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Bill Kirby Sound Design

Sound Design and Engineering for the Performing Arts

Omaha, Nebraska

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Bio

         Bill Kirby with McCarter Theatre's Tony Award for Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.

         Bill Kirby with McCarter Theatre's Tony Award for Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.

Bill Kirby is a professional theatre artist, specializing in sound design and live sound engineering for theatre. Bill recently relocated to Omaha, Nebraska, and is the Technical Director for the Performing Arts at Midland University. Educated at the prestigious Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Kirby spent the last 10 years as the Head Sound Engineer and Resident Sound Designer at McCarter Theatre Center, one of the foremost regional theatres in America, located on the campus of Princeton University.  Bill oversaw an audio department responsible for over 250 live performances per year, spanning theatre, dance, jazz, cabaret, classical, children's events and more.  As McCarter's lead live sound engineer, he has mixed for world renowned artists including Audra McDonald, Josh Ritter, Rosanne Cash, Alan Cumming, Garrison Keillor, Ira Glass and David Sedaris, just to name a few.  Bill played a pivotal role in McCarter's produced theatre series, working with some of America's top sound designers and directors in creating bold new work and fresh takes on classic plays and musicals.  Kirby's most memorable theatre projects include the 2013 production of Into the Woods, which went on to runs in New York and London as well as a national US tour, and 2012's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, which went on the a successful run on Broadway and won the Tony Award for Best Play - an award that McCarter accepted as the developer and producer.  As a freelance designer, Bill has designed for both professional and educational theatre, including the New York Fringe Festival, Passage Theatre, and Westminster Choir College.  Kirby has also served as an associate sound designer, remounting existing productions around the world, including recreating Mary Zimmerman's The White Snake at the Wuzhen Theatre Festival in Wuzhen, China.

Press

Design

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The sound design of William Kirby is probably the best I’ve ever seen. Kirby’s use of sound in the show makes for a truly immersive experience...
— Christopher Elston, Chris' Corner
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Under the direction of Liesl Tommy, the talented ensemble cast is simply amazing. With their Liberian patois, they convinced me I was sitting in the middle of a LURD camp. Everything feels authentic, every line, every situation, every nuance — even the spare set, economically rendered by Carrie Bellinger and lit by Paul Kilsdonk, with a realistic sound design by Bill Kirby.
— Bob Brown, CentralJersey.com
 
Neil Patel’s unit set establishes a realistic parlor and kitchen, rich and vivid in its detail, complemented by Edward Pierce’s effective lighting, which, along with sound effects by Bill Kirby, helps create this world with both realistic and supernatural elements.
— Donald Gilpin, TownTopics.com
 
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The Mill Hill Playhouse stage is one of the most intimate in the area. Matt Campbell’s set design that alternates barn and house is a marvel at capitalizing on this space. The ambient sound and the music between scenes set the tone perfectly, thanks to Bill Kirby’s sound design.
— Bob Brown, CentralJersey.com
 
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A technical team who became cast members in their own right through their transformational attention to every detail. The stormy night, the harsh to soft lighting elements, the subtle staging, and the detailed and plentiful costuming, all take their turn to shine. The technical crew includes the masterful Steven Williams, Bill Kirby and Georgiann Regan.
— Beaufield Berry, Omaha Reader
 

Engineering

The one thing that I insist upon is being able hear clearly and without distortion every witty word in this brilliant score. Imagine, if you will, not being able to clearly understand lyrics like that above. For the excellence of this aspect of the current production, I commend sound designer Darron L. West, who should be sent immediately to oversee the re-engineering in most sound booths on Broadway.
— Simon Saltzman, CurtainUp.com

MEDIA

Sound Mixing

Video Content Courtesy Of McCarter Theatre Center - Sound Mix By Bill Kirby

Into the Woods


 

Sleeping Beauty Wakes


 

Antony & Cleopatra

UPCOMING


 
 
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Indecent

Sound Designer

Bluebarn Theatre

Omaha, NE

March 21 - April 14, 2019


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Bill has been nominated for an Omaha Entertainment and Arts Award for Outstanding Sound Design!

The award winners will be announced at the OEAA Ceremony on January 27, 2019.

curriculum vitae

EDUCATION

2001 - Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama - BA (Hons) - Theatre Studies

1998 - George School - International Baccalaureate

SELECT PROJECTS

SOUND ENGINEER DESIGNER
VENUS IN FUR - 2018 - BLUE BARN THEATRE

By David Ives, Directed by Ablan Roblin

ASSOCIATE SOUND DESIGNER & PRODUCTION SOUND ENGINEER
MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS - 2017 - MCCARTER THEATRE CENTER

Adaptation by Ken Ludwig, Directed by Emily Mann, Sound Design by Darron West. Currently slated for transfer to Hartford Stage in early 2018.

PRODUCTION SOUND ENGINEER
A CHRISTMAS CAROL - 2016 - MCCARTER THEATRE CENTER

Adaptation by David Thompson, Directed by Adam Immerwhar, Sound Design by Darron West. First staging of McCarter’s new annual production.

SOUND DESIGNER
THE PIANO LESSON - 2015 - MCCARTER THEATRE CENTER

By August Wilson, Directed by Jade King Carroll, Composition by Baikida Carroll.

ASSOCIATE SOUND DESIGNER
THE WHITE SNAKE - 2014 - WUZHEN THEATRE FESTIVAL - WUZHEN, CHINA

Adapted and Directed by Mary Zimmerman, Sound Design by Andre Pluess.

