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WSD2017|King Lear
1-9 July.Taipei, Taiwan
An extraordinary festival of performance design, including exhibitions, performances
and diverse events,attracted over 15,000 visitors from 71 countries.


Professional Designers

United States of America

Joe Payne

King Lear

Selected Category: Sound Design

Category: Sound Design

Design Statement

Pursuit for Power. Corruption of Power. Loss of Power. Loss of love. Loss of self.
Blinded by pride, a once virile king sinks into madness, while all around him, the people he trusted brutally fight for the power he left behind. Inspired by Game of Thrones and the Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós, and designed with a modern edge and rugged feel, this production explores power and loss within a world equally at the beginning of civilization and on the brink of destruction.
Sonically, the design focused on primitive and unusual sounds and the intersection between earthly elements and emotion. When a king falls, the world falls with him; the sky cracks open, the world and all its creatures weep. Keeping the energy high and complex for momentum, then shifting towards minimalism and pulling inward to the soul, the use of dynamics in volume and texture were significant in conveying power and loss at all times.


Joe Payne

Joe Payne is currently Assistant Professor of Sound and Digital Media at The University of Tennessee - Knoxville, after ten years as resident sound designer for Pioneer Theatre Company, and teaching sound and projection design for The University of Utah and Illinois State University. He has been the sound designer for the Utah Shakespeare Festival for the last sixteen years, and has designed throughout the United States, including Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Syracuse Stage, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, The Virginia Stage Company, and Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. Highlights include: composition for a rock musical version of Euripides’ The Bakkhai, projections for the London-based pop band WRENNE, music and projections for Julius Caesar (featured in PQ ‘07), and music for The Tempest (featured in PQ ‘15). Joe is a member of United Scenic Artists local 829, the Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association, the USITT Sound Commission, and OISTAT Sound Working Group.

Email Address: jpayne32@utk.edu

Theatre Company Utah Shakespeare Festival

The Premiere Date of Production 2015-07-03

The Premiere Space of Production Adams Memorial Theatre

Author William Shakespeare

Director/ Choreographer Sharon Ott

Set Designer Vicki Smith

Lighting Designer Donna Ruzika

Costume Designer Rachel Laritz

Sound Designer Joe Payne