Directed by Emily Penick
Produced by ACT Theatre/ Red Stage Theater co
Worst than Tigers was an exciting opportunity to collaborate with several alumni from my alma mater on a new play. This play centers on a couple that seems to be going through some marital problems that only intensify on the arrival of a man eating tiger. As a Sound Designer this meant that I had to truthfully create the presence of a large tiger which s never seen. To begin I recorded a large dog that had a vicious growl. I then pitched shifted the growl to match several sound bites of tigers I had in my arsenal. then it was a matter of working with the director Emily Penick to figure out what the tiger was "saying". I wanted the tiger to seem scary but also a tad absurd. In this world it is more then a tiger it is a monster that has the unique ability to draw its victims in through fascination. I also worked with composer Derek Graham to define several themes that could help move us through the play with out losing to much of the humor subtly hidden in the text. Most music choice were intentionally placed to juxtapose the action so that the audience doesn't get too caught in the mellow drama and leave the theater depressed. In all I really liked the way this play came together and am proud to be one of the first designers to tackle this "beast".
Phillip Johnson is a Theatrical Designer and Educator living and working in the Pacific Northwest.