A long-form, uncensored, candid chat with designers of all walks of life talking about their lives in the theatre. No topic is off limits. From life on the road to life in a Broadway theatre. From trying to get noticed in New York to making a splash in regional theatre. You'll never know what to expect from each episode. You might learn about a designer's latest inspiration, or how..
This week we are sitting down with Lighting Designer Clifton Taylor to discuss he new book, Color & Light: Navigating Color Mixing in the Midst of an LED Revolution. He tells us where the idea for the book came from, the process of writing about a technology that is rapidly evolving and what he hopes readers will get out of it. Clifton and Cory dive into various color topics including using saturation to convey darkness, why certain colors can appear onstage just because of how our eyes work, and using an audience’s preconceived relationship with colors to a designer’s advantage. They also spend a great deal of time talking about the transition from gel based color to LED sources and how that affects the documenting and recreating of shows, how designers communicate with their programmers, and managing a wealth of fixture types and possible colors while time in the theatre remains as limited as always. It’s the wild wild west of color right now with an ever shifting landscape of available options and Clifton is here to make sense of it all. And BONUS…listen for your chance to win an autographed copy of the book!
Clifton Taylor has created designs for theater, dance, and opera companies on Broadway, regionally across the United States, and in 17 countries around the world. His designs have been seen in productions by the Alvin Ailey, Martha Graham, and Paul Taylor dance companies, as well as in numerous works for the American Ballet Theatre and the ballet companies of Boston, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and Rio de Janeiro. His international dance credits also include the Mikhailovsky Theatre (St. Petersburg, Russia), the Rambert Dance Company (London), the Ningbo Song and Dance Company (China), the Ballet de Lorraine (Nancy, France), and many others.
Designs by Clifton Taylor for opera and classical music performances have been commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra, Italy’s Haydn Orchestra, France s Opéra de Lorraine, the Tanglewood Music Center, the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Yokohama Noh Theater, and both the Japan Society and the Japan Foundation. He is a sought-after teacher and lecturer on theatrical lighting, especially in the areas of color and light, regularly speaking at NYU and at LDI (Live Design International). He presented lectures on color at New York’s Broadway Lighting Master Class for 17 years and is a former member of the Juilliard School s dance faculty.
If you’ve seen ‘The Band’s Visit’ you know how exquisite that show sounds, but while we couldn’t get the entire band to visit us at in1, we have the man who makes that music shimmer, it’s Tony Award winning Sound Designer Kai Harada! Kai drops by to discuss his design for that show and the challenges he faced with roving musicians, additional musicians under the stage, an incredibly nuanced score and often very subtle performances from it’s stars. Speaking of subtle, he also let’s us in on secrets from his intimate design in the round for ‘Fun Home’ and discusses how he made the Hudson theatre rock for ‘Head Over Heels.’ Cory and Kai also chat about his musical background, where he thinks the worst seats are in a theatre for sound, why sound designers end up designing mainly plays or musical but rarely both, and how young sound designers can market themselves for what is essentially an invisible art. Put on your best pair of headphones and spend the next 2 hours listening to the wisdom of one of the best!
Kai Harada has created sound design for the Broadway productions of The Band’s Visit (Tony and Drama Desk Award), Amélie, Sunday in the Park with George, Allegiance, Gigi,Fun Home, On the Town, First Date, Follies (Tony and Drama Desk nominations) and Million Dollar Quartet. Off-Broadway designs include Brooklynite (Vineyard), Love Love Love (Roundabout) Rope & Under the Bridge (Zipper Theatre). Regional designs include A Legendary Romance, Poster Boy (Williamstown), The Honeymooners (Papermill), Benny and Joon (Old Globe), Beaches (Drury Lane), Little Dancer and First You Dream (Kennedy Center), Zorro (Moscow; Atlanta), Hinterm Horizont (Berlin), Sweeney Todd and Man of La Mancha (Portland Opera) and She Loves Me (Oregon Shakespeare Festival). He was the audio consultant for the recent Broadway revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Kai studied at Yale University.
