An Open Invitation to Theatre Technicians and Designers


My name is Lucy Peckham. I’m an Anchorage-based theatre sound designer and composer. With the support of the Rasmuson Foundation and the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA), I’m sponsoring an open course in QLab, the most widely used and best-supported theatre cue-triggering program, on February 1–3, 2019, in Anchorage.

The course will cover all aspects of the program and will be taught by two instructors from Figure 53, the company that created and supports the program. Dan Anteau, head of the Theatre Department at UAA, is partnering with me to host the class, as well as providing the facility and demonstration equipment.

If you are not familiar with QLab, please explore the Figure 53 website to learn more—but, in brief…QLab 4 is a highly flexible cue-triggering program that will trigger sound, music, MIDI programs, lights, projections, video, and special effects. It can be run off a Mac Mini computer, so it is relatively inexpensive and has the potential to expand your technical theatre abilities and creative possibilities enormously.

This October, a single eight-hour “introduction” class was offered at the Live Design International convention in Las Vegas. It cost $425 if you registered early, $525 if you didn’t. It was not taught by anyone from Figure 53, and additional costs included airfare, lodging, and convention registration.

By using funds from my Rasmuson grant, the Qclass in Anchorage will only cost each participant $100 for three full days of training, not just an “introduction.” Housing assistance will be offered to interested out-of-town participants, and there will be some communal meals. I want this to be possible/affordable for anyone to attend!

Why am I doing this? Because technical theatre in Alaska deserves a boost! I believe there is so much creativity here, and it is limited by a lack of accessible continuing education. Because the Alaskan theatre-going public travels, and sees theatre elsewhere, and knows that more is possible. Because movies, games, Youtube, and all the other forms of entertainment available today demonstrate the extent of technical possibilities.

I don’t think theatre needs to be a cinematic experience by any means. We don’t need to compete with movies or with Broadway, but I do believe that, by putting new tools in the theatrical creative tool box, we can improve the experience of Alaskan theatre-goers, engage younger audiences, and inspire our own creativity.

It’s been said that the more you love your job, the more important it is to train your replacements. I love my job as a theatre sound designer/composer very, very much! I want to inspire you to take this class with me and learn to use QLab 4 in theatres around the state.

Please consider attending, or sending a theatre technician from your staff, or a volunteer designer from your community theatre, or a student considering a career in technical theatre, or any interested person. All one needs is a Mac computer running OS 10.10.5 (Yosemite) or more recent OS. A fully functional demo version of QLab 4 will be provided for the class period (plus one additional week beyond the class period).


Sam Kusnetz has been designing, composing, photographing, filming, stage managing, and solving all manner of theatrical challenges for over twenty years. Favorite sound designs include the world premiere of When We’re Gone at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, Frost/Nixon and One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest at Portland Center Stage, and The Gravesend Inn Haunted Hotel at CUNY CityTech. He’s also worked as an associate designer on Broadway (The Price), off-Broadway (Lincoln Center, Second Stage, New York Theatre Workshop, The Public, The Atlantic, SoHo Rep, Cherry Lane, and others), and regionally (Berkeley Repertory, Portland Center Stage.) Sam is a proud member of United Scenic Artists and of the team at Figure 53, and he is the founder of Team Sound.

Allison Clendaniel is a composer, sound designer, performer, and musician living in Baltimore, Maryland. Her work encompasses sound, extended vocal technique, technology, and theatre. An avid advocate for the arts, she is artistic director of Mind on Fire, a modular chamber orchestra, and cofounder of Feral Woman, a theatre troupe in Baltimore.



Save the dates February 1–3! I will ask for commitments and payment by January 1 via a follow-up email. You do NOT want to miss this rare opportunity.

All the best,

— Lucy

Lucy Peckham
A 2018 Rasmuson Foundation Project Grant Recipient