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WCA #292 with Jessica Paz – Manhattan Special, Soda Stream, Theater Sound, Women in Audio, Sound Design, Advocacy, and Last Minute Christmas Gifts

Jessica Paz is a Tony Award-winning Sound Designer for theater, film and music. Most recently, she collaborated with Nevin Steinberg on the sound design for Anaïs Mitchell’s acclaimed production of Hadestown, which earned the duo a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award and an Outer Critics Circle nomination.

On Broadway, Jessica was an Associate Sound Designer on projects including Dear Evan HansenBandstandDisaster! The MusicalThe Assembled Parties (MCC); and Fela!.

Other design credits include Little Shop of Horrors (Westside Theater); Kiss My Aztec (Berkeley Rep); Twelfth Night, OthelloMiss You Like Hell, Julius Caesar, A Midsummer Nights Dream, and As You Like It (The Public Theater); Burn All Night (A.R.T Oberon Stage); Ugly Lies the Bone (Roundabout); A Sucker EmCee, and The Muscles in Our Toes (LAByrinth); The Kings Whore (Starcatcher Productions); Becoming Dr. Ruth (Westside Theater); Looking for the Pony (Vital Theater Co.); Women Beware Women (Red Bull Theater); STRETCH – A Fantasia (New Georges); Welcome to Fear City (KC Rep); Scott & Hem in the Garden of Allah, and See How They Run (Barrington Stage); Legally Blonde, and 9 to 5 The Musical (North Shore Music Theater); Romeo & Juliet, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello, and Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare on the Sound’s Productions); SCKBSTD (Virginia Stage Co) ; Volcanoes Birthright (Organic Magnetics); TempOdyssey, And Her Hair Went With HerBookends, and Minstrel Show (NJ Rep).

Jessica has been a Front of House Engineer for musicians including The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Antibalas, Julia Haltigan, Femi Kuti, Lady Antebellum, Candy Shop Boys, People vs. Larson, Michael Arenetta, Bugaboo, Carte Blanche, King Holiday, The Woes, Stone Cold Fox, The African Children’s Choir and many others. She has also been a Lecturer of Sound Design in addition to student advisor for Princeton Universities production of Next To Normal, and was the Sound Designer of the Actor’s Studio Drama School’s yearly Master’s Thesis productions from 2009 – 2014.

Jessica is fascinated by music studio and live concert techniques. She is constantly learning and researching innovative approaches from the traditional music recording world, and bringing them into her theater work. A proud member of IATSE Local 829;; Woman’s Audio Mission; USITT; and Co-Chair of the board of the Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association. She currently resides in New York. Pizza is her favorite food group. 

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Manhattan Special
  • Theater Sound
  • Broadway/Off Broadway
  • Theater Sound Design
  • System Design
  • Audio Teams
  • Audio Roles
  • Mentors
  • Large Budgets
  • Network Audio
  • Rain vs. Audio
  • Women in Audio
  • Theater vs. Club Sound
  • Union Rules
  • Money
  • Passion for Audio
  • Past Jobs
  • Trying to Leave Audio
  • Advocacy

Links and Show Notes:


  • Guest: Jessica Paz
  • Host: Matt Boudreau 
  • WCA Theme Music: Cliff Truesdell 
  • Announcer: Chuck Smith
  • Editing: Anne-Marie Pleau & Matt Boudreau
  • Additional Music: The License Lab