WPU Student to Take on Sound Design for Upcoming Production of Zombie Prom

March 28, 2022

WPU’s Theatre hires someone to help out with sound design for its productions. But this year, for the first time, a student will be in charge. 

WPU’s Theatre will feature the production Zombie Prom April 7-10, directed by Program Director of Theatre Wade Newhouse. 

Senior Blake Privette will be the first student to handle sound production, rather than an outside hire. Privette is majoring in Arts Administration, and post-graduation he hopes to start his own annual music festival in the Triangle. Using music as a creative outlet since the age of 13, Blake jumped at the chance to be an integral part of the show.

“It feels awesome to be the first student given an opportunity like this,” Privette said. “I’m very grateful for the chance and will do everything in my power to ensure a great show.”

Blake Privette

“Blake came to WPU with experience in sound tech and a desire to put that experience into a more complete academic experience,” Newhouse said.  “As we came out of the show drought caused by the pandemic, we immediately turned to Blake as a resource we could use to start to rebuild our pool of artists and collaborators, and in his first production with us, he proved to be an invaluable link between our guest designer and our returning cast and crew.”

Rehearsals for Zombie Prom began mid-February, and Blake’s design team started in early March. Part of Blake’s role includes creating and curating sound effects for use during the show. The sound design team fits the cast with microphones and mixes microphones with the musical tracks during the show. The team works closely with the lighting team and stage manager to ensure everything syncs.

Alumna Assisting with Choreography 

Wade said another exciting component of this production is alumna Deanna Richards, hired as one of the choreographers. Richards graduated from WPU in 2021 with a degree in Musical Theatre.

Richards will co-choreograph Zombie Prom with Lorraine Wilson, a former dance coach at WPU. When Richards was a student, she was on the Prancing Pacer Dance Team.

“We used to choreograph a lot of our dances as a team, so it’s been fun to do that again with her,” Richards said. 

Deanna Richards

On the difference between working on choreography for a production versus an actor in a show, Richards said, “You have to constantly be thinking about the story, the style of the show, and what to convey through movement. But I am having so much fun and everyone has been really receptive so far. It’s also been exciting to see other people doing the choreography I created in my apartment! I can’t wait to see it all come together.”

Learn more and get tickets to WPU’s Zombie Prom production.