This week’s guest is scenic designer and delightful gentleman Michael Carnahan. Michael and Cory discuss his many years of Associate work with designers such as Anna Louizos, Donyale Werle and the great Desmond Heeley, as well as his own design career, including a long-standing standing collaboration with Ruben Santiago-Hudson and the plays of August Wilson. He discusses the realities and economics of recycled and sustainable scenic materials, why model building is such an important part of his process, and how he may have spent time as a Sinatra groupie. AND Michael and Cory geek out over their love for the design of ‘Rocky’ and how it redefines what can be done on a stage.
Michael Carnahan is an award winning scenic designer working in theater, musical theater, opera, and live events. His recent works include the New York premiere of The Happiest Song Plays Last at Second Stage, the acclaimed Signature Theatre revival of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson, and The Marvelous Wonderettes. He has collaborated with directors such as Joel Grey, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Charles Randolph-Wright, Christopher Ashley, Neil Pepe, Roger Bean, Austin Pendleton, among many others. His regional work includes designs at Two River Theatre, Musical Theatre West, Ogunquit Playhouse, Forestburgh Playhouse, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Pasadena Playhouse, ACT, the McCarter Theatre and the Williamstown Theatre Festival. He is also a busy associate designer on Broadway with credits including Kinky Boots, Ann, Cyrano de Bergerac, Peter and the Starcatcher (Tony Award), Wonderland, The Importance of Being Ernest, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, All About Me, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, Curtains, and Steel Magnolias. Michael has won numerous awards and nominations for his design work. He is a graduate of the Savannah College of Art & Design and the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana.