Photo Credit: Pollyanna Eyler

A family’s mourning is interrupted by a ghost as Eliza tries to figure out the truth behind her grandmother’s death.

Hysterical was a student directing project I was the sound designer for. It was produced in October of 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, and due to social-distancing restrictions in place at this time, this production was produced entirely online. This production utilized technology such as Zoom and OBS to allow actors to perform remotely from their homes, while still creating the illusion of all of them being together in one room.

When it came to curating sound effect for this show, the director and I both went through the script, notated any sounds mentioned in the script or that we wanted to add in. From there I created an engineer script for the technician that would be running sound for this show.

Hysterical heavily features a ghost, and the director wanted to use sound not only to create the presence of the ghost (until she appears to the family at the end of the play), but to uphold the ambiance of the setting. The majority of the effects for this show were pulled effects layered and edited for our needs.

We used wind to help indicate the ghost’s presence and actions in the world. We also used footsteps with an added reverb effect to help establish the ghost’s movement as she became more active throughout the play.

Overall this show was a fun experiment in some more cinematic audio techniques to help immerse our audience in the world of the play from where ever they may have been watching.