#88 Isabella Byrd

The podcast is back from a long hiatus for (hopefully!) an all new batch of episodes. This week, we are sitting down with Lighting Designer and recent Obie Award winner Isabella Byrd. Isabella discuses with us the genesis of her design for ‘The Light Shining in Buckinghamshire’ and how that show helped catapult her into greater visibility. She also shares insights into her work on ‘The Thanksgiving Play’, ‘Seascape’ and ‘The Tale of Despereaux’  and if she feels a paradigm shifting in regards to gender parity on creative teams. Isabella and Cory also discuss her time at Chance Magazine and the Prague Quadrennial, how to make theatre marketing photos reflect the shows better, how she learned restraint working with designers like Jane Cox and Tyler Micoleau, and the challenge for young designers to separate the drafting process from the design process. And, MONTHS later (sorry!), Corry announces the winner of the giveaway contest for Clifton Taylor’s book.

Isabella Byrd is a lighting designer based in Brooklyn, New York. She was recently awarded an Obie for her design of The Light Shining in Buckinghamshire at New York Theatre Workshop.  Her design collaborations have been presented in New York City and regionally across the United States. With a special interest in developing new works, her process pivots/activates/blooms around design dramaturgy, musical movement, and color composition. Her work favors architectural impulses and shadow play. Credits include Daddy (The New Group/Vineyard), The Thanksgiving Play (Playwrights Horizons), The Hello Girls (Prospect Theatre Co), Continuity (Manhattan Theatre Club), Plano (ClubbedThumb), Seascape (ACT), The Tale of Despereaux (The Old Globe), Tell Me I’m Not Crazy, Artney Jackson, Member of the Wedding (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Such Things as Vampires (People’s Light), and Noises Off (Cape Playhouse).

Isabella was a Design Editor and creative producer at Chance Magazine. Aside from curating content for the magazine, she was invited to lead a symposium and seminar at the 2015 Prague Quadrennial, exploring the fertile encounter of photography, theatrical design, and thought artifacts.

Isabella was the Creative Producer for 13Playwright’s archival website www.13p.org. In 2012, the Obie Award-winning downtown collective completed their producing mission and ‘imploded’ into the interactive time capsule.