Welcome to Episode #57, New York blizzard edition! This week we welcome Props Queen Kathy Fabian! Kathy tells us how she went from being just a freelance props designer to creating Propstar, a full service design firm juggling multiple Broadway shows a season. She gives us an inside peak into her design process which includes budgeting a show, staffing it with the right kind of assistants, putting together a rehearsal props package, and how she handles that crazy time in tech between midnight and noon the next day! We’ve got fun prop stories that include traveling to Russia to find the perfect pieces for ‘Fiddler on the Roof’, creating raw eggs, animal carcasses, and fake cuts and bruises for ‘Rocky’, and camel wings for the circus! And learn about an amazing product called Model Magic. If you’re stuck inside today, cozy up with this new episode and stay warm!
Welcome to the second half of our interview with lighting designer Kevin Adams! In this part, Kevin talks about how light bulbs and electric objects found their way into so many of his designs, the kinds of discussions he has with directors both in the rehearsal room and in the theatre, why he likes a quiet tech table, and how working with Vegas based programmer Benny Kirkham has finally allowed him to “give up the headset.” He shares stories from ‘Next to Normal’ and ‘The 39 Steps’, tells us about sharing his life with acclaimed Scenic Designer James Noone, and finally gets around to answering those pesky 10 questions..which includes a fashion detour about Cory and Kevin’s shared loved of Chuck Taylors and Kevin’s excitement about his upcoming pairing of Star Wars T-shirts and Japanese overalls!
Welcome to 2016 and to a special two-part interview. This week we sit down with four-time Tony Award winning lighting designer Kevin Adams! In this first part, Kevin discusses his unique route to becoming a lighting designer, which included working as a scenic designer on the West Coast, working on music videos and commercials, and even being a go-go dancer! He shares with us his thoughts on lighting education, why he loves gardening, whether we’re embracing LED technology too quickly, and what he thinks is one of his biggest weaknesses as a designer. He has great stories from the design processes of ‘American Idiot’, both the original and recent versions of ‘Hedwig’, and ‘Hands on a Hardbody.’ Come back next week to hear stories from ‘Next to Normal’, how he has freed himself from the tech table, and what happened when he met Peter Sellers!
Merry Christmas! Who needs another pair of socks?! Your favorite gift this year is going to be our brand new episode with Scenic Designer Anna Louizos! Anna has designed some of the most exciting sets on Broadway in recent years and she’s here to talk about all of them. Cory and Anna cover her wild ride from landing the “School of Rock” gig (and how she ended up designing the costumes too!), to her iconic set for “In The Heights”, to the beautifully hand painted drops of “Edwin Drood”, to her head-first dive into Projection Design in “Honeymoon in Vegas”, to her gone-too-soo design for “High Fidelity.” She talks about what she learned as an Associate, how she runs her studio, why we need better ways to share and capture our work, and how running a restaurant prepared her for her current profession. And if that’s not enough, Anna tells us about the Broadway Design Exchange and how YOU too can own a little piece of the Broadway design experience. Pour some eggnog, gather the family and enjoy this episode by the fire!
The podcast is back just in time to send 2015 off in style! On this week’s show we sit down with Projection Designer Alex Koch. Alex tells us how he came to be part of a team of young designers all making their Broadway debut on ‘Irena’s Vow’ and what he knows now that he wished he knew then. He talks about the ongoing process of educating producers and directors about the world of projections, how he assembles a unique team for each project, and whether or not Projection Designers will become an endangered species as more Set Designers become comfortable creating their own content. Hear how the success of ‘Buyer and Cellar’ affected his career, and Cory makes him tell stories of being an Aquarium worker in Boston and which penguin was his favorite!
This week we visit with another designer from across the pond, it’s Tony nominated Scenic and Costume Designer, David Farley! David was in town finally bringing ‘Daddy Long Legs’ to New York after playing around the globe for 6 years. He tells us about the evolution of the design and the process of modifying the set to fit different theatres. David and Cory dig into the artistic, practical and economical differences of being a designer in the US vs the UK and they chat about David’s award winning work on ‘Sunday in the Park…’, why designing Josh Groban’s tour was more difficult than you would think, designing in the Festival Theatre at Stratford and the qualities he loves in his frequent collaborators John Caird, Trevor Nunn, and John Doyle. But David isn’t all work…he also shares insight into being a designer on the road with an infant back home and why he’s passionate about his garden. It’s a great show, but mainly because of how adorably he pronounces ‘aluminum.’ Grab a seat in the stalls, raise the gauze and enjoy this week’s panto!
We’re kicking off our next 50 episodes with the first in a (hopefully!) series of discipline specific panels…this week it’s Lighting Design with Scott Bolman, Burke Brown, and Ben Stanton. The three studio mates sat down with Cory in Brooklyn to talk about the highs and lows of being a working lighting designer in 2015. They cover a wide range of topics including making a living and keeping costs down while making small fees, how they find and utilize assistants, how they choose what projects to say yes to, and whether it’s a designer’s job to find a way “in” to every piece. Cory and the guys also chat about when it’s ok for the LD to also program, how much the inventory really matters, what parts of their job they wish they were better at, and how they incorporate new technology into their designs, such as Ben’s decision to include over 150 LED lekos in his Tony nominated design for ‘Fun Home.’ (hint..it worked!) The more the merrier this week, so pull up a chair and eavesdrop on our discussion.
It’s Episode #50!!! To mark this milestone, host Cory Pattak gets in the hot seat as this week’s guest. Former guest and girl-you-wish-was-your-best-friend Jen Schriever cracks open a bottle of bubbly and takes on the reigns of exposing the man behind the mic. Jen and Cory leap frog across a multitude of topics including the creation of the podcast, rejected title ideas, the reaction after nearly 40k downloads, and Cory’s hope for the future of the show. Cory chats about growing up an only child theatre kid which involved building elaborate scale model theatres, being a “moving light designer” in high school, a foray into film acting, and all manner of bizarre activities kids do to amuse themselves. They also chat about their current design processes, the moments that excite them the most and the ones that terrify them, and why cooking and design are two sides of the same coin. Enjoy this special episode and thanks to everyone who’s been listening. Here’s to 50 more!
This week’s new episode is brought to you by babbling brooks, buzzing bees, and chirping birds as we come to you live from Vermont with Scenic Designer Kristen Robinson. Kristen feels right at home in the country and she tells us how growing up in rural Ohio in an artistic family shaped her life as designer. She and Cory chat about taking time off from work, saying yes or no to jobs, her favorite part of the process and why the answer might be to simply “float it and tilt it.” She tells us about her process of designing two shows for Weston Playhouse’s unconventional second space and why a set isn’t complete until there are bodies in it. Pour some maple syrup, pull up a rocking chair and join us on the back porch for some down home fun!
If you’ve seen even a handful of Off-Broadway shows in the past 15 years…chances are you’ve seen the great work of this week’s guest, lighting designer Tyler Micoleau. Tyler has a ton of insight into the non-profit world having worked at essentially every major Off-Bway company and many of the regional theatres around the country. Cory and Tyler chat about his work in shows like ‘The Invisible Hand’ and ‘The Wayside Motor Inn’ and how he has become a master at lighting box sets with limited lighting positions. He also gives us a window into his process for ‘Be More Chill’ at Two River Theatre, how he uses limited resources to his advantage, and the kinds of conversations he has with directors and scenic designers. And finally the topic you’ve been waiting for…we do a deep dive into the world and usage of LED tape!