Costume Designer Rainy Edwards
Costume Designer Rainy Edwards

Career Path: Costume Designer Rainy Edwards is Just Getting Started

Lisa Mulcahy

Rainy Edwards has a natural eye for a perfect stage picture—combine that with her educational credentials and her commitment to perfecting her technical skill set, and her future in the theater is truly limitless. Edwards currently holds the title of head draper at Arts Center of Coastal Carolina in Hilton Head, South Carolina, and she also does freelance costume design for companies including Triad Stage, Lexington Children’s Theatre, GLOW Lyric Theatre, Heritage Theatre Festival, and Stagedoor Manor. A 2017 MFA graduate from Florida State University, Edwards’ lush, color-drenched costumes for FSU’s production of Beauty and The Beast won her countless accolades; she’s also designed acclaimed costumes for a wide range of other shows, including Follies, Legally Blonde, Hamlet, Henry V, Wild Honey, Spring Awakening, and West Side Story. Edwards recently spoke with SD regarding the trajectory of her career, her approach to technical challenges and character-driven design, and her artistic goals for the future.

Add a comment
Read more
Point Source Audio Sounding Board
Point Source Audio Sounding Board

The Point Source Audio Sounding Board: Why (mic) sensitivity matters

Point Source Audio

An Audio Director’s First Criteria for Mic Choice
Before standardizing on Point Source Audio’s CO-8WL Waterproof Lavalier Microphones, Brian Bird, Lindenwood University’s audio director and adjunct professor, A/B tested a number of lavalier microphones in a wide range of performance settings in the university’s two performance spaces. Ultimately, the Point Source Audio CO-8WLs outperformed all other lavalier mics tested with regards to Bird’s key performance criteria. But most notably, Bird discovered the CO-8WLs excelled over all other mics with regards to his number one criteria: high gain before feedback.

Add a comment
Read more

Order Up! A Working Ziosk Prop

Jay Duckworth

Digital Ordering in View of the Audience

"Did you read last night’s report?" Corinne Gologursky, assistant props master for Kings at The Public Theater asked me. "They want the actor to order from the Chili’s Ziosk in real time."
"Oh yeah, I saw that…" I responded. "I’m just choosing to be in denial about it." 

One of the great things about doing new plays is not only the idea that you are working on ink-wet work that is adding to the American playbook, but you get new challenges that really test the mettle of who you are as an artist.

Add a comment
Read more
Props Fabricator Zoë Morsette
Props Fabricator Zoë Morsette

Props: Fur, Foam & Focus

Michael Eddy

In The Shop with Props Fabricator Zoë Morsette
Zoë Morsette knew at an early age that she wanted to work in the theater. Inspired by a childhood filled with art and summer theater on Cape Cod where she grew up, Morsette completed her BA in theater and dance at Skidmore College in 1973 and then moved to NYC. She worked as a milliner at Radio City Music Hall for two years and then as a shop supervisor and fabricator in the display industry for five years. Freelance since 1984, Morsette has built props, models, costumes, and puppets for 51 Broadway productions, dozens of commercials and print ads, feature films, television shows, theme parks, ice shows, ballets, operas, and the Macy’s Parade. Morsette spoke with Stage Directions to discuss her work as a props fabricator, some of her favorite projects and some sage advice for those starting out.

Read more
Sound Designer Dan Moses Scheier
Sound Designer Dan Moses Scheier

Design Perspective: An Evocative Soundscape

Michael Eddy

Sound Designer Dan Moses Schreier talks The Iceman Cometh, Mentorship and Early Days

For the recent Broadway revival of Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh, sound designer Dan Moses Schreier created a historically-accurate sound design for director George C. Wolfe’s production. The play received eight American Theatre Wing Tony Award nominations, including all four design categories; it was the fifth Tony nomination for Schreier. Stage Directions spoke with the designer on his creation of the sounds of 1912 New York for The Iceman Cometh, including some research for period-appropriate songs and sound elements as well as his thoughts on mentoring and advice for someone considering a career in theater.

