Sound Design and Composition

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

by Simon Stephens, based on the novel by Mark Haddon.
Pioneer Theatre Company 2017

Director: Karen Azenberg
Scenic Designer: Daniel Meeker
Costume Designer: K.L. Alberts
Lighting Designer: Paul Miller
Sound Designer/Composer Joe Payne

"Part mystery story, part family drama, part young adult adventure tale, this play follows fifteen-year-old Christopher, who has an extraordinary brain and is exceptional at maths, but is ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. His determination to solve the murder of his neighbor’s dog sends him on a journey of discovery, one that has us rooting for him at every turn."

The sound design and score explored subtlety of texture and the overpowering of senses as it relates to autism and sensory processing disorders. The music was meant to recall elements of math and synapses firing in the brain. All of the design elements centered around storytelling and actor transformation, with a few surprises. We specifically wanted this version to be actor-centric rather than a technological feast. It is definitely interesting to note that the show was almost fully scored and designed from beginning to end. A success in my mind, when it supports the action but doesn't call attention to itself, as noted by some reviewers. As of 2017, this became Pioneer Theatre's best selling straight play in the history of the company. Oh - and we didn't have projections in the show, except for the math problem, post curtain call, which I created.
The hype of the novel’s breakout popularity, leading to the unlikely success of London and Broadway stage adaptations and a national tour, makes it hard to approach Pioneer Theatre Company’s regional premiere with fresh eyes. But this is a winning production, thanks to director Karen Azenberg’s layered, decisive staging. Just one standout element of the show’s technical confidence is Joe Payne’s eloquent sound design, which buoys but never overwhelms the work of the fine cast.  -by Ellen Fagg Weist, Salt lake Tribune Article Link

The sound, designed by former PTC resident sound designer Joe Payne back as a guest designer, was minimal yet impactful. -by Leigh Gibson, the Deseret News Article Link
Music and Effect Sequences

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