SOUND DESIGNER
THE FIGARO PLAYS - 2014 - MCCARTER THEATRE CENTER

Adapted and Directed by Stephen Wadsworth, Musical Direction by Gerald Steichen.

PRODUCTION SOUND ENGINEER
INTO THE WOODS - 2013 - MCCARTER THEATRE CENTER

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Book by James Lapine, Directed by Noah Brody & Ben Steinfeld, Sound Design by Darron West. Currently on a national US tour after successful remounts in New York and London.

PRODUCTION SOUND ENGINEER
VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE - 2012 - MCCARTER THEATRE CENTER

By Christopher Durang, Directed by Nicholas Martin, Sound Design by Mark Bennett. Transferred to Broadway and won Tony Award for Best Play.

CO-SOUND DESIGNER & PRODUCTION SOUND ENGINEER

AN ILIAD - 2010 - MCCARTER THEATRE CENTER

Adapted by Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare, Directed by Lisa Peterson, Co-Designed with Mark Bennett.

SOUND DESIGNER
ECLIPSED - 2009 - MCCARTER THEATRE CENTER

By Danai Gurira, Directed by Liesl Tommy. Original workshop production, which would go on to a Broadway run in 2015.

PUBLICATIONS

Featured in “Sound and Music for the Theatre - The Art and Technique of Design” (Fourth Edition) by Deena Kaye and James LeBrecht. 

Resume

PROFILE

Experienced audio visual technician, sound engineer and designer with 15 years of experience working in a multi- venue performing arts center. I am well versed in all aspects of audio and video design and presentation, as well as audio recording and computer networking of presentation systems. For the last 10 years I oversaw an audio visual department responsible for over 250 performances per year, spanning all forms of performing arts as well as university lectures and conferences.

EXPERIENCE

TECHNICAL DIRECTOR FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS, MIDLAND UNIVERSITY 2017-PRESENT

I am responsible for growing, managing, and directing the Technical Performing Arts program at Midland University. I manage and direct the operation of stage facilities and equipment in the Midland University performance facilities, which includes sound recording and amplification systems, computer lighting systems, stage rigging systems, and box office operations. I recruit, manage, coordinate, and supervise a team of technicians to execute the technical needs of the performing arts programs and events. I also teach students in technical performing arts classes, technical internships, and student work studies.

HEAD SOUND ENGINEER, MCCARTER THEATRE CENTER, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY 2006-2017

As the Head Sound Engineer at one of America's most prevalent regional theatres, I was responsible for the day to day operation of McCarter’s Audio Visual Department, as well as season planning and long term capital improvements. I oversaw a staff of full-time and part-time employees, as well as serving as the lead audio mixer, working on both programing and operating audio consoles and video playback systems. I worked closely with sound designers on produced theatre series productions, many of which went on to national tours and Broadway runs. For presented events I coordinated with tour managers and artists in advance of their visits to the theatre, and facilitated their needs while they were in residence. I also helped train Princeton University students in the operation of the theatre’s technical systems. Additionally, I worked with McCarter’s Education Department on the design and operation of performances and events with children of all ages, and facilitated the studio recording needs of the entire organization.

SOUND ENGINEER, MCCARTER THEATRE CENTER, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY 2001-2006

As a Sound Engineer I was a full-time staff member reporting to the Head Sound Engineer, responsible for assisting in the operation of the theatre’s audio and video systems. I also worked as a Stage Operations team member, assisting in electrics, video, rigging, and scenic load-ins.

SOUND DESIGNER, WESTMINSTER CHOIR COLLEGE, PRINCETON NEW JERSEY 2007-2011

I served as the Sound Designer for Westminster Choir College’s Musical Theatre Program’s annual spring musical. This involved working with the faculty director and musical director in order to best serve the needs of the program’s marquee event, and working with performers training at the highest level.

FREELANCE SOUND DESIGNER, WORLDWIDE 2001-PRESENT

Over the past decade I have worked on a number of productions as a Freelance Sound Designer. This includes main stage shows at McCarter — most recently the 2016 production of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson — and McCarter Theatre Education Department’s annual productions. In addition, I have designed productions at Princeton University and shows at the New York Fringe Festival and Trenton’s Passage Theatre. I have also served as an associate sound designer, overseeing the transfer of productions to new venues, most recently taking Mary Zimmerman’s The White Snake to the Wuzhen Theatre Festival in China.

EDUCATION

ROYAL WELSH COLLEGE OF MUSIC AND DRAMA — 2001
BA (HONS) THEATRE STUDIES, CONCENTRATION IN TECHNICAL THEATRE WWW.RWCMD.AC.UK

SKILLS

Wide range of experience within the professional technical theatre world, including operation of analog and digital consoles, wireless microphone operation, audio system building and tuning, sound and video playback software (SFX and Q-Lab), sound recording and editing (ProTools and Audacity), and communications system management (Clear- Com and Telex). Also competent in a wide range of technical theatre skills, including lighting (ETC systems), and video systems (including CCTV, projectors, and distributed video systems). Extremely technically proficient on both Mac and PC, computer networking, Microsoft Office, Powerpoint, Keynote, and ArtsVision scheduling software.

PUBLICATIONS

Featured in “Sound and Music for the Theatre - The Art and Technique of Design” (Fourth Edition) by Deena Kaye and James LeBrecht.

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