The Entertainment Production department at NESCom invites high school students, their families and their educators to a backstage experience of the Nite Show, which now tapes in the Gracie Theatre at Husson University.Tickets for this backstage tour at Husson University in Bangor are free, but limited to 25 people per show. The backstage tour includes a pizza dinner, and an introduction to programs of study at The New England School of Communications (NESCom). Areas of focus related to the show include: Video and audio production, stage management and lighting, scenic design and construction, and other skill sets. For more information, contact Assistant Professor Brave Williams at email@example.com or call 207-941-7195.
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Students and staff at Husson University are welcome and encouraged to audition for the sixth radio drama produced by WHSN-FM in conjunction with NESCom’s Entertainment Production and the Live Sound Audio Program at NESCom.
Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery & Imagination 2014
“The Murders In The Rue Morgue”
Presented by WHSN-FM, NESCom & Husson University
Auditions will be Tuesday, September 23rd from 6:30 to 7:30 PM in the Gracie Black Box Theatre (upstairs at the Gracie Theatre) on the Husson University campus.
It all started with a holiday production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, which was then followed by Halloween presentations of THE TELL TALE HEART, THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO, THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER, THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH and THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM. This year we will present our first 60 MINUTE Poe Show… one of the first detective stories ever written…. THE MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE!
The show will be performed on the stage of the Gracie Theatre on Thursday, October 30 before a live audience, and will be broadcast simultaneously by WHSN-FM. In past years, the annual Poe radio Show has received awards from the Broadcast Education Association. Last year’s production is up for an award again from the BEA, and is also a finalist for the Pinnacle Award, presented by the College Media Association.
The Audition procedure will be pretty simple and fun. Auditioners will be asked to read from script selections. So, be ready to use your most effective 1940’s radio voices.
This year’s production is looking for the following voices:
Announcer (1940’s Radio Voice)
Narrator (Dr. Watson-type)
Auguste Dupin (Amateur detective)
Officer Muset (Paris Gendarme)
Sailor (Seaman with a Soul)
Multiple Female Cameo Roles (Need to be able to SCREAM!)
Multiple Male Roles (Character Voices)
Additionally, the show requires live Sound Effects artists, who will create all of the sounds for the show live, during the performance
Please join us on September 23rd to help celebrate Halloween by auditioning for our Sixth broadcast of TALES OF MYSTERY AND IMAGINATION BY EDGAR ALLAN POE!
Inquiring minds need to know – What’s going on at NESCom? As usual, there is a lot of activity because summer is our time to plan, build, and repair. We can unveil a few at this point, and we’ll report on more as the summer progresses.
• One of our labs (room 219) will become the new location for our IT staff, and that lab will be designed, expanded from 13 to 18 stations and moved into 306 with new 2.9 GHz iMacs
• Two other labs (rooms 105 and 109) will be re-equipped with new Apple Mac Pro’s with 27” Thunderbolt displays and dual graphics cards to HD editing and 3D rendering capacity. Apple has packaged this beast in a neat new case. Take a look at http://www.apple.com/mac-pro/
• We will deploy Apple’s latest operating system (we thought it would be OS X Mavericks, but with the announcement at the Apple Developer’s Conference a few days ago, it could be Yosemite) on all of our computers.
• Our Analog AV switcher will be replaced with new AirPlay technology to increase speed of HD file transfer.
• In the Gracie, the Yamaha PM5D audio console is being replaced with Yamaha’s updated console, the CL3 and associate outboard gear.
• The laptops for our Apple Cart will be replaced with Apple MacBook Airs.
• Brave Williams and a crew of Entertainment Production students have designed and are now building the set for the Nite Show with Danny Cashman, from which we’ll broadcast this fall, in our own Gracie Theatre.
• “The Tale of Three Brothers” is being entered in film festivals around the country. We’re looking at several possibilities for our next major film project.
NESCom faculty, as usual, are busy this summer. Walter Clissen is in Europe (primarily the Netherlands and Serbia) working with Dragana and Jose Feliciano on an album project, and working on audio post for a film to be released in Europe. Here is Walter at the Studio Barba in Belgrade. For those audio geeks, that’s an AMEK 9098i (originally designed by Rupert Neve).
