A Buyers Guide to foggers and hazers

See Clearly

Jacob Coakley

A Buyers Guide to Foggers and Hazers

From just a light haze to make your lighting pop to Natasha Katz’s ingenious use of fog in Long Day’s Journey Into Night, atmospherics continues to grow and do more than just offering billows of low-lying fog. (Though of course it does that, too, much to the delight of Phantom productions everywhere.) Here’s the latest of what’s on the market. 

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Stage automation – and its attendant winches, hoist and truss –require some special considerations when touring.

Touring with Stage Automation Part 2

Stu Cox

Answering the questions theatres have about touring with automation

Last issue we started a two-part series about taking stage automation on the road. We focused on the challenges and solutions with input from four of the leading stage automation providers: Peter Veal of Creative Conners; Royal Marty of eZ-Hoist; David Bond of Kinesys USA; and Brian Levine and Jimmy Love from Tait. In this second part, we share their advice and tips to theatres and production companies on the common stage automation questions and issues encountered when planning their tours.

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The Staging Concepts Seating Wagon in Northrop Auditorium at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis moving into place.

More Room, More Seats, More Money

Randi Minetor

Make your theatre more versatile with convertible staging and seating

Few performing arts venues have the luxury of being one thing or the other. A concert hall may also need to present full-scale theatrical productions, and a black box may be an area’s only place to bring solo musicians, small ensembles and lectures with projected slides. School districts know the benefits of housing a “gymnatorium” rather than two or three separate rooms for the cafeteria, gymnasium and auditorium.

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New gear shown bright at LDI

Show Offs

Jacob Coakley

New gear shown bright at LDI

LDI 2016 ratcheted up the glamour and the gear for a vibrant show

LDI, that annual photon bacchanal, once again took over Las Vegas and left us with new fixtures, LED panels, truss and tools. Here’s a quick glance of what’s a good fit for the theatre market.

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On Judith Bowden’s skeletal set, Kyle Blair as Adolfo Pirelli and Benedict Campbell as Sweeney Todd enter into a fateful competition.

Summer Haircut

Randi Minetor
On Judith Bowden’s skeletal set, Kyle Blair as Adolfo Pirelli and Benedict Campbell as Sweeney Todd enter into a fateful competition.
On Judith Bowden’s skeletal set, Kyle Blair as Adolfo Pirelli and Benedict Campbell as Sweeney Todd enter into a fateful competition.

Sweeney Todd Receives Imaginative Retellings at Two Summer Venues

With the news that Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street will return to the West Village in New York City this winter after an 11-year absence, it’s time to take a fresh look at Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s crowning masterpiece.

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The set included two layers of exterior, a small proscenium stage-within-a-stage, and a small canopy, all of which created challenges for the lighting team.

Westward Journey

Michael S. Eddy

LD Japhy Weideman Lights Bella: An American Tall Tale

At the end of September, the world premiere of Kirsten Childs’ new musical Bella: An American Tall Tale opened at the Dallas Theater Center’s Wyly Theatre. Set post-Civil War, this musical comedy follows the adventures of Isabella “Bella” Patterson, a black woman traveling to find her lost sweetheart who is serving as a Buffalo Soldier in the Wild West. Her journey becomes a fantastic tall tale full of encounters with a wild bunch of characters as she finds herself along the way. A co-production with New York’s Playwrights Horizons, Bella will open in NYC in May 2017. The creative team was able to approach the development of the show with both the Wyly and Playwrights spaces in mind as they designed the new work.

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Sew What?/Rent What? provided Decorative Mylar Rain Curtains for The Romp Show at CSU Long Beach.

The Evolving World of Fabrics and Soft Goods

Kevin M. Mitchell

Whether its cutting-edge projection, new weaving techniques—or even moving the fabric itself—designers and manufacturers are finding exciting new ways to use fabric 

The toolbox for soft goods continue to get bigger, and designers seem to never run out of ideas on how to adapt to new technology. It’s up to the suppliers to keep up, and they appear to be doing so.

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An NYU Tisch School of the Arts student programs lights for a production.

Conversing with Colleges

Jacob Coakley

Beginning a conversation is the best way for students to end up at the best school 

The process of researching and applying to colleges is fraught with anxiety as students (and their parents) wrestle an unfamiliar bureaucracy under high emotional stakes. It’s no wonder that students clamber to find any way to tilt the odds in their favor. This has to led to self-propagating myths about the college admissions process, which don’t serve students or their families. We spoke with a people in charge of admissions to find out what myths applicants can let go of, what bad habits they should avoid when applying to theatre programs, and what sort of mindset will help them find the best college program for them. 

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The 2016 SD High School Theatre Honors winners!

Educational Honors

Lisa Mulcahy

Our annual citations recognize the best high school drama programs in the country

Blazing originality. A commitment to teaching the touchstones of both technical and creative skill. Imparting self-assurance into each student’s performance, both in class and onstage. These are the peerless qualities this year’s winners of Stage Directions High School Theatre Honors Program share, through the work of the dedicated instructors who guide their students through innovative dramatic training. We congratulate each of them on their success—now and in the future! 

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