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Stop Kiss - Sound Design

Written by: Diana Son

- Ithaca College Clark Theatre Spring 2021

Directed by: Paula Murray Cole

Scenic & Costume Design: Ben Kaufman

Lighting Design: Chris Perrone

Sound Design: Beth Truax

PSM: MacKenzie Seewagen

Photos Taken by Ben Kaufman

**Stop Kiss was performed following the Covid Guidelines of Ithaca College and Tompkins County New York

My Team:

Sound Engineer & Initial System Designer: Ariana Cardoza

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Stop Kiss by Diana Son is a play about the exploration of one’s self and cultural identity. Set in New York City in 1998, it follows two women with different backgrounds and approaches to life, and both new to the idea of identifying with the LGBT+ community. Following a non-linear timeline, the audience watches scenes from when they first met, the growth of their connection, the trauma that threatens to break them apart, the beginning of the recovery process, and their first kiss. This show is important as it portrays the navigation of new identities and overcoming the challenges they might bring.

As a design team, we discussed a lot about how this show relates to our current world (then 2020-2021), especially how the challenges the characters face involving identity and their place in society are relevant in issues we see today. As well as, how these long standing social inequities and injustices have led to the demand of necessary and permanent changes. We wanted to highlight the importance of the connections we make with other people, and how it can strengthen our lives and help us overcome and face challenges and trauma while promoting growth.

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The sound design of Stop Kiss had several goals:

1. To help ground scenes in specific locations, given the abstraction of some scenic elements.

2. Create seamless and meaningful transitions between scenes and locations.

3. To expand even more on the character Callie, and her relationship not only with Sara but also the world she lives in.

In order to achieve these goals, various environmental pads were layered to create some of the different locations including Callie's apartment, the hospital, the police station, a coffeeshop, and street outside. Throughout the show these environments also changed in order to show the passage of time in between scenes, from time of day to actual weeks of time. 

Transitions that incorporated music were also chosen to show a certain passage of time as Callie's character changes and grows throughout the show. 

All the transition music along with the songs used to underscore different scenes were curated into "Callie's Playlist," meant to be an aural representation of Callie, who she used to be, who she is now, how she reacts to the events around her, and how she is comfortable expressing herself in relationships. We wanted it to feel like an extension of her character, while also being a way to move through the show.

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