A Conversation with Costume Designer Dede Ayite

by Howard Sherman
DeWanda Wise & Khris Davis in Atlantic Theater Company’s world premiere production of Fireflies.  (Photo Credit: Ahron R. Foster)
DeWanda Wise & Khris Davis in Atlantic Theater Company’s world premiere production of Fireflies. (Photo Credit: Ahron R. Foster)

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 much been into clothing and fashion in Ghana. You have your own clothes made, so that was very exciting for me. I would just sketch it out, and then I would go to the seamstress’s and spend the day there, just hang out, to see what they’re doing, how they’re putting things together. But it was just something you do for fun. I enjoyed it.”

An Immersive Audio Experience on Jagged Little Pill

by Wilson Burke
Celia Gooding & Antonio Cipriano in A.R.T.’s Jagged Little Pill (Photo: Evgenia Eliseeva)
Celia Gooding & Antonio Cipriano in A.R.T.’s Jagged Little Pill (Photo: Evgenia Eliseeva)

The rock musical, Jagged Little Pill, scheduled to open on Broadway in fall of 2019, had its world premiere at the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) with a sound design by renowned sound designer Jonathan Deans.  The well-received high-energy musical is inspired by Alanis Morissette’s Grammy-winning 1995 album of the same name and features music and lyrics by Morissette and Glen Ballard paired with a book by Diablo Cody. Deans, a pioneer in immersive audio technologies, pushed the limits of immersive sound design for the show, which moves seamlessly between interior intimacy and arena-sized intensity. 

Kristine Holmes is A (25) Seasoned Props Master

by Lisa Mulchay
Prop Master Kristine Holmes
Prop Master Kristine Holmes

As the full-time manager of the properties department at Boston’s Huntington Theatre Company, Kristine Holmes has spent 25 seasons building and sourcing props for scores of productions. Having been properties master for over 175 shows during her career, Holmes has worked on both regional and Broadway productions of Hedda Gabler and Private Lives. She has also fabricated props for many Disney Cruise Line Productions and has spent 18 seasons as the set decorator for PBS’s Antiques Roadshow. In 2014, the Huntington honored Holmes with the Gerard and Sherryl Cohen Award, recognizing the quality of her work and contributions to the company’s long-standing success.

Talking Props at USITT with Jay Duckworth

by Stage Directions
in Props
Jay Duckworth and Michelle Bisbee at USITT 2018
Jay Duckworth and Michelle Bisbee at USITT 2018

Last year at USITT 2018, SD contributor and proptologist Jay Duckworth, resident properties master at The Public Theater, hosted the first ever Prop Lab on the USITT Stage Expo floor. While there we invited him to interview a few of his fellow props masters, who he had invited to join him teaching prop workshops. Here are three of Jay's USITT Conversations with Adam Daley, Eric Hart, & Michelle Bisbee.