Best Sound Design

Amanda Bruggeman

The Orange Girls opened their season with Standing on My Knees, an intense melodrama about a poet trying to control her schizophrenia in a manner that will restore order to her life yet not diminish her creativity. The story calls for the poet to play an LP of a Bartók symphony. It was so unusual — yet so authentic — to see and hear an actual record being played onstage. But as it turns out, it wasn't playing at all. Sound designer Amanda Bruggeman, who at the time was still a theater conservatory student at Webster University, had cunningly hooked up two speakers inside the hollow record player. There was nothing flashy about the Bartók moment, nothing that called attention to itself or pulled anyone out of the play's action. To the contrary, the sound served the play in the most helpful manner. Yet that moment was so effectively rendered, viewers were talking about that scratchy LP for weeks afterward — without ever knowing that what they had heard was an illusion.
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