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The New Group’s Why We Do It, a Conversation with Scenic Designer, Derek McLane

Stage Directions • Theatre Buzz • May 20, 2020

NYC’s The New Group has begun hosting Why We Do It livestream creative conversations with a variety of theater artists. On May 20, they hosted a conversation with Tony and Emmy Award-winning Scenic Designer Derek McLane, who has designed a wide variety of productions for The New Group. You can watch the replay of this conversation here:

Join The New Group each Wednesday on YouTube Live and Facebook Live for these conversations, moderated by Founding Artistic Director Scott Elliott. These are archived for later playback.

“I have designed a total of 42 shows at The New Group, 34 of them with director Scott Elliott (we’ve also done five shows elsewhere)”, explains Derek McLane. “I’ve had many artistic homes, but none sturdier and more sheltering than this one. Some of the sets have been very simple, some very ambitious. Some shows have turned out brilliantly, others were, um, let’s say controversial. But all of them have been rewarding to work on, and I count myself as so very fortunate to have this place to come back to again and again.”

Derek McLane’s nearly 350 designs include: Broadway credits include: Moulin Rouge!, A Soldier’s Play, Burn This, American Son, Parisian Woman, The Price, Beautiful, Fully Committed, Noises Off, Gigi, 33 Variations (Tony Award), China Doll, How to Succeed in Business Without Even Trying, The Heiress, Follies, Anything Goes, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, Million Dollar Quartet, Ragtime, The Pajama Game, I Am My Own Wife.  Off-Broadway: Buried Child, Jerry Springer The Opera, Merrily We Roll Along, The Spoils,  If I Forget, Love, Love, Love; The Night of the Iguana, Sweet Charity, Buried Child, Into the Woods, Ruined, The Last Five Years, Television  6 years of Academy Awards, NBC Musicals: The Sound of Music, Peter Pan, The Wiz & Hairspray. A Tony Award, 2 Emmy’s, 2 Obie’s, Drama Desk, 3 Lucille Lortel Awards, and 2 Art Directors Guild Awards.

Further information from The New Group:

Photos by Monique Carboni

McLane’s scenic design for The Whirligig for the New Group. Photos by Monique Carboni


Evening at the Talk House, set design by McLane for the New Group. Photos by Monique Carboni


McLane’s scenic design for Buried Child for the New Group. Photos by Monique Carboni


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