Kudos to the cast and crew of “Shrek, the Musical” at the Waterville Opera House. My granddaughter and I attended the Sunday matinee. I was pleased to see some of my Waterville High School drama alumna in the cast.

The cast very professionally maintained character when the sound system malfunctioned in the second act.

It made me ask again why modern theater directors feel the need to use microphones on stage. The Waterville Opera House has had productions on that venerable stage since 1902. You can whisper on the stage and still hit that back wall with your voice.

Microphones often distort the quality of the actors’ voices, especially the girls and women. The orchestra pit was supposed to have been lowered when the most recent renovations were done. It wasn’t lowered, however; it was eliminated. That puts the musicians at stage level. The music quite often overpowers the dialogue.

When I asked about the pit, I was told that the city didn’t want to deal with possible problems with the first-floor ceilings. How sad of them not to understand the dynamics of sound for theaters. We are so fortunate to have the gem that is the Waterville Opera House, but the pit needs to be restored to keep the music in the proper range.

Actors/singers need to learn how to project without straining their voices. Young people today think that isn’t possible; they say they need mikes. Not so, and the 100-year history of this theater proves just that. I believe that microphones have become a status symbol for lead actors.

Let’s hope that someone heeds this letter and does something about the matter.

Louise Marcoux BowkerWaterville

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