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Current Issue

  • Effective Leadership: Book Review of Stage Management Theory as a Guide to Practice

    Sherrice Mojgani | Stage Management | February 5, 2020As a freelance lighting designer and assistant professor, I have experienced many different leadership styles; in my own experience—in administrative, educational, and artistic contexts—I’ve discovered that each new group of people I am leading needs a slightly different approach. In order to be a successful leader, I must constantly adapt to serve the needs and […] Read More...
  • The Stoves of Martin McDonagh

    Jim Guy | Props | February 5, 2020In the December 2019 issue, Jim Guy, prop director for the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, spoke about creating bones and skulls for a production of Martin McDonagh’s play, A Skull in Connemara. This month, Guy talked to us about two more solutions for Martin McDonagh’s plays, this time two different stoves for two different productions. Read […] Read More...
  • Set Decoration as Narrative: Properly dressing the set to support the story

    Larry Heyman | Sets, Scenery and Rigging | February 5, 2020I was talking to a student scenic designer working on the first main stage show they’d designed. The conversation went something like this: I said, “We need to start thinking about decorating the set.” They replied, “But we have furniture and light fixtures, and lamps…” “Right, now we do everything else; we decorate it.” They came […] Read More...
  • An Active Experience: A conversation with designer Mark Wendland

    Michael S. Eddy | Perspectives | February 5, 2020Scenic designer Mark Wendland, based in New York City, has worked on Broadway to off-Broadway, as well as with a number of regional and opera theaters across the country. He has been nominated for the Tony Award for Best Scenic Design of a Play with 2011’s The Merchant of Venice (also nominated for a Drama […] Read More...
  • Point Source Audio Sounding Board: Patent Granted for the PSA CO2 Microphone with Built-in Backup

    Stage Directions | The Sounding Board - Point Source Audio Blog | January 8, 2020Four patents in three years underscores Point Source Audio’s leadership in live sound solutions. Point Source Audio (PSA) was recently granted U.S. Patent No. D850,422 for its CO2-8WL Dual Lavalier Microphone, part of the company’s CO2 Confidence Microphone collection. It is the world’s first fully redundant microphone in a wearable housing—providing an all-in-one solution for […] Read More...
  • Hell’s Best Friend: Building the Devil’s Dog

    Jay Duckworth | Answer Box | January 7, 2020At the Public Theater, we’re doing an update of Tony Kushner’s A Bright Room Called Day. It’s being directed by our artistic director Oskar Eustis. The design team is a who’s who of gifted designers and our scenic designer David Rockwell is an absolute treat to work with. There are some great challenges to the […] Read More...
  • Robin Wagner: A Career Designed to Impress

    Ellis Nassour | Master Artist | January 5, 2020Robin Wagner, a spry 86 and celebrating more than a half century as a scenic designer, speaks in revered tones of working in theater. “One of the great things about being in this business, and especially being a scenic designer, is that sense of feeling reborn with every show. Each has new characters, new stories, […] Read More...
  • Technology as an Extension of Your Imagination: Master Teacher David Budries on Sound Design

    Howard Sherman | Perspectives | January 5, 2020When David Budries began working in the field of sound, he was cutting and splicing reel to reel tape. Today, the technology has advanced from that analog state to widely accessible digital tools. But he makes very clear that when it comes to sound design, the tools come second. “If you are led by the […] Read More...
  • Riding off into the Santa Fe Sunset: PM Paul Horpedahl on work and life

    Michael S. Eddy | Production Management | January 5, 2020Paul Horpedahl recently announced that he is stepping down as the Director of Production and Facilities at The Santa Fe Opera, a position he has held for over 21 years. He actually started his long theatrical career as a technical apprentice at The Santa Fe Opera after receiving his BA in theater from the University […] Read More...
  • The Audio Design for David Byrne’s American Utopia on Broadway

    Michael Eddy | Audio | December 18, 2019David Byrne had a vision for his production of American Utopia, that it would be a completely bare stage and that all the musicians and performers would be untethered. There would be no cables; everything would need to be wireless. This for a show that would tour the globe and play at festivals and play to audiences averaging from 4,000 to 8,000 per show and upwards of 50,000 at festivals. The tour stage was normally 55-feet wide x 30-feet deep and surrounded on three sides by walls of aluminum chain. This was the task that Byrne presented to Front of House Engineer, Pete Keppler and touring Monitor Engineer, John Chadwick when they met to discuss the show. He then upped that challenge 18 months later, taking the show into Broadway’s Hudson Theatre, a comparatively tiny 970 seat house and a stage measuring 29-feet wide x 25-feet deep. Keppler, a longtime engineer and producer who has worked with Byrne on previous tours and albums, speaks about his solutions to the challenge of the Broadway incarnation of American Utopia. Read More...
  • The Lighting Design for David Byrne’s American Utopia on Broadway

    Michael Eddy | Light On The Subject | December 18, 2019David Byrne has taken his wildly popular concert touring production, American Utopia, which has been travelling around the world for the last year and a half and morphed it into a Broadway show. It’s playing to sold out houses—and very positive theatrical reviews—at the Hudson Theatre in NYC. The show features the same production, lighting, and sound design, but adapted down to a tight Broadway theater space after its time in various arenas around the world. The result is a beautiful, joy-filled evening mixing Talking Heads and Byrne’s solo work into a truly theatrical performance. Entirely presented on a completely bare stage, except for a surround of chain curtain, with no cabling for audio at all and musicians in constant motion, it is the most ambitious of band performances. Byrne himself in an interview with Shure acknowledged, “There was a lot of things that could have gone wrong. In this case, a completely empty stage, an entire band mobile is a really simple idea, but technically, not so easy to realize.” Realize it Byrne and his creative team have though, and rather brilliantly in fact. To get some insight into the starkly beautiful lighting design by Rob Sinclair Stage Directions spoke with him recently. Read More...
  • Master Builder: Prop Master and Educator Eric Hart

    Lisa Mulcahy | In the Limelight | December 18, 2019Eric Hart has established himself as a preeminent prop master and builder through a dedication to quality and a belief in true practicality. His prop work has brought him respect in the industry as well as accolades. Hart is currently the prop master at Triad Stage in Greensboro, NC, and a visiting professor in the Stage Properties program at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Hart has written two of the ‘every prop master must have’ resource books — The Prop Building Guidebook for Theatre, Film, and TV and The Prop Effects Guidebook: Lights, Motion, Sound and Music. He builds not only stage props, but also props for retail stores and theme parks; his specialties include carpentry, metal work, vacuum forming, sculpting, molding and casting, and small effects.  Read More...
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