It’s a Christmas miracle and a brand new episode this week as we sit down with Costume Designer Alejo Vietti AND a very special guest, Tony Award winner Jessie Mueller! Jessie is probably most known for having originated the role of Carole King in the Broadway production of “Beautiful”, and all her fabulous clothes came from the mind of this week’s guest. Listen in as Alejo and Jessie reminisce about their first meeting, what was going through their heads during fittings, how they worked together to develop the look of Carole, how the costumes evolved over the show’s journey to Broadway and tons of other stories, anecdotes, and backstage insight. Prepare for a one-of-a-kind chat that exemplifies how clothes inform a character, how an actor can inform the clothes, and how designer and performer can come together to create a winning collaboration. AND Alejo regales us with stories of designing costumes for the Rockets, how his Argentinian background played into his clothes for Evita, how he went from law school to costume designer and he and Cory geek out over their love of film scores. Cozy up to the fire and enjoy this holiday treat! Happy New Year!
Alejo Vietti’s Broadway designs include Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn, Allegiance (Drama Desk Nomination), and Beautiful – The Carole King Musical (West End Olivier nomination, Japan, Australia and U.S. national tour). Off Broadway: Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Amy and the Orphans, The Dance of Death, Nightingale, Grace, Tryst, Old Jews Telling Jokes (Off-Broadway and Chicago), Rooms: A Rock Romance, Servicemen, and Make Me a Song. Regional Theater credits include: The U.S. Premiere of Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame (La Jolla Playhouse and Paper Mill Playhouse, as well as the 2017 Japanese and German productions), the US premiere of The Witches of Eastwick, and numerous productions at Goodpseed Musicals: Annie Get Your Gun, Carousel, Camelot, Fiddler on the Roof, among others. Operatic work includes: The Sound of Music (Chicago Lyric Opera), Séance on a Wet Afternoon starring Lauren Flanigan (New York City Opera and Opera Santa Barbara) as well as productions at Minnesota Opera and Wolf Trap Opera.
His other creative credits include designs for Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey’s Circus and Radio City Music Hall’s Rockettes. Currently residing in New York City, this Argentinian born Designer is the proud recipient of the Theatre Development Fund’s Irene Sharaff Young Master Award.
This week’s brand new episode is with Sound Designer Jessica Paz! Jessica shares with us wild tales from her summers at the Delecorte Theatre with stories and insights from her recent designs for ‘Othello’ and ‘Twelfth Night’ as well how the sound department battles wind, rain, helicopters and yes raccoons. That Othello featured an all female design team, (recently featured in the NY Times) and she shares her thoughts on something that is both a great achievement but also shouldn’t have to be. Cory and Jessica chat about advancements in speaker technology being used on the ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ tour, how she works with a mixer to find the perfect sound for a show, and the continued push to get all designers, especially Sound Designers, proper credit and respect.
Jessica Paz’s Off-Broadway Design Credit include: Twelfth Night and Othello (The Public Theater- 2018 Shakespeare in the Park); Miss You Like Hell (The Public Theater); Julius Caesar, A Midsummer Nights Dream, and As You Like it (The Public Theater- 2017 Shakespeare in the Park) ; Burn All Night (A.R.T Oberon Stage); Ugly Lies the Bone (Roundabout); A Sucker EmCee (LAByrinth); The Muscles in Our Toes (LAByrinth); The Kings Whore (Starcatcher Productions); Becoming Dr. Ruth (Westside Theater); Looking for the Pony (Vital Theater Co.); Women Beware Women (Red Bull Theater) and STRETCH – A Fantasia (New Georges).
Broadway credits include Associate Designer of Bandstand, Dear Evan Hansen, Disaster the Musical, The Assembled Parties, and Fela! [Workshops (2007), Off -Broadway (2008), Broadway (2009), The National Theatre London (2010), European Tour (2011) and executed the Design for it’s return home to Lagos, Nigeria, and the US National Tour].