Wells Gordon is busy recording, both as an engineer and as a musician. Here’s a shot of Wells multi-tasking at our API 1608 while laying down the bass track for some nice Blues.
Ken Stack has a gig at The Grand in Ellsworth, entertaining the “summer folk” as the artistic director for a new production of Monty Python’s “Spamalot”.
Larry Ayotte is finishing his project on Reflections – the use of reflective surfaces in photography. If you haven’t seen one of these, check this out:
With the recent focus on train safety, Frank Welch is working on an industry video project about the extraction of personnel from train engines that have been in an accident. Here is a photo from the set in Chicago:
Looking forward to the next installment on the blog, I think I’ll write about our fiber optic cable installation project around campus. Stay tuned for this layman’s discussion of a technical area.
As always, if you have any questions, please send an email or call.
Over the past week NESCom played host to everything from equipment upgrades to a world-renowned audio engineer to award-winning writers and directors. Here is a brief sampling of what a busy week at NESCom looks like.
We welcomed Hitachi technicians into our video production studio. Emilio Aleman and Chee Liew were here to update our fleet of mobile unit and studio video cams with new components, enhancements and software. This is part of the great service that our partners like Hitachi, provide to us. By staying ahead of the curve, our students gain access to the latest Hitachi ideas and are better prepared for their careers. On another stop, a roving photographer caught the practice of two Husson teams on a great sunny day. Below you’ll see some of the Eagles preparing for their next competitions. In the category of “you-never- know-what-to-expect-at-NESCom”, we received a call from the producers asking us to do a quick ADR session with one of the actors of USA Network’s Graceland. It so happens that Brendan Powers, who plays the role of Agennt Cranston on Graceland, was in Bangor performing in Penobscot Theater’s production of “Our Town” running from April 24 through May 11. The cast for “Putnam County Spelling Bee” (May 2,3 &4) was in rehearsal in the Gracie’s Black Box Theater, which resulted in a few pics. A late night stop by the Gracie itself found the semi-finals of “Husson’s Got Talent” in full swing. The new woofers from Meyer Sound really pump up the low end! Husson’s Got Talent is an annual campus competition that has grown to be quite a big event. Thursday night in the Gracie Theater, the NESCom chapter of the Audio Engineering Society welcomed world-class mastering engineer Bob Ludwig for a presentation. Ludwig owns Gateway Mastering in Portland, Maine and has mastered countless classic albums and modern hits like Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories. Finally, on Friday, NESCom partnered with the Maine Film Office and the Maine Video & Film Association to host a filmmaking workshop with the award winning writing/directing team of alumnus Aron Gaudet (’96) and Gita Pullapilly. Their latest film, Beneath The Harvest Sky, was filmed in Maine and had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and its US premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.
This May, The New England School of Communications at Husson University will present the award-winning musical, The 25th Annual Putman County Spelling Bee in the Gracie Black Box Theatre. This is the second musical that has been presented in the school’s experimental theatre. Last year, Studs Terkel’s Working – The Musical launched the space as an intimate alternative performance facility on the Husson campus.
Winner of the Tony and the Drama Desk Awards for Best Book, The 25th Annual Putman County Spelling Bee has charmed audiences across the country. The story focuses on an eclectic group of six high school students who vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home life, they spell their way through a series of [potentially made-up] words, hoping to never hear the soul crushing, pout inducing, life un-affirming “ding” of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves! At least the losers get a juice box! The show is a riotous ride, complete with audience participation. With upbeat, clever music and lyrics by William Finn, and satirical book by Rachel Sheinkin, Spelling Bee gives us a comic and insightful look into youthful aspirations, the overwhelming joy of victory and the bitter-sweet tang of defeat. The musical pulls no punches, and is recommended for mature audiences only.
The NESCom production is staged by Christie Robinson, who is well-known to the Bangor Theatre community, assisted by another local favorite, John Haskell, the music director of countless area musicals and revues. The cast of Spelling Bee misfits will be performed by NESCom’s Musical Theatre Performance class.
