Costuming/Makeup
The trio of heroes (l-r): Patrick, Sandy and SpongeBob  (Played by Danny Skinner, Lilli Cooper and Ethan Slater, respectively.)
The trio of heroes (l-r): Patrick, Sandy and SpongeBob (Played by Danny Skinner, Lilli Cooper and Ethan Slater, respectively.)

We dive into David Zinn’s designs to bring everyone’s favorite demospongiae to vibrant, 3D life 

Bounding with optimism, Broadway-bound The SpongeBob Musical took to the Oriental Theatre in Chicago in June for its out-of-town tryout. Based on the long-running and ever-popular Nickelodeon animated series, The SpongeBob Musical is filled with larger than life characters in the undersea city of Bikini Bottom. 

Read more: Mischief, Collision and Costumes

Costuming/Makeup
A costume from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s 2015 production of Head Over Heels, designed by Loren Shaw.
A costume from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s 2015 production of Head Over Heels, designed by Loren Shaw.

Understated or over the top, a perfect look fits the production

Coco Chanel reputedly advised taking “one thing off” before leaving the house. But what happens when you have to go onstage? How much is too much in the theatre? Is there even such a thing? And for that matter—once you have the perfect look in theatre how do you keep throughout a whole show, let alone an eight-week run? We talked to some professionals to find out the answers. 

Read more: Wonderful Extravagance

Feature
RG built this set piece and the automation that changes it from an opulent Egyptian palace into …
RG built this set piece and the automation that changes it from an opulent Egyptian palace into …

A look at Cirque du Soleil’s Paramour on Broadway

Paramour, which opened May 25, 2016 at Broadway’s Lyric Theatre, is the latest creation from Cirque du Soleil. The first Cirque show created specifically for Broadway, Paramour is a hybrid of the Cirque aesthetic of acrobatics and showmanship with the narrative and show flow of a traditional Broadway musical. Cirque shows, while all wondrous experiences, are not known for having plotlines, or as Broadway would call it, a book. 

Read more: Lights, Aerialists … And Curtain!

Feature
Verity Studios designed the drones, presented as “ensouled” lampshades in Paramour
Verity Studios designed the drones, presented as “ensouled” lampshades in Paramour

[Here's our bonus coverage of the drones in Cirque du Soleil's Paramour. For our full story on the scenic and lighting design for Paramour, click here. -ed.]

One of the most whimsical and notable of scenes in Paramour is the flying, dancing lampshades. A bit of theatrical magic accomplished with drone technology, or as the designers of these units—Verity Studios—refer to them ‘autonomous flying machines.’ Verity Studios designed, choreographed, and control the units with a proprietary control system that includes GPS locator equipment for the drones built into the show deck. “Each individual drone is controlled separately, but they create their choreography between all of them,” states Benken. “They’re not necessarily aware of each other’s position, but they’re aware of their own position, similar to other automation systems. If something gets them a little out of position, like if they get knocked or something, they know where they’re supposed to be and they’ll get back to that position. They do stay over the stage; they never go out over the audience.” There are eight drones that fly in the sequence along with several ‘understudy drones’ waiting their turn backstage. A newer technology to Broadway, care of the drones comes under the props department for this show.

Read more: Drones Fly High

Feature
An ASCAP panel critiquing the presentation of Legendale (l-r): Karey Kirkpatrick, composer/librettist of Something Rotten; Irene Mecchi, screenwriter of The Lion King and its stage adaptation; and Stephen Schwartz.
An ASCAP panel critiquing the presentation of Legendale (l-r): Karey Kirkpatrick, composer/librettist of Something Rotten; Irene Mecchi, screenwriter of The Lion King and its stage adaptation; and Stephen Schwartz.

