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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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David Hicks
David Hicks

David Hicks: Enlightened Spaces

Ross Jackson

David S. Robinson Hicks is a Stage Manager, Actor, and Writer based in Los Angeles. David's connection to the arts was fostered by his family, who operated a network of non-profit efforts to deliver enrichment to underserved youth. David had the honor of assisting in the expansion of these efforts, which provided scholarships and vocational training for rising artists and at-risk youth in Greater LA and New York City. After re-discovering his love for technical theater in high school, David set about working with stage management teams at theaters such as The Pasadena Playhouse, Geffen Playhouse, and Theatricum Botanicum.

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Dahlia Al-Habieli
Dahlia Al-Habieli

Dahlia Al-Habieli: Undercover Advocate

Porsche McGovern

I met Dahlia Al-Habieli when we were both on a panel about gender equity in theatrical design at Wake Forest University, organized by Jyles Rodgers ’19. Dahlia Al-Habieli is an award-winning designer, visual artist, and educator currently teaching at Wake Forest University's Department of Theatre and Dance in Winston-Salem, NC. Upcoming projects include Native Gardens at Trinity Rep, and installation design for Consenses at MASS MOCA.

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Sherrice Mojgani and Jonah keeping up to date on new technology. Photo Credit: Amanda Zieve.
Sherrice Mojgani and Jonah keeping up to date on new technology. Photo Credit: Amanda Zieve.

Sherrice Mojgani: Design & Community

Porsche McGovern

Sherrice Mojgani is an assistant professor in the School of Theatre at George Mason University. Before coming to GMU, Mrs. Mojgani was based in San Diego, CA. Sherrice and I have become friends through being two of the original four administrators for the Design and Production Diversity Working Group on Facebook for the last two years.

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Hustle and Grow

Ross Jackson

An Interview with Eb Madry, Lighting Designer

Ebony (Eb) Madry identifies as a black, queer female. She loves to create and support a space with lighting. She started to fall in love with lighting at 16 years old. And since that time, she has earned her MFA in Lighting from UC Irvine. She considers herself blessed to work with notable artists including Christian Vincent, Leslie Ishii, Paul Barnes, Michael Franti, Brandi Carlisle, and Melissa Etheridge. Eb’s designs are bold and actively strive to evoke strong emotion whenever possible, but what separates her from other lighting designers is her ability to stay calm during the sometimes stormy period of tech while continuing to explore ideas and enhance the show. Eb could sit at the tech table all day and night. 

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