Creating the Chandeliers

by From Alison Mantilla
My Fair Lady at Lincoln Center Theater
My Fair Lady at Lincoln Center Theater

Alison Mantilla is a freelance prop supervisor and oversaw the props for the Lincoln Center production of My Fair Lady with a scenic design by Michael Yeargan. Mantilla walks us through the build for the chandeliers in the embassy ball scene at the top of Act II.

Designing from the Inside Out: A Conversation with David Korins

by Howard Sherman
Cast on the set of Beetlejuice
Cast on the set of Beetlejuice

Set designer David Korins’s work has been seen on Broadway in, among others, Bridge and Tunnel, War Paint, Passing Strange, Chinglish, and Bring It On. His Off-Broadway credits include Here Lies Love, Oedipus at Palm Springs, Yellowface, Found and The Low Road. He spoke with Stage Directions about his biggest recent projects: The Hamilton Exhibition, Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, and Beetlejuice

Designing in Duplicate

by Lisa Mulcahy
The cast of Lawrence University’s Pippin
The cast of Lawrence University’s Pippin

Designer Kärin Simonson Kopischke creates two vastly different looks for Pippin

Costume designer Kärin Simonson Kopischke was presented with the rare challenge of designing two different productions of Pippin back-to-back—and triumphed. Over her decades-long career, Simonson Kopischke has earned a stellar reputation for professional and technical excellence. She has designed for numerous regional theatre Tony Award winners including the American Conservatory Theater, Chicago Shakespeare, the Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, the Long Wharf, Victory Gardens, the Children’s Theatre Company, Crossroads, and the Cincinnati Playhouse. Simonson Kopischke also works with many historical societies, notably creating a series of historical renderings depicting women in the garments they might have worn in a series called Garments of Our Foundations. She has also designed costumes for the feature film Feed the Fish, and for new works from Harry Connick Jr. and Stephen Schwartz. Her work has garnered many accolades, including the Joseph Jefferson Award, AriZoni Award, and a Prague Quadrennial nomination. As as a respected professor, she has taught costume design at The Theatre School of DePaul, Northwestern University, Carroll University, and currently at Lawrence University. And if that were not enough? She runs a successful upcycled clothing business online with her daughter, Anya. 

Truth in Numbers

by Jay Duckworth
Truth in Numbers
Truth in Numbers

Diogenes was an ancient Greek philosopher who would wander around Athens with a lamp, day and night, looking for an honest man. I have empathy for his plight, and I know a lot of people are out there looking for something that is real, something that is true, and in this world that is a very hard thing to find. Truth means taking our own opinion out of the equation. It goes from being subjective to objective; subjective being the individual’s feelings of observation versus objective dealing with the attributes of the object alone and in the objective, we can leave the emotional side behind and deal with facts. The truest thing that we have is maths. That’s right I said maths, and the reason I say maths is not because I’m British or highly educated, both of which I am not; it’s because I’m a snooty pretentious twonk. Well that and if I put one coin down and say it’s two coins you can know for a fact I’m lying or that I’m nuts. You guessed it... I’m both.  

Don’t Fear the Budget
When given a budget for a show, a good majority of us look at the challenges put in front of us with the design and the actual money that we are expected to use. I at least go into an emotional place of ‘how am I going to do this? I am definitely going to fail!’ I don’t have any of these things in stock and I know I can’t borrow any of this stuff. I’m sometimes met with ‘well there is hardly any set so there shouldn’t be any props.’ So when you hear that statement, you know scenic is in the same boat with you having to make something out of nothing. As I have gotten older, I have moved away from the knee jerk reaction and jumped into breaking the budget down as small as possible. It takes a lot longer but I can see where I can turn back to my production manager and say here is what I can do. Because numbers do not lie. Numbers take out the emotion and can back you up in any discussion. 

USITT has Confidence in CO2

by Point Source Audio Sounding Board
USITT 2019 keynote speaker Jackie Taylor
USITT 2019 keynote speaker Jackie Taylor

At the recent USITT 2019 Stage Expo, Point Source Audio (PSA) introduced its new CO2 Confidence Collection microphones to the theatrical community. The CO2 collection of Headset, Lavalier, and Earworn dual element mics also got a thorough testing at the USITT Conference as PSA was back once again as the Official Headworn Mic Sponsor for the keynote speeches and events.

The patent-pending CO2 Confidence Collection, a new class of wireless microphones, all have dual elements, each measuring a tiny 3mm, that offers built-in redundancy. The CO2 mics integrate two of the company’s important first-to-market features in miniature microphones: IP 57 waterproof rating, and the “unbreakable” headset boom bendable to 360° to bolster durability.