Regional and Touring: Dear Evan Hansen (1st national tour); Welcome to Fear City (KC Rep), Scott & Hem in the Garden of Allah, See How They Run (Barrington Stage); Legally Blonde, 9 to 5 The Musical (North Shore Music Theater); Shakespeare on the Sound’s Productions of Romeo & Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello and Much Ado about Nothing, SCKBSTD (Virginia Stage Co), Volcanoes Birthright (Organic Magnetics), TempOdyssey, And Her Hair Went With Her, Bookends, Minstrel Show (NJ Rep).
Jessica has also served as Front of House Engineer for such musicians as The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Antibalas, Julia Haltigan, Femi Kuti, Lady Antebellum, Candy Shop Boys, People vs. Larson, Michael Arenetta, Bugaboo, Carte Blanche, King Holiday, The Woes, Stone Cold Fox, The African Children’s Choir and many others.
Bake some spongecake, pull out your six string and spend a balmy summer weekend with ‘Escape to Margaritaville’ Scenic Designer Walt Spangler! On this week’s new episode, Walt is telling us about the genesis of his tropical design that included a research trip to Key West, an actual Jimmy Buffet concert, and how the design changed over time from it’s La Jolla premier and it’s multi-city tour leading up to Broadway. Cory and Walt also talk about his design for the whimsical ‘Tuck Everlasting’ and how his iconic set for ‘Desire Under the Elms’ came to be with giant boulders and a house floating over the stage. Walt takes us through his design process through script sketches, model and sculptural work, and recounts presenting his first ideas to directors like Casey Nicholaw and Robert Falls. And hear the true life story of how a new piece of scenery was conceived, built, painted, and installed over the weekend of Margaritaville’s final previews. Grab something cold and fruity and let the sound of this week’s chat fill your private cabana. (you did reserve a cabana right??)
Walt Spangler’s Broadway design credits include Escape to Margaritaville, Tuck Everlasting, A Christmas Story, Scandalous, Desire Under the Elms and Hollywood Arms. His numerous Off-Broadway credits include Our Lady of 121st St, Linda, Between Riverside and Crazy, The Jacksonian, Medieval Play, Unnatural Acts, Addicted, Dream a Little Dream, Boston Marriage, and Reefer Madness. He has designed at many of the top regional theaters in the country including the Goodman, Arena Stage, Old Globe, Steppenwolf, Goodspeed, Kennedy Center, Signature Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Alliance Theatre, 5th Avenue, Ahmanson and Shakespeare Theatre.
His natinoal tour designs include Fame (also Shanghai), Ring of Fire, Me and My Girl (UK Tour), Disney on Ice (also Japan), Happy Days and Smokey Joes Cafe. His Opera and Dance designs include work at Lyric Opera Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Kansas City Ballet, Boston Ballet, and Lithuanian National Opera.
He has been nominated for a Drama Desk award, two Outer Critics Circle Awards, a Lucille Lortel Award, two Henry Hewes Awards and two Helen Hayes Awards.
He’s baaaaack! In what has quickly become an annual tradition, Lindsay Jones is back again this summer to continue chatting about all things travel and life on the road. This week we’re talking about airline classes, how to beat Priceline at their own game, what day of the week and what time you should book your flight, why you’re waiting at Penn Station in the wrong location, how to negotiate a travel budget with the theatre, and the differences and simple joys of TSA Pre-check, Global Entry, and Clear. Lindsay tells us why you should NEVER fly Spirit Airlines, why the pre-check line keeps getting longer and longer, and the fact that Basic Economy is so bad, even LORT theatres don’t want you flying it. And he swears anyone is allowed to use the bathrooms in first class, though in1 is not responsible for your legal fees. And we’re talking Collaborator Party 2018! Lindsay gave up his dinner break to share his secrets so don’t let his starvation be in vain and hit play now!
