#21 Scott Lehrer

The theatrical design community has spent the past two weeks all abuzz over the recently announced decision by the American Theatre Wing to eliminate the TONY awards for Sound Design. On this week’s show we discuss that decision as well as the art and craft of Sound Design with the very first recipient of the TONY award for Sound Design of a Musical, Scott Lehrer. Scott discusses the importance and impact of being bestowed that honor and his reaction to the Wing’s recent announcement. Cory and Scott chat about creating intimate moments in “South Pacific” at the cavernous Vivian Beaumont theatre, and the role of sound in theatre from amplification, to aural landscapes, to musical mixing and the paradoxical nature of trying to recognize an art form that by it’s very nature, often strives for transparency. The podcast is back with a timely and opinionated episode. Enjoy!

Scott Lehrer’s work as a sound designer and engineer/producer can be heard in a variety of media, from Broadway musicals to CDs, TV documentaries, radio dramas, film soundtracks and museum installations.

Theatrical design work includes the 2008 revival of South Pacific at Lincoln Center Theater (for which he received the first TONY Award for sound as well as the Drama Desk) which also toured in the US, UK and Australia. Broadway shows include Raisin in the Sun with Denzel Washington, BetrayalLucky Guy with Tom Hanks, Chaplin (Drama Desk Award), Death of a Salesman with Philip Seymour Hoffman (TONY nom), and the current revival of Chicago (also U.S. tours and London). Also Women on the Verge…, and Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (TONY nom), That Championship SeasonA View from the Bridge (TONY nom), Finian’s Rainbow, Chita Rivera-The Dancer‘s Life, The Frogs, The Caretaker, the 2002 revival of Frankie and Johnnie in the Claire de LuneThe Invention of Love, Tallulah starring Kathleen Turner (National Tour), James Joyce’s The DeadAn American Daughter, Angels in America, The Heidi Chronicles, Once on This Island, My Favorite Year, The Most Happy Fella, A Streetcar Named Desire, Prelude to a KissI Hate Hamlet, and Ah, Wilderness.

Off-Broadway and Regional work include Richard Nelson’s Apple Family Plays at the Public Theatre as well as his new translation of The Guardsman directed by Gregory Mosher at the Kennedy Center, the McCarter Theatre production of Herringbone starring BD Wong, twenty seasons of the Encores: Great American Musicals in Concert series; Regina with Patty LuPone and A Streetcar Named Desire with Patricia Clarkson at the Kennedy Center; A Prayer for my Enemy, Rodney’s Wife, My Life with Albertine, Franny’s Way (Lortel Award), Assassins, Isn’t It Romantic, Sunday in the Park with George, Falsettoland, Geniuses, and Terra Nova at Playwrights Horizons; Dessa Rose (Lortel/Drama Desk nomination), A Man of No Importance, A Fair Country, Hapgood, and The Substance of Fire at Lincoln Center Theater; Little Fish and Saturday Night at Second Stage Theatre; Our Leading Lady, A Perfect Ganesh, The Last Yankee, and Putting it Together at Manhattan Theatre Club and City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival.

A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, Scott was on the faculty of Bennington College from 2002 to 2013, teaching music recording and sound design.


Petition to Reinstate Sound Design Tony
QLab Creator Chris Ashworth’s “Tony Can You Hear Me”
NY Times on the decision to drop the Sound Design Tony


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