Jonathan Deans

LDI Panelist Spotlight: Jonathan Deans, Sound Designer

As we gear up for the LDI Show, we’re profiling speakers in our Sound Tracks series of panels aimed at live sound engineers. This week we’re pleased to introduce you to Jonathan Deans, who will be participating in “A Fireside Chat With Abe and Jonathan,” with fellow veteran sound designer Abe Jacob.

Jonathan Deans began his career in his native England, then crossed the pond to make himself heard across the United States and around the world. In addition to his long list of Broadway credits—including Waitress, Finding Neverland, Pippin, Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, Fosse, Parade, and Ragtime—Deans has designed 14 shows for Cirque du Soleil, including Michael Jackson’s ONE, LOVE, Ovo, Elvis, Believe, Corteo, Kooza, Wintuk, KA, Zumanity, La Nouba, O, Mystère, and Saltimbanco. And if you’ve ever sat in any of the seats where he has embedded tiny loudspeakers, we guarantee you’ll turn around a few times to see who’s singing right behind you. Deans says that when the technology he is looking for doesn’t exist, he simply invents it!

Sarah Jones: How did you get your start in theatre sound design?

Jonathan Deans: As a young boy, I had a passion of listening to music, and then being a fan of theatre gave me focus and a path.

SJ: What drives your passion for theatre sound?

JD: For my ears to escape on a journey that’s unique to that venue, production, and performance.

SJ: Tell us what attendees can expect to learn in your panel.

JD: What makes these sound designers tick. Past, present, and future hopes. The relationship that one has with your designer. The importance of understanding your own sound design goals, and then adapting them with your collaborators.

SJ: What kinds of new theatre sound technologies are you most excited about these days?

JD: The harnessing of digital technology.

SJ: What are the biggest challenges facing theatre sound engineers right now?

JD: The harnessing of digital technology.

SJ: We’d love to hear a story about one of your most memorable gigs.

JD: The current production is the most memorable, whatever that may be. I consider all my “gigs” memorable, and they all hold first place. Some of my productions have been in tech for over a year, and others, just three days. I think our panel audience should answer this question!

SJ: What’s on your Vegas bucket list?

JD: I married her! I’ve lived in Vegas for many years, busy developing, designing, and working on a number of large productions, including Cirque shows.

To learn more about pro audio workshops, panels, and events at LDI, visit

Sarah Jones is a writer, editor, and content producer with more than 20 years' experience in pro audio, including as editor-in-chief of three leading audio magazines: MixEQ, and Electronic Musician. She is a lifelong musician and committed to arts advocacy and learning, including acting as education chair of the San Francisco chapter of the Recording Academy, where she helps develop event programming that cultivates the careers of Bay Area music makers.

TAGS: LDI Theatre
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