Leah Ramillano is a Filipino-American Scenic Designer
Leah Ramillano is a Filipino-American Scenic Designer

The Safe Place to Explore Unsafe Ideas

Ross Jackson

An Interview with Leah Ramillano, Scenic Designer

Leah Ramillano is a Filipino-American Scenic Designer based out of Los Angeles and Orange County. After graduating with a BA in Theatre Arts from the University of Redlands, Leah participated in the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s FAIR program, where she worked as an Assistant Scenic Artist, and then later at PCPA [Pacific College of the Performing Arts] Theaterfest as a Scenic Art Intern. Later, she designed the world premiere of Ser! (written and performed by Karen Anzoategui) at the Los Angeles Theater Center. Then, she designed Sueños Sin Fronteras under Cornerstone Theater Company’s Teatro Jornalero. Leah will be graduating from the University of California, Irvine with an MFA in Scenic Design in June 2017. Her main stage designs include The Liquid Plain, These Shining Lives, and Parade.

Add a comment
Read more
Xavier Pierce
Xavier Pierce

Storytelling Through Lighting Design

Porsche McGovern

For this post in Illuminations, I interview Xavier Pierce, a New York-based lighting designer with strong ties to the Guthrie Theatre, Playmakers Repertory Company, and the Mint Theatre.  In this interview, Xavier talks about how he began his journey, advice for starting a career in theatrical lighting design, and the importance of mentors and role models.

Add a comment
Read more
Dean Curosmith is a Stage Manager on Cirque du Soleil's Kooza.
Dean Curosmith is a Stage Manager on Cirque du Soleil's Kooza.

Cirque du Soleil and Childlike Disbelief

Ross Jackson

An Interview with Dean Curosmith, Cirque Stage Manager

Dean Curosmith is a Stage Manager with Cirque du Soleil.  He was born and raised in Las Vegas, NV and is currently traveling Australia with the Cirque production of Kooza.  Dean has been with Cirque du Soleil since January of 2013; has worked on four different productions; and with them he has traveled and worked in Japan, Chile, and now Australia.  Before his time with Cirque, he earned his Bachelor of Theatre Arts from Pepperdine University in 2007, and his Master of Fine Arts from University of California, Irvine in 2013.  Dean is of mixed heritage, but the largest contribution to his ethnic background is Japanese on his mother’s side.

Add a comment
Read more
Kristen Day
Kristen Day

Find Your Chosen Family

Suzi Steffen

For this edition of Illuminations, I spoke with Kristen Day, who spent the 2016 season as a lighting technician and programmer at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon. Day -- who worked on the electric crew at Shakespeare Santa Cruz and who was an intern through the FAIR program at Oregon Shakes before getting the job -- uses the pronouns they, them and their. Day got into the theatre by following their sister into dance and moved into lighting after some friends recruited them. And it was in the followspot booth that Day truly discovered who they were. 

Add a comment
Read more
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.

Add a comment
Read more
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. 

Add a comment
Read more
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.

Add a comment
Read more
 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. 

Add a comment
Read more
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. 

Add a comment
Read more