Lindsay Jones has designed Sound for the Broadway productions of Bronx Bombers and A Time to Kill. Recent Off-Broadway credits include Bootycandy (Playwrights Horizons); Smokefall (MCC); Mr. Joy (LCT3| Lincoln Center Theatre); Privacy, Dry Powder, Barbecue, Wild With Happy (Public Theater); and many others. Regionally he has worked with Arena Stage, Guthrie Theater, Hartford Stage, Alliance Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater and many others. International credits include Stratford Shakespeare Festival (Canada), Royal Shakespeare Company (England) and many others. His awards include seven Joseph Jefferson Awards and 21 nominations, two Ovation Awards and three nominations, one LA Drama Critics Circle Award and three Drama Desk Award nominations, as well as nominations for Helen Hayes, Barrymore and many others. Film scoring credits include Magnolia Pictures’ The Brass Teapot and HBO Films’ A Note of Triumph (2006 Academy Award—Best Documentary).
What’s the buzz with Episode #81? The buzz is all about Art Director and Scenic Designer Melissa Shakun! Melissa was the Art Dir. for NBC’s ‘Jesus Christ Superstar Live’ and she’s giving us all the behind the scenes stories of turning Jason Ardizzone-West’s stunning design into a reality. Hear about all the sand that never made it to broadcast, how the set was built and installed in record time and why the final crucifixion was so difficult to accomplish. Melissa talks about the difference between Prod. Design and Art Direction and how designing for episodic TV differs from theatre with examples from her time on ‘The Americans’, ‘The Jim Gaffigan Show’, ‘Mysteries of Laura’ and ‘Blindspot.’ She’s got great stories about blowing out windows with fire boxes, shooting scenes under the Astoria Pool, how to make Brooklyn look like 1980’s Washington DC and how she helped transport Seaworld visitors to Antartica as part of the Art Direction team for the Empire of the Penguin ride!
Melissa recently Art Directed Jesus Christ Superstar Live for NBC, Difficult People for Hulu, The Jim Gaffigan Show for Comedy Central, The Mysteries of Laura for NBC, The Americans for FX and multiple episodes of Blindspot Season 3 for NBC. She was one of the Art Directors on Antarctica, Empire of the Penguin, a ride at Sea World in Orlando, Florida. She Assistant Art Directed Tell Me A Story, Blindspot, Homeland, Sneaky Pete, The Normal Heart movie, and Katie Couric’s Talk show. Broadway credits include Scandalous, A Christmas Story, Baby It’s You, Present Laughter (Assistant Set Designer) Bye Bye Birdie (Associate Set Designer). She has designed numerous productions at the Winnipesauke Playhouse in Meredith, New Hampshire. Melissa earned an MFA from the Conservatory of Theatre Arts and Film at SUNY Purchase, and a BFA from Syracuse University.
Lumos Maxima! It’s opening weekend for ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ on Broadway so we’re sitting down with a true lighting wizard, Neil Austin! He’s tight lipped about the secrets of the show but he does share with us how it has felt to be working on such a cultural phenomenon and when he realized this was to be no ordinary show. He’s also telling us about squeezing light into Christopher Oram’s beautiful yet boxed in set for ‘Hughie’ and how he created both the Sun and the Moon in the Park Avenue Armory for ‘Macbeth.’ Cory and Neil also spend a great deal of time discussing the design industry in the UK and how social programs like the NHS make it easier for younger designers to develop careers as well as the difference between United Scenic Artists, the Association of Lighting Designers, and British Equity. There’s talk about strong British backlight, why good haze is so important, and an important discussion about the #savestagelighting campaign and how the new EU 2020 Lighting Regulations could have a devastating impact on theatrical lighting. Grab a pint of butterbeer and enjoy this brand new episode!