Add a comment
Read more

Following One's Own Path

Michael Eddy

This month, in addition to other production areas like sound design and prop fabrication, we focus on costumes and costume crafts. We have three costume designers I had the great pleasure to speak with at USITT tell us a bit about their career paths and offer some advice for those starting out. I also had the privilege to speak with the five-time Tony-nominated sound designer, Dan Moses Schreier on his historically-based soundscape for The Iceman Cometh. Lisa Mulcahy spoke with Rainy Edwards, an early career costume designer and fabricator. Ross Jackson, a working Equity Stage Manager writes about choosing the right position in stage management. He finds it’s not about the job title; it’s about the role and the opportunity of a particular production. Also, the wonderfully talented Props Fabricator Zoë Morsette tells SD about some special props from her freelance career over the past 40+ years.

Add a comment
Read more

The Callboard: The Sound of Shakespeare

Stage Directions

For more than a decade, Diablo Sound has provided stirring sound designs for many of Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles’ (SCLA) critically acclaimed productions. Working with SCLA since 2006, when the newly formed Diablo Sound, led by president and principal designer Drew Dalzell, designed sound for Two Gentlemen of Verona at the outdoor LA Cathedral Plaza. That relationship continued with SCLA's recent production of Henry IV.

Read more
SM Work Station

Stage Management: The SM/ASM Conundrum

Ross Jackson

Why you might decide to ASM when you could be SM?
If you’ve ever seen a stage manager’s resume you might notice the phrases “stage manager”, “assistant stage manager”, and “production stage manager.” Throughout academic theater, you learn that there’s a sort of hierarchy to the assorted stage manager (SM) positions. Production assistant < assistant stage manager; and assistant stage manager < stage manager/production stage manager. But if such a hierarchy exists, you might wonder why it is that so many SMs bounce between the positions. In the past, when it comes to more “conventional” jobs let’s say, there’s an advancement ladder on which you climb your way up the ranks. The salesperson becomes a supervisor, the supervisor becomes an assistant manager, who then becomes a manager and so on. However, when it comes to live entertainment, there’s a far more fluid way of working. Particularly influenced by our current generation of theatrical practitioners, there’s a focus on collaboration and versatility. The more versatile you can be, the greater your opportunities of collaborating become. Which leads me to what I want to discuss: why do stage managers shift from one position to another so often?

Read more
General Device Type Format (GDTF) is a new open data standard for linking luminaires, consoles, CAD, and previsualization software.

Technology: What in the Heck is GDTF?

Michael Eddy

You may have heard about a new open data format to help streamline the process of linking a fixture profile from CAD through previsualization and on to a console. This new development, named General Device Type Format (GDTF) was created to change the way lighting designers and programmers in the entertainment design and production industry work. In an effort to make lighting fixtures, visualizers, and consoles work together in a more seamless way, three manufacturers—MA Lighting, Robe, and Vectorworks—jointly developed this open standard format. GDTF is a way to try and create a unified definition for the exchange of device data.
Currently, most device manufacturers use a proprietary way to define their luminaires. This lack of a standard or unified definition requires lighting console manufacturers to support and maintain a complex web of file formats. Moreover, it makes it virtually impossible for designers to import CAD files into consoles and makes it very difficult to link CAD software to previsualization software.

Read more
SD Editor Michael S. Eddy with Bobbi Owen and William Ivey Long
SD Editor Michael S. Eddy with Bobbi Owen and William Ivey Long

Design Inspiration: Costume Conversations at USITT

Stage Directions

At the 2018 USITT Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Stage Directions and USITT hosted the Stage Directions Studio on the show floor. Over the three days we spoke with a wide variety of theater artisans, designers, technicians, and practitioners about their thoughts and advice on an array of topics in their respective theatrical disciplines. This month we are including some of the thoughts of three of the costume designers we sat down with during the show. They shared with us their mentors, their influences and also offered their humble advice to those starting out on a life in theatrical design. They are all talented designers, teachers, and authors of books on costume design. We thank them for taking the time out of their busy USITT schedule to generously share their experiences and thoughts with SD. Here are Rafael Jaen, William Ivey Long and Carolina Jimenez Flores in their own words:

Read more