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!
This week’s guest is one of the busiest designers on Broadway, it’s Lighting Designer Howell Binkley! Cory and Howell touch on many of his recent and past work including his award winning design for ‘Hamilton’, revisiting ‘How to Succeed…’ again 15 years later, and how his dance background informs his designs. He also discusses whether there is such a thing as a “Broadway lighting design”, how he interacts with his longtime Associates and Programmers, what his process is for laying out a new plot, and the emotional toll of creating art that can so easily be washed away in an instant, as was the case with his recent work on ‘Dr. Zhivago’. And learn how a different path nearly led Howell to become…wait for it…a mime!
Welcome to Episode #46 with Projection Designer Zachary Borovay. Zach is with us this week to share all kinds of Projection stories from having a massive hit like ‘Rock of Ages’ to creating the iconic imagery for ‘A Catered Affair’ and what he learned working with the great Wendell Harrington on many show, including an infamous little show called ‘In My Life.’ Cory and Zach chat about the journey to get Projection Design legitimized within United Scenic Artists, how future technology may make projector fan noise far less of an issue, and what is was like designing within the massive scale of Radio City Music Hall. And aside from being an in-demand designer, Zach is also a pretty kick-ass bass player, and he tells us about the day his fantasy came true and stepped onstage to play along Arsenal at Rock of Ages Vegas! (cue Don’t Stop Believin’ vamp…)
It’s been nearly a year since the Tony Awards Administration Committee eliminated the Sound Design Tony so this week we check in on what progress is being made to right that wrong with Sound Designer Nevin Steinberg! Nevin tells us about the steps being taken to educate the public about the art of Sound Design including a newly formed committee within United Scenic Artists. But this episode has so much more! Nevin and Cory chat about his work on ‘Hamilton’ and the emotional and professional impact of being involved with such a runaway hit and Nevin shares lots of interesting anecdotes from ‘The Addams Family’, ‘Venus in Fur’ and ‘In The Heights.’ Hear about the challenges of designing sound for Shakespeare in the Park, why he often doesn’t listen to cast albums, and you’ll never drink a glass of Merlot again without thinking about Nevin’s dead-on comparison of design and the fine art of winemaking. Cheers!
This week’s guest on Episode #44 is Costume Designer Jennifer Caprio! Jen created the iconic costumes for ‘The 25th Annual..Spelling Bee’ and she tells us how those clothes came to be on their journey all the way to Broadway and a hit show…and what happens when your design becomes part of the show logo. She also shares stories from ‘Colossal’, her recent football themed show at Dallas Theatre Center and ‘Joseph…’ currently touring the country. Hear about her unique sketching and rendering process which combines both old and new techniques, the culture of costume shops, and the differences between designing costumes for regional theatre vs. New York. This episode is G-R-E-A-T and you’re gonna love it!
The podcast is going international this week with British Lighting Designer and current duel-Tony nominee, Paule Constable! Paule chats (while Cory geeks out) about her designs for “War Horse”, “Curious Incident” and “Cripple of Inishman.” She discusses the difference between US and UK lighting approaches, her love of large, single source gestures, why she doesn’t get hung up on making designs symmetrical, and her country’s love of haze! Hear how all the technical elements of a monster of a show like “Curious Incident” came together and why there are no gobos in “Warhorse,” a show that takes place almost entirely in a rural landscape. And Paule talks about being a female designer in the UK, the stigmas and biases that still remain, and what it was like to be the first woman ever to win the Olivier for lighting. Grab a pint and enjoy this bloody good chat!