Tara A Houston. Photo by: Eddie Perez.
Tara A Houston. Photo by: Eddie Perez.

Tara Houston: Navigating Mixed-Race Identity

Porsche McGovern

While interviewing designers from the Latinx Theatre Commons Carnaval 2018, Porsche McGovern met Tara A. Houston and wanted to learn more about her. Houston is the Assistant Professor of Scenic Design at Louisiana State University as well as a freelance scenic designer. Her design work has been featured at Swine Palace, Skylight Music Theatre, Casa Mañana Theatre, Ocala Civic Theatre, Austin Shakespeare, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Music Theatre of Wichita, and others.

Add a comment
Read more
Kris Julio. Photo Credit: G. Allen Aycock.
Kris Julio. Photo Credit: G. Allen Aycock.

Kris Julio: Intentional Intersectionality Through Props

Porsche McGovern

I was introduced to Kris Julio through a mutual close friend via the Internet. Kris Julio is the Assistant Professor for Stage Properties in the School of Design & Production at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. His professional experience includes work with Triad Stage, Majestic Scenic, Santa Fe Opera, National Black Theater Festival, Peppercorn Children’s Theater, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, American Conservatory Theater, and Contemporary American Theater Festival. With NETworks Presentations, Julio traveled as head of props for the national tours of Memphis the Musical and Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Julio has a B.A. in theater arts from UC Santa Cruz and an M.F.A. in stage properties from UNCSA.

Add a comment
Read more

ConeXion! 2018 Carnaval of Latinx Works - The Designers Cohort

Porsche McGovern

The 2018 Latinx Theatre Commons Carnaval of New Latinx Work, hosted at The Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago, IL, in July was a showcase for six new plays by Latinx playwrights and for Latinx theatre artists, including directors, dramaturgs, actors, and artists. This year, 12 Latinx designers were invited to participate in both the new play development process and all the events of the convening, as the first featured designers cohort. They were set designers Efren Delgadillo, Jr., Tara A. Houston, and Mariana Sanchez; costume designers Raquel Barreto, Courtney Flores, and Carolyn Mazuca; lighting designers Mextly Almeda, Tom Ontiveros, and Pablo Santiago; and sound designers Corinne Carrillo, Luis Guerra, and David R. Molina. After they attended the Carnaval, I had the opportunity to speak with some of the designers as well as Abigail Vega, the Latinx Theatre Commons producer.

Add a comment
Read more
Elton Bradman
Elton Bradman

Elton Bradman: Playing for the Song

Ross Jackson

Elton Bradman is a lifelong musician who’s having fun and learning a ton as a sound designer/composer for theater. Currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area, he is a music journalist who composes for dance/theater/visual media and plays music for childbirth (labor and delivery), birthdays and birth celebrations, initiations/coming of age rituals, graduations, weddings, yoga classes, funerals, and grief workshops.

Add a comment
Read more
Christina Watanabe, Lighting Designer
Christina Watanabe, Lighting Designer

Christina Watanabe: Finding Your Light

Porsche McGovern

After hearing about Lighting Designer, Christina Watanabe for years, I was pleased to meet her in person at a USA829 Diversity Committee Meet-up. Christina is a New York City based designer for theatre, dance, music, and events. Her designs have been seen at Lincoln Center, Primary Stages/Cherry Lane, 59E59, HERE Arts Center, The New Ohio, Urban Stages, Gelsey Kirkland Ballet, Penguin Rep, The Public Theatre, Intar, The Bushwick Starr, and Theatre for the New City to name a few. Christina has designed and taught at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and with the Yale Dramatic Association. Other design work includes cabaret, events, and Ralph Lauren’s Madison Avenue windows. Christina has toured with Shen Wei Dance Arts, Jonah Bokaer, and So Percussion. Christina has an MFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts and is a member USA829. She recently took some time to speak with me for Stage Directions Illuminations blog:

Add a comment
Read more
Valérie Thérèse Bart
Valérie Thérèse Bart

Collaboration in Action

Porsche McGovern

I met Valérie Thérèse Bart through the wonders of the Internet. She is a costume and scenic designer. She is a proud self-proclaimed Franco-VietnAmericaine. She attended UCLA for undergrad and then the Yale School of Drama. She credits a 2-week intensive workshop, entitled “The Collaborative Process: Directors and Designers” taught by Ming Cho Lee and Constance Hoffman through a summer program at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for opening her eyes to the power of the conversation, the true essence of collaboration. She has designed at numerous regional theaters as well as off-Broadway. Bart designs for Opera and Theater.

Add a comment
Read more