We close out April this week with Set Designer and current Lortel nominee Rachel Hauck! Aside from being a busy designer, Rachel is also a member of the Off-Broadway committee of designers that recently helped spearhead the first collectively bargained agreement ever for Off-Broadway. Now that the contract has been voted on, she joins us to discuss the nuts and bolts of how it came together, some of the most exciting terms of the agreement, and how the USA membership banded together to take such an historic step. Cory and Rachel also discuss reading a script for the first time, how she talks to directors who don’t yet know what they want, why “just” can be a dirty word in early design conversations and whether theatre design can be molded to fit a standard work week schedule. And hear how Rachel went from being an LA based designer working in television, including an ill-fated TV show called ‘Woops!’ about a group of kids who accidentally set off a nuclear bomb, to becoming a full time designer for theatre. Lastly, Rachel gives us the most fascinating answer ever to, “What job would you do if your profession went away.”
Rachel Hauck is a New York-based set designer who has designed extensively Off-Broadway and for regional theater. She has worked on new plays by such extraordinary playwrights as Naomi Wallace, Katori Hall, Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare, David Greenspan, Tanya Barfield, Culture Clash, Marlene Meyer, Greg Pierce, Luis Alfaro, Heidi Schreck, and Christopher Shinn, among many others.
New York credits include shows with Playwrights Horizons, Signature Theater, Manhattan Theater Club, New York Theater Workshop, the Atlantic, LCT 3, Soho Rep, Primary Stages, Rattlestick, and the Vineyard. Ms. Hauck has also designed extensively for regional theater, including work at the Guthrie Theater, Mark Taper Forum, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Arena Stage, and the McCarter Theater, among many, many others.
Rachel was the Resident Set Designer at the O’Neill Playwrights Conference for 10 years. As such, she worked with more than 70 playwrights, focusing on their work dramaturgically from a design perspective. For many years, she was also a regular designer at the Mark Taper Forum’s New Work Festival in Los Angeles. She has taught at Brown University/Trinity, Vassar College, NYU/Playwrights Horizons, and Cal Arts. She remains dedicated new play development and continues to work with students at the National Theater Institute at the O’Neill.
Rachel’s design work has been recognized with Drama Desk, Lortel, and Ovation nominations. In 2012, she received the Lilly Award for Excellence in Scenic Design. Her work has been displayed at the Prague Quadrennial, an international exhibition focused on theatrical design.