Changing the Landscape is back this week with Episode 2: Perception of the Unknown. In this episode, the first of two parts, Steve Jones, former Director of Production at the Apollo Theatre in New York City, sits down with Alan to tell us where he came from. Beginning with his origins in Flint, Michigan where he started taking part in theatre activities in grade school, Steve started taking theatre seriously after a sports injury sidelined him for the remainder of his college career. He walks us through his experiences in applying for grad schools, leaving Flint, MI, and his first big-time job in New York City at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
The world remains shut down but our Happy Hour rages on here at the podcast with episode 96. This week we’ve got Scenic Designers Adam Koch and Paul dePoo, Projection Designer Alex Koch, Costume Designer Andrea Hood, and Lighting Designers Amanda Zieve and Jen Schriever. The group shares their feelings on what changed this week as everyone started thinking bigger picture about the theatre industry as a whole and what our jobs might look like when they come back. Everyone shares their shutdown stories, where they are getting their news, whether audiences will want to come see a show, how we can help graduating young designers, and of course a check-in on everyone’s unemployment status. Pour whatever you’ve got lying around and come join the party!
The madness and mayhem continues this week with our third Quarantine Happy Hour. Joining Cory and Jen is Arnulfo Maldonado, Sarah Laux, Adam Honoré, Palmer Hefferan, Nevin Steinberg, and Artistic Dir of Philidelphia Theatre Company Paige Price. Paige gives us insight into what it’s like trying to keep a regional theatre afloat during this crisis and how she is approaching difficult decisions about furloughing staff, canceling shows, selecting a new season, and managing audience expectations. We expand on last week’s conversations regarding digital options for theatre and discuss Williamtown’s plan to produce an all audio season and what it would mean to stream/live broadcast more theatre. The gang also discusses wiping down groceries, whether we’ve all become hypochondriacs, if anyone is feeling the need to be creative right now, some Unemployment success stories (woohoo!) and Sarah tells us all a joke! Come for the company, stay for the comedy!
In what is fast becoming a tradition, the podcast is back with an all new episode and an all new Quarantine Happy Hour. This week, Cory sits down with Anna Louizos, Wilson Chin, Alejo Vietti, Isabella Byrd, Clint Ramos, Tyler Micoleau and in1 all star Jen Schriever! The gang checks in on each other and everyone discusses routine vs not routine, watching the news vs turning it off, how everyone is eating, cooking, working out and passing time and what they miss the most being stuck at home. There’s a report back from the large United Scenic Artist Wingspace Salon this week, some good news about union dues and healthcare payments, and the group discusses when we might get back to work, what the world of regional theatre might look like post Covid-19, what kind of shows writers will be creating, how art has typically responded to mass world events in history, and whether we’ve seen the end of shaking hands and (gasp!) the double cheek kiss. You’ve got nothing better to do so grab a glass and join the happy hour!
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!
This week we are sitting down with Projection Designer and bespectacled wonder-woman Olivia Sebesky! She is currently a Knight of Illumination nominee for her work on the lastest Aerosmith concert and she’s here to tell us the journey of that design including a 35-minute preshow retrospective of the band and the massive undertaking of clearing all the rights for every frame of footage. She’s also sharing stories about her other recent concert designs including Hootie and the Blowfish and James Taylor. Cory and Olivia discuss her theatrical work on shows like ‘Jerry Springer’ and ‘Me…Jane’ and discuss a whole host of topics facing projection designers including content budgets, software costs, to program or not, how she divides up the work among her team, and how to find the balance of how much video to incorporate into a show. She tells us how (friend of the show!) Justin Townsend may be responsible for her career and why by the time you listen to this, she will have spent some quality time with a Beluga whale!
Today we are sitting down with Scenic (and occasional Costume) Designer Arnulfo Maldonado! Arnulfo takes us through the creation of some of his recent designs including ‘A Strange Loop’, the first regional production of ‘Indecent’ at the Guthrie, his Lortel winning design for MTC’s ‘Sugar in Our Wounds’ and his cornfield surround for ‘Bobbie Clearly.’ He tells us why he is attracted to the “magic of a void” and how his designs often become the distillation of many ideas into one strong visual. He also has great stories about working on Ursula’s tentacles as an assistant of George Tsypin’s on ‘The Little Mermaid’ and how Peter Sellers became obsessed with his model figures. And he takes us through an entire design process from reading the script to the final design and the various tools he uses. He’s one of the hottest set designers in New York with shows on nearly every major Off-Broadway stage and today he is talking to us!
He’s back for round number 4! It’s our annual check-in with Lindsay Jones! He’s telling us all about his new Fitbit and gym membership and how that has led to a healthier lifestyle while working on the road. (And a skinnier Lindsay!) Then Cory shares his recent experience of flying Business and (finally!) getting lounge access and how things fared on his trips with Latam, Southwest, Singapore Air and Alitalia. Lindsay teaches us why everyone needs to know about Rule 240, his thoughts on neck pillows, how to sleep better on an airplane, and how the AA mechanic strike has affected his travel and his elite status. Cory shares how he nearly got a $1k voucher from Delta then it’s another deep dive into rental car insurance as they try to determine whether Cory has been breaking the law for years. It’s 2 hours of travel woes, tips, highs, and lows. And we have our first cat on the podcast!
This week we are sitting down with Emmy Nominated Scenic Designer Jason Sherwood! Jason is nominated for the production design of ‘RENT Live’ and he gives us the full deep dive into his set for this groundbreaking production. From it’s development along side Michael Greif, to figuring out audience locations and camera blocking, to how to transition the story from place to place, Jason is giving us the inside scoop on all of it. He and Cory also touch on a whole host of topics including social media use, the keys to staying positive, Jason’s live music work with Sam Smith, Sara Bareilles and the Spice Girls, how he’s achieved so much before his 30th birthday, and much much more. Prepare for an eye opening, candid chat with a designer who clearly sleeps very little and works very hard. AND, true stories from a 6′-6″ guy trying to squeeze into a Broadway theatre seat. Jason is easily one of the most in demand theatrical designers working today and he’s spending over two hours giving us a window into his world. Enjoy!
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!