Alum spotlight: Lucas Indelicato (BFA ’97)

man outdoors in front of set

Lucas Indelicato, BFA in Technical Theatre, 1997

Lucas is Head of the Audio Department for the Lyric Theatre, which hosted Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, (with 500 sound cues). Here’s his update. “We’re re-teching the show for a new version this fall with a 3:30 running time and two intermissions. I went in twice to collect some personal items over the last year or so, and it was eerie to see how we really just left one day and never came back. It’ll be good to get back into the building I’ve come to think of as a second home.”

Lucas actually started at VCU as a performance major, “Mainly because I didn’t know there was anything else out there.” Lou Szari, Retired Head of Lighting Design, talked him into switching to tech, but according to Lucas, “There was no sound design program, so I took some classes from the music department and brought that knowledge back to theatre.” He also worked on 14 – 16 sound designs for department shows.

Lucas’ appreciation of theatre started with his parents, “They would splurge for season tickets to Barksdale Theatre in Hanover ever since I was a child in Hopewell, so we went from horse country to money country…a different world.” Later, while a student at VCU, Lucas ran shows at Barksdale Theatre for $25 a night. Upon graduation, he got offered a sound job at the Virginia Museum Theatre for $300 a week, but “I’d already decided to try my hand in New York.”

Lucas working on the load-in of the system at the MUNY (Municipal Theatre
Association of St. Louis)
for the 2017 season. The MUNY is a resident producing company and
not for profit; the theatre, located in Forest Park, St. Louis MO. Is the largest venue in North
America dedicated to Musical Theatre.

In the summer of 1997, Lucas landed a mixing job for Tap Dogs. He also started working at The Joyce Theatre in New York, “the mecca of modern dance performance.” As a result, Lucas travelled around the world for twenty years running sound with acclaimed Performer and Choreographer Meredith Monk. When asked about doing audio for dance work, Lucas explained, “We had a seven piece orchestra with bizarre instruments that required unusual mic techniques, so it was a great place to learn and grow.”

Later, he took “an ill-fated job on a cruise ship.” He left almost immediately, and ended up at the Jane Hotel for four months. While he was still looking for gigs, he got a page (it was the 90’s after all) to call the theatre in the building. He put a quarter in the pay phone (again, the 90’s) and called the company manager for Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Turns out the sound engineer couldn’t come in and they asked Lucas how quickly he could be there to run the show, “I’m three floors above you!” He got to the mix the show that night.

A photo of Lucas’ MUNY ID at a backstage workstation.

Later jobs include work at The Public Theatre including Shakespeare in the Park for two seasons. He was also sound engineer for Joe’s Pub, an intimate space at the Public, and later became sound engineer for the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre on the Lincoln Center Campus, where he stayed for five years.

While on a two year tour of Chicago, he met his wife, Michelle Tamagawa, who was the assistant company manager, “she gave me my paycheck every week.” Michelle now works as a general manager for Broadway shows.

Lucas (left) with drummer Ed Shea, Theatre at the Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi.
Chicago the Musical tour, 2007

Lucas’ first Broadway show was the 2009 revival of West Side Story, but there have been many more including Priscilla, Queen of Desert; One Man, Two Guvnors; Pippin; Aladdin; Honeymoon in Vegas; and Finding Neverland.

Lucas at his Studer Vista 5 console for West Side Story, 2009.

Before Harry reopens on November 12, Lucas has worked on production audio for Pass Over, which was the first show back on Broadway. “We got a peek into dealing with COVID compliance and wearing masks, doing daily tests and working in bubbles. The model we used works and will allow Broadway to come back.”

Header image:
Lincoln Center Restart Stages, 2021. Photo taken on the temporary outdoor Stage at Hearst Plaza on the Lincoln Center campus. The Metropolitan Opera House is in the Background along with the NYPL- Performing Arts Library. The Restart Stages program is part of the city’s initial push to reintroduce live entertainment to the community as we come out of the current COVID crisis. Since early May of this year, it has been my privilege to participate as the Local One Audio Head of the Hearst Plaza Stage.

Compiled by Liz Hopper, professor emeritus, and Jerry Williams (BFA ’71) for the August 2021 Theatre Alumni Newsletter.