Design

DESIGNING FOR SITE-SPECIFIC THEATRE

DESIGNING FOR SITE-SPECIFIC THEATRE: AN INTERVIEW WITH DESIGNER SUSAN TSU ON HER COSTUMES FOR “KING LEAR” AT QUANTUM THEATREBY BY ALYSSA RIDDERvia www.thetheatretimes.com Susan Tsu is an advocate for educating costume designers and devotes much of her time to her students as University Professor and the Bessie F. Anathan Professor of Design at Carnegie Mellon University. Susan has won many awards for costume design, including the Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award, the LA Distinguished Designer Award, and the Carol R. Brown Established Artist Award. She is a Fellow of the USITT Institute. Susan has curated many international costume design exhibitions including the upcoming Innovative Costume of the 21st Century: The Next Generation, opening in Moscow at the State Historical Mus...

PROPS HOW-TO: DINER STOOLS

BY ERIC HARTvia www. props-eric.hart.com Earlier this year, I was the props master on August Wilson’s Two Trains Running at Triad Stage. The set, designed by Moriah and Isabel Curley-Clay, was a Pittsburgh diner in 1969. Among the various components were thirteen matching diner stools, the kind that spin and are bolted to the floor. It proved impossible to source that many stools within our budget, so I decided to build them. I designed the main support in two parts: an inner post made of steel that would hold the seat and be bolted to the floor, and an outer post that would sleeve over and appear to be chrome. I welded the inner post out of box tube and quarter-inch plate. I added a small length of pipe to the top so the seat could spin freely. I cut the outer posts out of PVC p...

THE BALANCING ACT OF DESIGNING BIG MUSICALS IN SMALL SPACES

BY MICHAEL SCHWEIKARDTvia www.thetheatretimes.com Joe Klug is a gifted scenic designer who has a passion for reimagining musicals, particularly in intimate circumstances. When we met up to talk about the challenges of producing large musicals in small spaces, an unexpectedly delightful and philosophical discussion about design and practice took place. Although we had never met before, it was just like talking to an old friend, and so I have tried to preserve the conversational nature of our exchange. Here is what transpired: Michael Schweikardt:  What was the impetus of your interest in reimagining big musicals for small spaces? Joe Klug:  The impetus was largely practical. When you think of the ways that musicals have traditionally been produced you conjure up images of these la...

WEBINAR REGISTRATION FOR CASE STUDY: OVERSEEING REPERTORY LIGHT PLOTS AT SPOLETO FESTIVAL USA

TUESDAY, APRIL 23, 2019 | 2:00 – 3:00 PM ET Spoleto Festival USA, based in Charleston, South Carolina, hosts domestic and international theatrical productions every year. In 17 days, over 250 performances take place throughout the city, but every production has to share its stage with someone else. It is repertory lighting at its craziest, with rapid-fire changeovers between shows choreographed down to the moment. In this session, Steve Shelley, president of Field Template LLC, will show the processes he used—and would use again today—in Vectorworks software to create the documentation needed to pull off such a combination of complex events. ATTENDEES WILL: Understand the definition, parameters, and types of repertory. Learn how Spotlight can be used to support the unique needs ...

Sound Designer Peter Hylenski on his Design for Frozen the Musical

via www.stage-directions.com Grammy, Tony, and Olivier Award-nominated sound designer Peter Hylenski (Frozen, King Kong, Motown, Rock of Ages) used a variety of products from Waves Audio for Disney’s Frozen the Musical at the St. James Theater on Broadway, including Waves plugins, SoundGrid, and MultiRack. He detailed how the technologies helped him with sound effects and the illusion of voices approaching from a distance along with sound reinforcement. “As the sound designer for a new production, you first have to think about the production’s needs relative to the style of music and how that will integrate into the theater you’ll be playing,” Hylenski comments. “Ask yourself: What loudspeakers are required to cover the house appropriately? Is this an orchestral score, or pop/r...

Shining a Light on the Bard

via thelightingconnection.com This past season at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre was one filled with light, love and magic. Theatrical Lighting Connection was happy to be able to provide a series of fresh-off-the-line Martin Mac Encore Performance CLDs to add texture, color and a measure of grace to the performances. With the fixtures in a centerstage cluster and an open set, they needed the cool, quiet light that only the Encore CLD can provide. Lighting Designer Thom Weaver had this to say regarding the use of them in late-spring’s production of Macbeth:   “I wanted the new Martin Encore CLD units for two primary reason: silence and precision… The Encores are an extraordinary combination of both. They’re essentially silent, and feature a level of resolution that̵...

