Weekly Timesheet

Punching the Clock

David J. McGraw

Since the Department of Labor announced back in May the updated overtime regulations in the Fair Labor Standards Act that take effect on December 1st, nearly every American industry has examined how – and how long - its employees work.  Perhaps this is the pendulum swinging back after decades of increased expectations of work hours, but all fields must now consider whether they have built their companies on the backs of employees who do not set their own schedules.  The performing arts are no different.

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Jay Duckworth

Jay Duckworth: Proptologist, Bear, Philosopher of the Hand

Suzi Steffen

Although he is props master at New York City's Public Theater now, Jay Duckworth started his career in a small-town community theatre -  moving his mouth, without speaking, to taped words in Mark Twain tourist tours of Hannibal, Missouri. 

Now he’s got a slightly bigger voice. In his current role at the Public Theater he's worked on everything from Shakespeare to Hamilton. He’s founded an annual summit for properties masters and designers; created podcasts to share his knowledge; given keynote speeches for the Kennedy Center’s American College Theater Festival; taught props classes in many a college … and so much more.

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Scenic Designer Regina García

Designing and Community Engagement

Porsche McGovern

This time in Illuminations, we sit down with Regina García, an Illinois-based scenic designer with long-standing relationships with the St. Louis Black Rep, The Cherry Lane Theatre and renowned Latino theatres including Repertorio Español, the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, INTAR and Pregones Theater. García opens up about who inspired her as she was coming up in the field, and where she finds inpsiration when she's stuck. 

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Sharath Patel

Make Art, Not Violence

Ross Jackson

An interview with Sound Designer Sharath Patel 

Sharath Patel is an East Indian-American sound designer, teacher, husband, sound engineer, and composer based in the Pacific Northwest. While working mainly in theatre he also has plenty of television, voiceover, and film credits. Sharath works most often in the small professional theatre and LORT circuits and also has some Off-Broadway credits with transition options as well. He is a resident artist at Artists Repertory Theatre and teaches at Reed College in Portland, Ore. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Sound Design from Yale School of Drama. Sharath’s work has been heard across the nation in theatres such as Westside Theater in NYC, Yale Rep in New Haven, Conn.,  A Contemporary Theatre in Seattle, Wash., and Portland Playhouse in Portland, Ore.

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Red rose.  Photo by Enid Martindale

A Rose by any Other Name

Katy McGlaughlin

In a field where personal satisfaction often out-weighs monetary payment a title can mean a lot. When I was hired for my last job I was officially called the “Production Assistant/Stage manager;” in reality I was assisting the production manager, shopping/buying for the shop, managing budgets, contracting crew, stage managing the Main Stage season, and working with the Second Stage stage manager. After I had been working for several months, and really started to understand the scope of the job, I had a meeting with my boss about changing my title.

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 interview and highlight theatre artists and administrators who are not as visible in the world of production

Illuminations Debuts

Jacob Coakley

Our new blog will highlight diversity backstage

Last fall, Stage Directions published an article by David Stewart, production director at the Guthrie Theater, about efforts in the theatre world to increase diversity backstage: “The Keys Are in the Room.” The article was titled after Sharifa Johka’s comments at the 2015 Theatre Communications Group Conference, where, in a panel discussion on diversity, Sharifa was adamant in her assertions that qualified, talented and diverse artists did exist and that it was vital for people with the power to hire actually commit to finding them. The article also noted what a powerful experience it was for young designers and technicians of color to interact with each other at conferences like USITT, and to break some of the isolation that can exist in theatre programs and companies for people of color. 

The subhead of the article was “A quick look at what’s being done to increase diversity and inclusivity in production.” While that article may have only been a quick look, we are continuing in that spirit with our new online blog, “Illuminations.” Illuminations will be a regular feature on the Stage Directions website (www.stage-directions.com/illuminations) where we will interview and highlight theatre artists and administrators who are not as visible in the world of production and theatre operations: people of color, members of the LGBTQ  community, and women. 

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Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew

Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew: Collaborating and Context

Porsche McGovern

Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew is a New York based theatre designer in lighting and video for opera, theatre, dance, and installation.  She is also a puppetry artist and has extensive experience with new works and adaptations in a collaborative setting.  

As a designer she aims to create a visual environment that is organically integrated into the landscape and language of the production.  Her design has been described as “contains the vibrant richness of a Caravaggio painted in neon” and seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Baryshnikov Arts Center, St. Ann's Warehouse, La Mama ETC, The Kitchen, Manhattan School of Music, and internationally at Havana, Prague, Lima, Edinburgh, Graz Austria and South Africa. 

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Replacing Cues.  Photo by Sarah Smiley

Adaptive Leadership

David J. McGraw

If you work in a close-knit theatrical community, you can guess the director or choreographer of a show just by its staging.  And despite creating environments in multiple time periods and locations, many designers also have ‘visual signatures.’  So do stage managers have a style that is apparent to other theatre artists even when the SM is not physically present?

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