Stephen Schwartz mentors the next generation of musical writers through his work in ASCAP’s Musical Theatre Workshops

The man who composed the music and lyrics for the iconic Broadway shows Wicked, Pippin and Godspell, not to mention the forthcoming stage adaptation of the animated film Prince of Egypt with Alan Menken, has made quite a name for himself. Stephen Schwartz has won three Grammy Awards, three Academy Awards, and been nominated for six Tony Awards. He also loves to pass along his knowledge to those who could follow in his footsteps.

Read more: Giving Back Through ASCAP

Feature
Charles H. Stewart’s 18-foot-by-42-foot “Dickens Street” backdrop
Charles H. Stewart’s 18-foot-by-42-foot “Dickens Street” backdrop

In which we try to give backdrops the space they deserve

Backdrops are meant to be huge—they’re meant to be gloriously large testaments to scenic art, filling the back wall of a stage and reading to the back row of the audience. This month, we’re letting the art of the backdrop do the talking. We contacted our favorite backdrop houses and asked them to send a picture of a favorite backdrop that we could run large and a to tell us a little bit about it. 

Read more: Backdrops Bonanza!

Answer Box
The set of Eurydice at Purdue Theatre.
The set of Eurydice at Purdue Theatre.

A production of Eurydice demanded creativity and precision from the design team

Purdue Theatre’s 2015-2016 season closed with Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice. Set in the ancient Greek underworld, one of the essential metaphorical elements of the world is the way in which one journeys from the world above to the world below after you die. Ruhl’s script calls for this to be represented as an elevator in which it rains (the elevator itself representing the downward travel, and the rain representing the waters of the River Lethe).

Read more: Going Epic for the Mythic

Editor's Note
Life may not be a dress rehearsal, but following that model has its benefits
Life may not be a dress rehearsal, but following that model has its benefits

Life may not be a dress rehearsal, but following that model has its benefits

I’ve mentioned here before that I run the Las Vegas Valley Theatre Awards, a way of celebrating the best locally produced theatre here in Las Vegas. I was recently invited onto our local NPR station to talk about the Awards, how they work and what they mean to the community. My host Carrie Kaufman was inviting and gracious, and my co-guest Will Adamson of Cockroach Theatre and I had a lot of fun talking about creating theatre and how we were both trying to let new audiences know about good theatre. 

Read more: Let Me Try That Again

Tools of the Trade
ADJ’s new Mega Go Par64 Plus Mega QPLUS Go
ADJ’s new Mega Go Par64 Plus Mega QPLUS Go

ADJ’s new Mega Go Par64 Plus Mega QPLUS Go are two new fixtures in their Mega Go Series. Both battery-powered fixtures feature RGB+UV LEDs. The Mega Go Par64 Plus uses 172 10mm, 0.07W LEDs (split across 56 Red, 60 Green and 56 Blue), along with a single high-power 3W UV LED in the center. Its lithium battery allows 4.5 hours of continual light output with all of the LEDs on full. The new Mega QPLUS Go utilizes five 4-Watt 4-in-1 RGB+UV LEDs. Its internal battery is capable of powering the fixture for 4 hours with full output, which can be extended to 5.5 hours using the Energy Saving Mode. Both units are also fitted with IEC power input and output sockets and XLR DMX in and outs.

Read more: ADJ Launches Battery-Powered LED Pars

Tools of the Trade
The CAD Audio CADLive 3000 Wireless family
The CAD Audio CADLive 3000 Wireless family

The CADLive 3000 wireless system operates in the 500 MHz band for superior frequency agility and RF stability. Proprietary CAD ScanLink technology with Infrared transmitter setup allows the user to precisely scan, select and link to the optimum channel in any RF environment. True Diversity operation minimizes multipath interference while CADLock Automatic Tone Encoded Squelch eliminates unauthorized transmissions in the signal path. The 3000 system receiver and transmitters are equipped with a high definition LCD display and full RF, AF, Battery Life, Mic Sensitivity and RF power metering.

Read more: CAD Audio Ships CADLive 3000 Wireless

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