later, I’m working all over the country and around the world as a composer and sound designer for theatre. I love it.”
Clearly Linsday made the right choice! His career has taken him all over the world, from Chicago to Broadway, and even London! Over 30 of his projects have been with our own Robert O’Hara– director and playwright of BOOTYCANDY. Much like his introduction to sound design, Lindsay’s long-working relationship and friendship with O’Hara began by accident, but has been filled with admiration:
“Robert and I met when I was working on a production off-Broadway at Primary Stages with a lot of well-known talent, and the producers came to us and said ‘Hey, we’re going to do this other show on the nights when this show is off. Would you like to design it?’ All of the other designers said no, but I said yes, mainly because I wanted to make sure that the sound system would be used properly by both productions. I was introduced to Robert, and he and I immediately hit it off. What I admire most about Robert is his absolute fearlessness. He’s willing to go places that will make audiences confront things about themselves, and he’s not afraid to make people uncomfortable to do it. He is a truly unique voice in American theatre, and I’m just glad to support his work in any way that I can.”
Linsday and Robert have been working together for over ten years, and that includes four productions of BOOTYCANDY. The process was an exciting one, and the duo was not afraid to get creative! The show is filled with a variety of original music – including a new spin on Michael Jackson that becomes a waltz in the production:
“Every design process is different with Robert O’Hara! With BOOTYCANDY, Robert and I were having a conversation about what the music might be for the show. He said ‘I’m really torn. On the one hand, I want it to be Michael Jackson, but on the other hand, I want it to be like Masterpiece Theatre on PBS.’ So, I said ‘Why don’t we make it both?’ So, we took these songs by Michael Jackson and re-contextualized them into these waltzes. Some are orchestral, some are jazz, some are electronica. I think what I was trying to show is the timelessness and universality of Michael Jackson’s songs, and why they appeal to such a wide audience.”
This may be the fourth production, but for Lindsay, each process for BOOTYCANDY has been just as exciting as the first!
“I’ve said this to Robert personally, but for me, BOOTYCANDY is one of those rare plays that I can watch over and over again, and never get tired of it. It’s shocking, it’s hilarious, it’s heartbreaking, it’s absolutely unlike any other play that I know of. It’s a play that dares to cross a line over and over again, and you really can’t believe it’s happening. Seriously, I will keep working on BOOTYCANDY for as long as anyone will let me. I really don’t want it to end.”
Come see the work of Lindsay Jones and the rest of the creative team in BOOTYCANDY at Windy City Playhouse – running from January 25 through April 17! Tickets are on sale now.