Welcome to our first LIVE episode as we team up with ETC to bring you the Young Designer’s Survival Guide! Cory chats with Jon Collins (Scenery), Jason Crystal (Sound), Travis McHale (Lighting) and Tristan Raines (Costumes) about the nuts and bolts of being a young designer working in New York City. The panel has lots to say on topics ranging from assisting to designing on your own, when to join the union, whether you need an agent, how to remain passionate and how to pay that pesky rent. Being a “young” designer often means having to work harder to get noticed or be taken seriously among a team of seasoned pros and the panel shares their thoughts on maneuvering those obstacles. We take some questions from the audience, everyone names their favorite tech food, it’s a party and you’re invited!
Welcome to episode #40 and today’s show with Lighting & Scenic Designer Justin Townsend. Justin is spearheading a brand new program at Brooklyn College to train Broadway Associates and he’s here to tell us all about it. Cory and Justin also dig into many corners of his design process from the plotting stage, to meetings with directors, to his almost whimsy like process of discovery in the theatre. He also shares his thoughts on the responsibility of the LD to be energy efficient, his stance on the ‘save Tungsten’ debate, the influence of one of his mentors, Chris Akerlind, and his current production of “Hamlet” at Classic Stage Company. And Justin teaches Cory about sailing!
It’s episode #39 and it’s Scenic Designer Michael Schweikardt! Michael has mastered the world of regional design work and he’s got lots of secrets and tidbits to share. Cory and Michael chat at length about his work at Goodspeed Opera House and the challenges and joys of working in such a prestigious venue, the keys to designing in deep thrust spaces like Pittsburgh Public Theatre, and the process of taking “Ella” to over 25 different regional theatres. He also shares his thoughts on living outside of New York City, his feelings on projections as a scenic element, the vanishing craft of hand painted drops, and the economical and practical realities of working primarily in regional theatre. And we announce our first ever LIVE podcast recording on April 20th in the theatre district. Come be a part of the show you (hopefully) love!
It’s episode #38 and this week’s guest is Scenic Designer Lee Savage! Lee has an impressive roster of designs all around the country as well as in New York. He discusses he love for Shakespeare and his ongoing relationship with The Shakespeare Theatre, and the genesis of his most recent design for “The Tempest.” Other topics of discussion include the in and outs of working in regional theatre, how he makes out of town housing feel personal, his ideal working relationship with other directors and designers, and the influence of his two biggest mentors, Eugene Lee and Ming Cho Lee. And Lee gets personal as he tells us about becoming a father to a newly adopted baby and the joys and challenges of being a freelance designer while raising a child. We’re coming to you direct from the Wingspace studio in Brooklyn! Could we be any hipper?!
This week’s guest is scenic designer Adam Koch! Adam and Cory go way back and discuss how they met 10 years ago at Pittsburgh CLO. Adam shares stories of shows at The Muny, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, and Signature Theatre and how he approaches designing sets for big musicals like ‘Miss Saigon’, ‘Big Fish’, ‘Dreamgirls’, ‘Kiss of the Spiderwoman’ and more. Cory and Adam also muse on topics such as designing for every seat in the house, why too much success too early is not always a good thing, what it’s like to design a Broadway show that never gets produced, and Adam recounts a moment of horror that happened at the infamous Black Party (hint: it’s not what you think…and keep it clean listeners!)
The podcast returns this week with set designer Wilson Chin! Wilson has created beautiful sets for theatres across the country and he and Cory discuss many of those designs including ‘Othello’ and ‘The Winter’s Tale’ at the Old Globe, ‘My Mañana Comes’ at The Playwrights Realm and his current design for ‘By the Water’ at Manhattan Theatre Club. Hear Wilson talk about the tricks to making intricately detailed interiors onstage, why he likes ceilings in his sets, and how a background in architecture led to his current career. He also discusses the influences of his mentors like Santo Loquasto, Michael Yeargan, and Riccardo Hernandez and Cory and Wilson debate the merits of hand drafting vs. computer drafting and why drawing directly on your computer screen may not be the best idea.
Stop the presses! This week’s guest is ‘Newsies’ Scenic Designer and Tony nominee Tobin Ost! Tobin discusses the genesis of his design for Newsies from his original idea to the current design about to tour the country. Cory and Tobin chat about his first Broadway credit as costume designer for ‘Brooklyn’ and how he has comfortably bounced back and forth between scenery and costumes. Other topics includes Tobin’s time working for designers such as Ming Cho Lee, Santo Loquasto, and Scott Pask, what he learned on his recent touring production of ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ and how a production of ‘Pirates of Penzance’ may have changed the course of his life.
Today’s guest is the very lovely, multi-talented Caite Hevner Kemp! Equally adept at designing scenery and projections, Caite talks about being a member of Wingspace Theatrical Design, the pros and cons of designing two disciplines for one show and her academic adventures from FSU to Yale to NYU. Cory and Caite also cover topics new to the podcast like rules and regulations surrounding the documenting of our work, what it’s like being married to someone who does the same thing you do, and the importance of staying healthy and eating right while living the freelance lifestyle. (hint: it doesn’t involve cheeseburgers after tech.) See how many jumping jacks you can do throughout the episode. We’re saving lives people!!
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.
Inexplicably, we couldn’t get Justin Timberblake to come on the show…but we got the next best thing, his set designer, Josh Zangen! Josh takes us through designing ‘The 20/20 Experience’ Tour and how he fell into the concert world working with such artists as Brittany Spears, Kylie Minogue, and Jack White. Josh and Cory discuss his shows for Spiegleworld including ‘Empire’ in New York and ‘Absinthe’ and ‘Vegas Noccturne’ in Las Vegas. And if that’s not enough…we fulfill your childhood diorama dreams with stories of Josh’s design for the holiday windows at Macy’s. From Timberlake to tinsel, this episode has something for everyone!