Cast on the set of Beetlejuice
Cast on the set of Beetlejuice

Designing from the Inside Out: A Conversation with David Korins

Howard Sherman

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

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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)

A Conversation with Costume Designer Dede Ayite

Howard Sherman

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.”

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Theater of War's Antigone in Ferguson at Harlem Stage
Theater of War's Antigone in Ferguson at Harlem Stage

Reordering the Hierarchy of Culture: Bryan Doerries and Theater of War

Howard Sherman

"Our belief is that when you approach audiences with a reverence for the intelligence and the experience that’s in every room, and the humility for what might be possible, new things are possible in the theatre.” 

Those are the words of Bryan Doerries, founder of Theater of War Productions, which for a decade has been bringing classic works by Sophocles, Aeschylus, Euripides and others to military audiences, revealing how works that are some 2,500 years old still hold meaning and emotional power for present-day audiences, particularly those dealing with some of the greatest challenges anyone can face. Doerries chronicled his own work with both currently serving members of the military, as well as veterans’ groups, in his 2015 book, The Theater of War. In conversation with SD in November, Doerries suggested that while that work continues, it represented merely Act I of his utilization of the classics, with Act II now underway as the company expands to now serve not only the military but the mental health, medical, prison, justice communities and those affected by disasters.

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A Career in Consoles, Catching up with Anne Valentino

Michael Eddy

To say Anne Valentino has been influential in the development of lighting control consoles in our industry would be an understatement. She has been involved in the development of some of the industry’s most defining lighting control products. Most recognized for her work and guidance in the development of ETC’s family of consoles, who she began working with in 1990, Valentino has also worked with Kliegl Bros, Strand, Vari-Lite, and PRG, during her nearly 30-year career. If you have run a lighting console from any of these manufacturers, odds are insanely good that Valentino’s work was an important part of that board. Currently, she is the Eos Product Manager with ETC and is involved with console development from inception through development, and then taking it to the market. Many lighting designers and programmers have worked with, given feedback to, and been trained on the consoles by Valentino at tradeshows and training sessions all over the world. Her contributions to the industry have been deservedly recognized as well. She received the prestigious Gottelier Award in 2016 and in 2018 USITT honored her with the Lighting Design & Technology Distinguished Achievement Award. While at USITT, Stage Directions caught up with Valentino to talk a bit about her career.

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