Quick, use the word "diegetic" in a sentence. Can't do it? Well, local playwright Rebecca Schneidereit can in a heartbeat.
"There are two kinds of music in film," she explains. "Diegetic and non-diegetic. Non-diegetic sound is sound the audience hears, but the characters don't, because it takes place outside of the narrative---for instance, sappy, romantic sax during a love scene, or the violins on the stairs in Psycho.
Diegetic sound, in contrast, is sound produced by the characters in their own world---if a character plays the piano, that music is diegetic, and other characters can hear and react to it."
And while the word is applied primarily to movies, Schneidereit decided to experiment with the concept on stage. The result is Hit, a musical set entirely in a recording studio.
Hit is the story of a successful '60s singer Sadie (played by Erica Sweett) who is being pressured by her Phil Spector-esque producer Joseph (Peter Schnare) to churn out songs with a specific bubblegum pop sound.
The harder Sadie tries to break out, the tighter Joseph holds her back.
The show premiered at the Dal Theatre Society this past spring, but has been Schneidereit has substantially altered the second act of the play since then, and composer Stewart Delo has written two new pre-recorded songs for the fringe production.
Schneidereit says that although the first production was a very well-received, people did have one complaint. "Many people complained about songs getting stuck in their heads, which I considered success!"