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 ( 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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