In times of need and uncertainty, we turn to our friends for comfort, so it only made sense that we gathered a slew of friends of the pod to come together for a Quarantine episode of the podcast. Joining Cory for a Friday night drink is Buist Bickley, Darron West, Caite Hevner, Beowulf Boritt, Jason Lyons, Jen Caprio, Jen Schriever, Jason Lyons and Bradley King. Everyone shared how they are coping with the new normal caused by Covid-19 and how it’s taking its toll on everyone’s personal and professional lives. They chat about the work lost, the uncertainty of work in the future, and what it means for the theatre community at large. We hear from the parents of the group as to how they are working through this time with their young children, Beowulf tells us about making masks on his grandmother’s old sewing machine, Jason tells us how he’s working to continue the important education of his students and Bradley offers useful info on behalf of United Scenic Artists. And everyone shares what they are reading and watching to pass the time. There’s a lot of laughs and a lot of love in this group and it’s just a small slice of what all designers are feeling these days. Enjoy listening in on the chat while staying HOME and staying safe!
The podcast is back from a long hiatus for (hopefully!) an all new batch of episodes. This week, we are sitting down with Lighting Designer and recent Obie Award winner Isabella Byrd. Isabella discuses with us the genesis of her design for ‘The Light Shining in Buckinghamshire’ and how that show helped catapult her into greater visibility. She also shares insights into her work on ‘The Thanksgiving Play’, ‘Seascape’ and ‘The Tale of Despereaux’ and if she feels a paradigm shifting in regards to gender parity on creative teams. Isabella and Cory also discuss her time at Chance Magazine and the Prague Quadrennial, how to make theatre marketing photos reflect the shows better, how she learned restraint working with designers like Jane Cox and Tyler Micoleau, and the challenge for young designers to separate the drafting process from the design process. And, MONTHS later (sorry!), Corry announces the winner of the giveaway contest for Clifton Taylor’s book.
This week we are sitting down with Lighting Designer Clifton Taylor to discuss he new book, Color & Light: Navigating Color Mixing in the Midst of an LED Revolution. He tells us where the idea for the book came from, the process of writing about a technology that is rapidly evolving and what he hopes readers will get out of it. Clifton and Cory dive into various color topics including using saturation to convey darkness, why certain colors can appear onstage just because of how our eyes work, and using an audience’s preconceived relationship with colors to a designer’s advantage. They also spend a great deal of time talking about the transition from gel based color to LED sources and how that affects the documenting and recreating of shows, how designers communicate with their programmers, and managing a wealth of fixture types and possible colors while time in the theatre remains as limited as always. It’s the wild wild west of color right now with an ever shifting landscape of available options and Clifton is here to make sense of it all. And BONUS…listen for your chance to win an autographed copy of the book!
If you’ve seen ‘The Band’s Visit’ you know how exquisite that show sounds, but while we couldn’t get the entire band to visit us at in1, we have the man who makes that music shimmer, it’s Tony Award winning Sound Designer Kai Harada! Kai drops by to discuss his design for that show and the challenges he faced with roving musicians, additional musicians under the stage, an incredibly nuanced score and often very subtle performances from it’s stars. Speaking of subtle, he also let’s us in on secrets from his intimate design in the round for ‘Fun Home’ and discusses how he made the Hudson theatre rock for ‘Head Over Heels.’ Cory and Kai also chat about his musical background, where he thinks the worst seats are in a theatre for sound, why sound designers end up designing mainly plays or musical but rarely both, and how young sound designers can market themselves for what is essentially an invisible art. Put on your best pair of headphones and spend the next 2 hours listening to the wisdom of one of the best!
It’s a Christmas miracle and a brand new episode this week as we sit down with Costume Designer Alejo Vietti AND a very special guest, Tony Award winner Jessie Mueller! Jessie is probably most known for having originated the role of Carole King in the Broadway production of “Beautiful”, and all her fabulous clothes came from the mind of this week’s guest. Listen in as Alejo and Jessie reminisce about their first meeting, what was going through their heads during fittings, how they worked together to develop the look of Carole, how the costumes evolved over the show’s journey to Broadway and tons of other stories, anecdotes, and backstage insight. Prepare for a one-of-a-kind chat that exemplifies how clothes inform a character, how an actor can inform the clothes, and how designer and performer can come together to create a winning collaboration. AND Alejo regales us with stories of designing costumes for the Rockets, how his Argentinian background played into his clothes for Evita, how he went from law school to costume designer and he and Cory geek out over their love of film scores. Cozy up to the fire and enjoy this holiday treat! Happy New Year!