Robinson sums up the essence of the play in her director’s notes: “We all have our quirks that make us unique and different. We’ve been teased, had times of being cool or uncool, struggled to be seen for who we truly are (not who others want us to be), had embarrassing acne and let our freak flags fly. You don’t need to look very hard to recognize a little bit of each of us in the characters of ‘the Bee’. Whether this brings back feelings of the good, the bad and the ugly of adolescence, I hope it brings back a feeling of nostalgia. That no matter how high your freak flag flies, you mattered and made a positive difference in someone’s life – win or lose.”
The performances are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, May 2 – 3 at 7:30 PM and on Sunday, May 4th at 2:00 PM. The Gracie Black Box Theatre is located on the second floor of the Gracie Theatre on the campus of Husson University. General Admission tickets are available at the door before each performance. Ticket prices are $5.00 Regular Admission and $3.00 Student admission. Seating is limited to 50 seats for each performance, so get there early, and be prepared to laugh… and maybe to spell!
The radio drama involves work from the Radio Broadcasting, Live Sound Technology and Entertainment Production departments at NESCom as well as live accompaniment by pianist Michael Rancourt.
The Entertainment Production program happily announces its plans to produce The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee for its Spring Musical Production! The production is set for April 25th, 26th & 27th, 2014! Following the success of last year’s WORKING – THE MUSICAL, which launched the Gracie Black Box Theatre space, this production will again be the focus of the MUSICAL THEATRE PERFORMANCE class (formerly ACTING II), and hopes to bring together the talents of many different courses, all dedicated to bringing this entertaining and delightful musical to life.
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a long one-act musical comedy conceived by Rebecca Feldman with music and lyrics by William Finn, a book by Rachel Sheinkin and additional material by Jay Reiss. The show centers on a fictional spelling bee set in a geographically ambiguous Putnam Valley Middle School. Six quirky adolescents compete in the Bee, run by three equally-quirky grown-ups. The 2005 Broadway production was nominated for six Tony Awards, winning two, including Best Book.
The EP production will be staged by Christie Robinson and John Haskell will return as music director.
Mark your calendars for this event in late April. It is a show you don’t want to miss!
For the fourth year in a row, students of the New England School of Communications will produce an old fashioned radio drama adaptation of the work of Edgar Allan Poe. The half hour dramas, which began in 2010 are performed live from the stage of the Gracie Theatre at Husson University and aired live on 89.3 FM, WHSN.
Each years show highlights pieces of Poe’s work including The Raven, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Tell Tale Heart and the Cask of Amontialldo. The 2013 installment of “Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination” will feature “The Masque of the Red Death” as well as the Poe classic “The Pit and the Pendulum”.
Auditions are set for Tuesday, October 8th from 6-8PM in the Black Box Theatre (located upstairs at the Gracie Theatre). Auditions will include
casting for performers and for live sound effects crew. There will also be a need to tech positions as well including stage crew, lighting design and costuming.
The 2013 Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination will take place one night only on Wednesday, October 30th, 7:30PM at the Gracie Theatre. Admission is free to be part of the live audience or listen in on 89.3FM in the Bangor area or whsn-fm.com worldwide.
Entertainment Production students and faculty at the New England School of Communications got a close up look and demonstration of some elegant scenic automation gear when Ian Donahue of Creative Connors Inc. visited the campus on September 10th. Describing their systems as “plug and play,” Ian demonstrated how automation can be programmed to revolve a stage, pull or push scenery, elevate and lower set pieces, operate curtains and more. Equipment from Creative Connors is the most widely used automation gear in U.S. Regional Theaters and they supply many touring productions with automation systems. Knowledge of stage automation gear and protocol is a significant advantage for stage technicians today.
NESCom loves to hear from graduates. Here, we catch up with 2013 Entertainment Production graduate Stephen Wells. Since earning his degree from NESCom, he has traveled to Nashville, TN where he is now Director of Productions for Nashville Event Lighting.
Director of Productions
Nashville Event Lighting
We are always happy to hear from alum. If you’d like to send us an update, email Alumni Director Mark Nason firstname.lastname@example.org