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!
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!
This week’s episode is brought to you by the number 78 as we sit down with Emmy Award winning Costume Designer for Sesame Street, Brian Hemesath! Direct from Kaufman Astoria Studios, Brian is sharing with us stories and fun facts about costuming the humans on the show while trying not to get too star struck surrounded by Elmo, Big Bird and the entire gang. He breaks down how the costume department approaches each new season of shows, deals with clothing celebrity guest stars, makes sure the human clothes play nice with the puppet clothes and other tales and tidbits. Brian and Cory also chat about his 10+ years spent at Saturday Night Live and a typical week in costume world at SNL from table reads, fittings, research, rehearsals, and pre-tapes to the organized chaos of the live show and how he became the go to costume designer for Andy Sandberg and the Lonely Island sketches. And if THAT isn’t enough, the guys chat about Brian’s Broadway debut designing ‘Honeymoon in Vegas’ as well as the challenges and problems facing costume designers often forced to front their own money on clothing and issues surrounding receipts, reimbursements, credit cards and cc debt, and ideas to mitigate the pressure placed on designers. From Bert to Ernie, to Mother Lovers, to flying Elvis’s…this episode has it all including a trip down memory lane to a dairy farm in Iowa. Sweep those clouds away!