A Conversation with Costume Designer Dede Ayite

BY HOWARD SHERMAN via www.stage-directions.com With a resume of recent costume design credits including American Son and Children of a Lesser God on Broadway, Fireflies at Atlantic Theatre Company, Slave Play at New York Theatre Workshop and School Girls, or The African Mean Girls Play for MCC Theater, it’s slightly surprising to learn a few facts about Dede Ayite’s education and training. “I double majored in theater and behavioral neuroscience,” says Ayite, a graduate of Lehigh University. As for her graduate work at Yale School of Drama? “Scene design,” she explains. Ayite connects the dots that took her through various courses of study to her burgeoning costume design career. Growing up in Ghana and only moving to the U.S. in her final years of high school, Ayite recalls, “I’d very muc...

Lighting Designer Valerio Tiberi on Lighting West Side Story in Italy

via www.stage-directions.com The Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino hosted the return of Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story 100 years after Bernstein’s birth. This musical theater masterpiece is one of the most loved shows still performed today. Lighting designer Valerio Tiberi drew inspiration for his work “from the new adaptation and the atmosphere of the Upper West Side of New York in the mid-1950s,” he says. Here’s a video of a previous version of West Side Story, performed at Teatro Carllo Felice in Genoa: “For this occasion, I requested and used the new Axcor Profile 600 from the Claypaky Axcor series for the first time in Italy,” adds Tiberi. Two versions are available on the market: one with a bright 500W 6,500K white LED source, and the other with...

Register for FREE Vectorworks Webinar: Remarkable Rigging

REMARKABLE RIGGING: NEW TECHNOLOGY TO MAKE YOU MORE EFFICIENT TUESDAY, FEB. 19 | 2:00 P.M. – 3:00 P.M. ET  | FREE! REGISTER HERE Join Ben Elmore, ETCP certified rigger and project manager at Markey’s Rental & Staging, for a free, one-hour webinar on how Braceworks and Vectorworks Spotlight can save you both time and money. Through several case study examples, Elmore will also show attendees how to use point cloud technology to increase efficiency and reduce the possibility for human error. ATTENDEES WILL: Discover how Braceworks can streamline your workflow and reduce the number of errors. Understand how to automatically attach objects to your rigging system, scoot chain hoists, add or remove chain hoists, add loads, remove loads, and export a FEA report in Braceworks. Learn how ...

How the Phantom of the Opera’s Mask is Made

via www.stage-directions.com Saturday, January 26, 2019 was the 31st Anniversary of the Broaddway opening of The Phantom of the Opera. Here’s a backstage video about how the iconic mask is custom-made for each Phantom: In this video, Milliner and Phantom mask maker, Rodney Gordon walks us through the process of making these custom masks. Gordon works with the current Phantom, Ben Crawford on casting his face and making the mask along with Sam Fleming, the Associate Costume Designer and Thelma Pollard, Production Makeup Supervisor. (Pollard has been with the production since its opening.) The Costume Designer, Maria Björnson won Tony Awards for both the scenic and costume designs for The Phantom of the Opera. Gordon still works with the original mask design paper that was created by B...

The Judy Dearing Design Competition -Now Accepting Applications

The Black Theatre Network announces that they are accepting applications for The Judy Dearing Design Competition. The Black Theatre Network (BTN) established this award, which covers theatrical scenic, costume, and lighting design, in 1996 in honor of pioneering costume designer, Judy Dearing. The awards were created to encourage African American students focused on elements of theatrical design. The awards are presented every other year with the other major awards. All entries will be evaluated by a professional design panel. Judy Dearing Student Design Competition The purpose of this competition is to encourage Black Theatre students of design and give them an opportunity to have their work exhibited at the National Conference of the Black Theatre Network. Dearing (1940–1995) was an Afri...

The Fake Food Cookbook

BY JAY DUCKWORTH via www.stage-directions.com We are at that time of gift- giving, when we give things to people that we hope they will need and use. One ofthe gifts I received this summer and have used [Really, I did, see this month’s Answer Box] was a book thatTammy Honesty brought out to NYC on her last visit. The Fake Food Cookbook: Props You Can’t Eat for Theatre, Film, and TV created by Karestin Harrison and Tamara L. Honesty from Focal Press is a great new resource. I spoke with the authors to learn how the book came into existence. Turns out when Karestin was the props person on the musical Spitfire Grill, and as the title suggests it takes place in a small restaurant she had a lot of breakfast food to make. Despite the many challenges that fake food poses she fell in love with the...

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