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Tech Table Webinar Replay: KC Wilkerson Speaks with Stage Manager Lisa Dawn Cave

Stage Directions • Theatre Buzz • June 17, 2020

Tech Table, a live streamed webinar series from Project with Jason, is hosted by Lighting Designer KC Wilkerson. In the most recent installment, which streamed on Saturday, June 13, Wilkerson had an interactive conversation with Broadway Stage Manager, Lisa Dawn Cave. She is also the Production Supervisor for Frozen world-wide. Here’s the video replay of that conversation:

Projects with Jason (PwJ) was established by theater arts advocate and professional stage manager J. Jason Daunter. PwJ has created some an interesting and new model of webinars, including Artists in Conversation and Virtual Cabaret installments with theater artists including Chita Rivera and Sam Harris. You can replay these and others in the past archive on the PwJ YouTube channel Projects with Jason.

Daunter partnered with Wilkerson to host Tech Table, which will be conversations with backstage theater artists—designers, technicians, and artisans who bring productions to life on stage. “The idea behind the title Tech Table is that, even though some of the artists we want to include aren’t specifically technical, we all end up (at some point during the process) around the tech table to collaborate and problem-solve,” says Wilkerson.

Tech Table is an exciting online learning opportunity for technical theater students and teachers alike. In these live streams, backstage artists interact with those who will create the theater of tomorrow, sharing their experience, stories, and wisdom. The first installment of Tech Table will feature an interactive conversation with six-time Tony Award-winning Lighting Designer Natasha Katz. The hope is that students will gain an understanding of what it’s like to be a working professional backstage artist. Teachers will obtain additional resources and examples to use in their teaching. Theater production professionals will have the opportunity to share their stories. Viewers will have a deeper understanding of how these theater arts approach their craft.

“This all started with the idea that we wanted to connect students and designers. We started with the idea that we all come to the tech table when we’re in production to troubleshoot and problem solve,” explains Wilkerson. “After rehearsal, everybody converges on the tech table to really hash through what’s going on and to begin to solve problems. We thought that the online equivalent of that is that it’s an opportunity for students and teachers alike, and it will allow designers and theater makers and backstage artists to share their experience, their stories, and their wisdom but then to have an interaction with students. The way that we have structured it is that it fits into a 50-minute timeframe so that these sessions, in the future, have potential use in the classroom as a resource for teachers. They can replay the interview with a guest artist, depending on what area they’re studying.”

Wilkerson continues, “These sessions are split into three interview segments that are between myself and the guest artist. One week may be the first interaction is a student designer doing a presentation and gets feedback. The second interaction might be student questions that we have collated through our extensive educational network, reaching out to students all around the country who send in their questions. We cull through the questions, we contact the students, line them up, and they appear live and ask their question and have a chance to follow up and converse with the guest artist. We will discover a lot of how that interaction works as we go along. This first week we’re going to bring in a student to do a design presentation in the first part of the Tech Table and there will be students that are asking questions live.”

“When we speak with the professionals, the minute we say that there are going to be students there, everyone has said, ‘Yes, I’m in. When do you want me to be on?’,” notes Wilkerson. “That has been really, really cool. It tells me, first, we’re reaching out to the right people that not only want to talk about their work but that can talk about it to students and make it meaningful to them. Everybody’s really excited about this idea.”

The live streamed Tech Table will include:

  • 50 minutes to 1 hour – Archived for teachers to share as future learning opportunities.
  • Focused hosted segments with a backstage artist, including designers, producers, tech directors and other backstage roles.
  • Rotating student interaction segments.
  • Some weeks may include design presentations, student questions, educator questions, student challenges, etc.
  • Student interaction with the guest artist is front and center.

You can watch the webinar here or go to the Projects with Jason channel on YouTube.

Further information on Tech Table or any of the other webinar series from Projects with Jason go to https://projectswithjason.com/

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