This week’s brand new episode is with Sound Designer Jessica Paz! Jessica shares with us wild tales from her summers at the Delecorte Theatre with stories and insights from her recent designs for ‘Othello’ and ‘Twelfth Night’ as well how the sound department battles wind, rain, helicopters and yes raccoons. That Othello featured an all female design team, (recently featured in the NY Times) and she shares her thoughts on something that is both a great achievement but also shouldn’t have to be. Cory and Jessica chat about advancements in speaker technology being used on the ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ tour, how she works with a mixer to find the perfect sound for a show, and the continued push to get all designers, especially Sound Designers, proper credit and respect.
Bake some spongecake, pull out your six string and spend a balmy summer weekend with ‘Escape to Margaritaville’ Scenic Designer Walt Spangler! On this week’s new episode, Walt is telling us about the genesis of his tropical design that included a research trip to Key West, an actual Jimmy Buffet concert, and how the design changed over time from it’s La Jolla premier and it’s multi-city tour leading up to Broadway. Cory and Walt also talk about his design for the whimsical ‘Tuck Everlasting’ and how his iconic set for ‘Desire Under the Elms’ came to be with giant boulders and a house floating over the stage. Walt takes us through his design process through script sketches, model and sculptural work, and recounts presenting his first ideas to directors like Casey Nicholaw and Robert Falls. And hear the true life story of how a new piece of scenery was conceived, built, painted, and installed over the weekend of Margaritaville’s final previews. Grab something cold and fruity and let the sound of this week’s chat fill your private cabana. (you did reserve a cabana right??)
He’s baaaaack! In what has quickly become an annual tradition, Lindsay Jones is back again this summer to continue chatting about all things travel and life on the road. This week we’re talking about airline classes, how to beat Priceline at their own game, what day of the week and what time you should book your flight, why you’re waiting at Penn Station in the wrong location, how to negotiate a travel budget with the theatre, and the differences and simple joys of TSA Pre-check, Global Entry, and Clear. Lindsay tells us why you should NEVER fly Spirit Airlines, why the pre-check line keeps getting longer and longer, and the fact that Basic Economy is so bad, even LORT theatres don’t want you flying it. And he swears anyone is allowed to use the bathrooms in first class, though in1 is not responsible for your legal fees. And we’re talking Collaborator Party 2018! Lindsay gave up his dinner break to share his secrets so don’t let his starvation be in vain and hit play now!
What’s the buzz with Episode #81? The buzz is all about Art Director and Scenic Designer Melissa Shakun! Melissa was the Art Dir. for NBC’s ‘Jesus Christ Superstar Live’ and she’s giving us all the behind the scenes stories of turning Jason Ardizzone-West’s stunning design into a reality. Hear about all the sand that never made it to broadcast, how the set was built and installed in record time and why the final crucifixion was so difficult to accomplish. Melissa talks about the difference between Prod. Design and Art Direction and how designing for episodic TV differs from theatre with examples from her time on ‘The Americans’, ‘The Jim Gaffigan Show’, ‘Mysteries of Laura’ and ‘Blindspot.’ She’s got great stories about blowing out windows with fire boxes, shooting scenes under the Astoria Pool, how to make Brooklyn look like 1980’s Washington DC and how she helped transport Seaworld visitors to Antartica as part of the Art Direction team for the Empire of the Penguin ride!
Lumos Maxima! It’s opening weekend for ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ on Broadway so we’re sitting down with a true lighting wizard, Neil Austin! He’s tight lipped about the secrets of the show but he does share with us how it has felt to be working on such a cultural phenomenon and when he realized this was to be no ordinary show. He’s also telling us about squeezing light into Christopher Oram’s beautiful yet boxed in set for ‘Hughie’ and how he created both the Sun and the Moon in the Park Avenue Armory for ‘Macbeth.’ Cory and Neil also spend a great deal of time discussing the design industry in the UK and how social programs like the NHS make it easier for younger designers to develop careers as well as the difference between United Scenic Artists, the Association of Lighting Designers, and British Equity. There’s talk about strong British backlight, why good haze is so important, and an important discussion about the #savestagelighting campaign and how the new EU 2020 Lighting Regulations could have a devastating impact on theatrical lighting. Grab a pint of butterbeer and enjoy this brand new episode!
It’s Episode #79 and we are seizing the day and sitting down with Tony Award winning Lighting Designer Jeff Croiter. Jeff has a wide ranging career and we’re talking about all sorts of projects. Cory and Jeff discuss his recent design of the Big Apple Circus and how one goes about lighting jugglers, horses and the Flying Wallendas as well as his new relationship with Penn & Teller and what goes into lighting two of the most famous magicians in the world. He also discusses the prominent role lighting played in “Bandstand” and how he got 75 old fresnels to change color all night long and of course we’re talking about the genesis of his design for “Peter and the Starcatcher” and how it has become a genre of design in itself. Other topics include how smaller gigs led to his Broadway career, how he cues quickly and efficiently in the theatre, and we get a surprise appearance from Willa the dog and the lovely and talented Kate Wetherhead!