Acclaimed composer Andrew Lynch to design sound, music for Shakespeare’s return to the Auburn mainstage
The work of William Shakespeare returns to the Telfair Peet mainstage Feb. 23-March 1 with “Twelfth Night,” produced by the Department of Theatre and Dance. Renowned sound designer Andrew Lynch will direct the beloved comedy’s sound and music.
Lynch, an assistant professor of theatre in the College of Liberal Arts, will write original music and create the soundscape for “Twelfth Night,” reimagining the classic’s comedy and emotion that still resonates with audiences 400 years after the work was first published.
“It’s a comedy, so it should be a fun experience, but there’s a lot of heart to it as well, so I hope audience members are touched by it,” Lynch said. “With sound design, I hope this is a showcase of what it can bring to a production, and that other students across the university see it as an opportunity for something to explore themselves.”
Sound design is the practice of creating meaning out of sound, including everything from microphones to music. A well-done soundscape has the power to convey the tone, emotion and storytelling of a play, helping audience members understand what they’re seeing on stage.
Lynch said Shakespeare’s work provides ample opportunity to support actors and tell a story with sound and music.
“One of the interesting things about ‘Twelfth Night’ is that there are both dramatic moments, there are tender romantic moments and there are also moments of great comedy,” Lynch said. “It’s important to help give the audience some information about how they should interpret this next beat of the story. So, when a comedic character is about to enter and do something foolish, we can help the audience take that journey by giving them some music and sound that primes them for that experience.”
Lynch is an accomplished composer, sound designer and performer who joined the Department of Theatre and Dance as an assistant professor in fall 2022. His work has been featured at the University of California San Diego, En Garde Arts, Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, HERE Arts Center, WOW Festival and the Houston Shakespeare Festival.
His original theatrical works, including “Le Gourmand,” “Paper Plane” and “Vestige” have been hailed by critics for their “musical abundance” and sweeping soundscapes. Lynch’s performance credits include “Rise and Fall,” “The Disappearing Man,” “In a Sea of Faces” and the Blue Man Group.
In 2022, Lynch was named a Mitchell Fellow in composition and sound design at the Mitchell Center for the Arts in Houston, Texas. He also co-founded Brooklyn’s Cloud City arts space and serves as resident composer of the physical theatre company 3 Sticks. He plays the guitar, piano, percussion, bass and cello.
With more than a decade of professional experience to draw on, Lynch hopes to cultivate talent at Auburn.
“It’s been a tremendous experience and seeing particularly the level of skill, experience and expertise that the students bring to the work is incredible,” Lynch said. “I’ve had the pleasure of getting to work on a lot of different things, and there’s no substitute for experience and getting to work on so many different projects. You learn lessons that there’s just no other way to encounter.”
Later this spring, Lynch will consult on the Department of Theatre and Dance’s production of “Edges,” a musical written by famed lyricists Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. He will then visit New York for a weeklong residency on “Roar” and the world premiere of “Grownup,” a one-woman play at Theater Mitu in Brooklyn.
Finally, Lynch will finish the semester at Wesleyan University with the touring production of PearlDamour’s “Ocean Filibuster,” for which he serves as sound designer.
At Auburn, Lynch guides students through composition, sound systems, mixing microphones live and other skills that make up sound design.
Lynch said his continuing work in the industry allows him to translate new audio technology and interdisciplinary experience to his lessons.
“Each project gives me an opportunity to do deep dive research in a slightly different area,” Lynch said. “Wall to wall sound and music with a bunch of mics on stage that I’m live mixing throughout the piece gives me that kind of experience and insight. And then something like a new play with music, meaning that it’s not a full-on musical, but it features a number of songs, gives me a chance to really put on my songwriter hat and think about how I’m using music and songwriting to best tell that story and support that experience.”
For more information about “Twelfth Night” and to buy tickets, visit the Department of Theatre and Dance’s ticketing page.