Sound designer Mark Menard, a Drama Desk Award winner and Tony nominee, has passed away. His numerous Broadway productions as a member of Acme Sound Partners—with Nevin Steinberg, Tom Clark, and Sten Severson— include The Gershwin’s Porgy And Bess (Drama Desk Award), Venus In Fur, Hair (revival), In The Heights, and Avenue Q. He also designed the sound for the original musical, Disaster, in 2016. With Acme Sound Partners, he won three other Drama Desk Awards for Bengal Tiger At The Baghdad Zoo, Ragtime, and La Boheme.
His colleagues are mourning his passing: "Mark Menard was an icon: tremendously talented & greatly respected. His work was always with direct intent, meticulous, carefully considered, and deftly crafted. The entire Broadway community is suffering a tremendous loss with his passing. My deepest condolences to his family and to the small circle of his closest collaborators and friends: Acme, Autograph, Les Miz, Martin Guerre, & Miss Saigon to name but a few," says sound designer Jim van Bergen.
Nevin Steinberg of Modern Projects Inc, formerly Menard's partner at Acme Sound Partners, notes: "Mark was one of the very first people I met in the sound community when I started in the nineties. He was light years ahead of me in talent and experience. And I quickly learned that he was both loyal and ferocious. He generously introduced me to some of the best people I know. And over the years that we golfed, traveled, ate and drank, laughed and cried and argued and laughed and cried some more, he did some amazing work. And I was fortunate to study at his side and make some shows with him. A true and terrible loss."
Tom Clark of Acme Professional Inc, and Menard's former partner at Acme Sound Partners, writes: "Like many of us, Mark got into sound by a circuitous route—from professional dancer to stage manager to sound designer. Somehow, along the way, thanks in large part, no doubt, to the mentoring influences of Andrew Bruce, Abe Jacob, and others, he developed a laser focus on making musicians and actors as naturally loud as they needed to be, and no louder. He paid back that investment in spades, becoming a relentless advocate of high-quality sound. This occasionally made him unpopular with the other trades, but he never settled for less than the best—just ask the mixers and music directors he worked with! His talent and passion always inspired and awed me, and it was a great privilege for me to be his Sound Partner for the last 15 years."
Broadway sound designer Tony Meola comments, "I met Mark when he was the prop person on a show at the Minetta Lane Theatre in late 1984. As things go Off-Broadway, there were some backstage sound cues to do and Mark was the only person there to do them. He did them with pleasure and splendidly. Following that small gig, he pulled the Kennedy Center’s Carousel from Masque Sound single handedly as my associate. For those who remember the initiation rites by the 'older' shop crews in those days, it was quite a feat for someone new in that world. He was amazingly talented, bright, and funny. He made my life better. I am so sad."
Legendary sound designer Abe Jacob adds, "I first worked with Mark in the early 70s when he was stage managing the Off-Broadway, Beach Boys musical, Surf City. We last worked together when he did a terrific job, optimizing my sound system for The Beatles Broadway tribute, Rain. Very sorry that we never made it out of the ‘B’s’. He will be missed."