Design

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...

Theatre Puget Sound – Production & Tech Personnel Registration

Do you direct, choreograph, or stage manage and want to be seen by auditors at the 2019 Unified General Auditions? Submit your resume and portfolio images to be included in the supplemental Production Personnel & Tech Resume auditor packet. Auditors at the UGAs run the gamut from large and small theatre companies to film producers, talent agents, and independent film/theatre producers and directors. They are not only meeting more than 400 actors, they are also scouting people to make it all go behind the scenes… YOU! Production Personnel & Tech Resume submission is a direct member benefit of Theatre Puget Sound. 2019 TPS membership is required to participate. UPLOAD RESUME HERE

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...

Working in the Theatre: Makeup

via www.stage-directions.com This episode of Working in the Theatre: Makeup features make-up artists Brian Strumwasser and Thelma Pollard speaking about their craft and the paths they took to get to Broadway. A character on stage is shaped by many factors. An important, and often under-examined aspect to the creation of a character and achievement of a production is created by the magnificent makeup artists on and off-Broadway. But, what does it take to achieve the prefect show-ready look 8 times a week? Makeup Artists Brian Strumwasser and Thelma Pollard share their journey on the creation and maintenance of a character in this episode. Through Brian’s work on A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, we delve into the detail and dedication needed for one actor to change their look 17...

Costume Designing an All New Mary Poppins

BY EMILY ZEMLER via www.backstage.com In “Mary Poppins Returns,” Sandy Powell was tasked with reimagining the look of a beloved character originated by Julie Andrews and now played by Emily Blunt. The three-time Oscar-winning costume designer, working alongside director Rob Marshall, put her own spin on the story’s fantastical, 1930s London setting. Here, Powell unpacks her challenges and inspiration for the film, and also discusses her polar opposite work in Yorgos Lanthimos’ period drama “The Favourite.” Did you feel any pressure to take inspiration from the original “Mary Poppins”? It wasn’t exactly pressure, because Rob had made it clear we weren’t actually doing anything like the original. It was a whole new story. So the only thing we had to take into consideration was Mary Poppins h...

A Commedia Mask Makers Materials

BY JONATHAN BECKER via www.theatre-masks.com Sculpting in Clay I was recently interviewed about mask making materials associated with Commedia dell’Arte Masks.  I thought I’d share this mask makers response here. Question posed: I know you’ve worked (fabulously) with neoprene and other synthetic materials.  What would you say to the traditionalists who believe that a mask needs to “breathe” or be made of “organic” materials in order to have life on stage?  How about those hard-core people who say Commedia masks were and always should be leather? My Response: What makes a mask play is connected to the level of sophistication as concerns the rhythmic expressive form of the sculpture itself. The material the mask is made out of does not affect the ability of the mask to play. It is the skill ...

The Marvelous 1950s Costumes of Marvelous Mrs Maisel

via www.thecostumerag.com Amy Sherman-Palladino’s Marvelous Mrs Maisel  is about a Jewish mother who explores her passions by becoming a comedian. The show uses 1950s fashion throughout the plot using colours and patterns to express both the glamour and austerity found in the post-war period. The 1950s costumes create an authentic portrayal of this time period, and illustrates Midge’s emotional journey as well. Costume designer Donna Zakowska told Mashable how important Midge’s wardrobe “was [as] an attempt to optimistically capture the spirit of a woman, who in spite of unfortunate events continues to assert her spirit to remain on her feet. Her love of clothes, detail and color would become tools for expressing her strength and identity. [We’re] re-examining the strength and complexity o...

Mic Concealment Made Easy

BY THE POINT SOURCE SOUNDING BOARD BLOG via www.stage-directions.com One of the challenges that face both designers and technicians is how to hide a microphone on an actor. In their hair or in their costume; there weren’t a lot of good solutions to this challenge, until Point Source Audio created its EMBRACE™ Earmount microphone solution. As a customizable mic’ing solution that is engineered for concealing, EMBRACE has earned praise from end-users, as well as two patents from the U.S. Patent Office. The innovative design means the patented EMBRACE’s shapeable structure can be trimmed, bent and, shaped to a custom-fit for each user allowing for microphones to be easily concealed and quickly custom-fitted for the wearer—providing a placement of the microphone in just mere seconds that is con...

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