Neil Austin is a Lighting Designer working internationally on plays, musicals, opera and dance and is a Fellow of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. His Broadway credits include Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Travesties, Hughie, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Evita, The Seafarer, Red, Hamlet, and Frost Nixon. His extensive UK design credits include Photograph 51 (Coward Theatre, West End), Medea (Almeida Theatre), The Winter’s Tale (Garrick Theatre), Bend it like Beckham (Phoenix Theatre, West End), Macbeth (Young Vic), Shakespeare in Love (Coward Theatre, West End), Assassins (Menier Chocolate Factory), Julius Caesar, The Weir & The Night Alive (Donmar Warehouse), Henry V (Coward Theatre, West End), The Weir (Wyndhams Theatre), Le Corsaire & The Sleeping Beauty (English National Ballet) and many shows at the National Theatre including Three Days in the Country, Our Country’s Good, Rules for Living, The Silver Tassie, The Doctor’s Dilemma, She Stoops to Conquer, The Cherry Orchard, and The White Guard.
Neil’s other US credits include Carousel (Lyric Opera of Chicago), Macbeth (Park Avenue Armory), Josephine and I (Public Theatre), Julius Caesar (St Ann’s Warehouse), The Night Alive (Atlantic Theatre), and The Sunshine Boys (Ahmanson Theatre)
In 2017, Neil was awarded his second Olivier Award for Best Lighting Design, for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, after winning in 2011 for The White Guard. In 2010 he was awarded the Tony Award for Red, as well as being nominated for Hamlet that same year. He’s been nominated for 2 Outer Critics awards and 4 Drama Desk Awards, having won the Drama Desk for Red in 2010. Neil was named as one of the 25 Pacesetters on the London Arts Scene by Variety in 2007.
It’s Episode #79 and we are seizing the day and sitting down with Tony Award winning Lighting Designer Jeff Croiter. Jeff has a wide ranging career and we’re talking about all sorts of projects. Cory and Jeff discuss his recent design of the Big Apple Circus and how one goes about lighting jugglers, horses and the Flying Wallendas as well as his new relationship with Penn & Teller and what goes into lighting two of the most famous magicians in the world. He also discusses the prominent role lighting played in “Bandstand” and how he got 75 old fresnels to change color all night long and of course we’re talking about the genesis of his design for “Peter and the Starcatcher” and how it has become a genre of design in itself. Other topics include how smaller gigs led to his Broadway career, how he cues quickly and efficiently in the theatre, and we get a surprise appearance from Willa the dog and the lovely and talented Kate Wetherhead!
Jeff Croiter is a New York based lighting designer with over 25-years of experience working on Broadway, off-Broadway, dance, opera, special event, regional theatre and touring productions. Jeff has received Tony, Hewes, and Bass awards and has been nominated for Drama Desk, Outer Critics, Lortel, Ovation, Irne, and Audelco awards. Broadway credits include Bandstand, Falsettos, Something Rotten, Holiday Inn, Newsies, Peter and the Starcatcher, Penn & Teller, Disaster, Next Fall, Mothers and Sons, The Pee-wee Herman Show, Kiki and Herb, A Time to Kill, Soul Doctor, Jekyll and Hyde, The Performers, and The Anarchist.
He designed the lighting for Penn & Teller at the Rio in Las Vegas and The Big Apple Circus at Lincoln Center. His work has been seen at New York theatres including The Roundabout, Manhattan Theatre Club, Shakespeare in the Park, Signature Theatre, Second Stage, The Public Theatre, The New Group, Playwrights Horizons, The Atlantic, The Vineyard, Primary Stages, Ars Nova, MCC, Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, New World Stages, The Westside Theatre, and The Joyce Theatre. Notable Off-Broadway credits include The Last 5 Years, Love Loss and What I Wore, Drumstruck, Jerry Springer the Opera, Family Guy Sings!, Sweet Charity, Fly by Night, Silence! the musical, and Almost Maine.
Regional theatre credits include The Guthrie Theatre,The Shakespeare Theatre, Dallas Theatre Center, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Barrington Stage, McCarter Theatre, Kennedy Center, The Old Globe, La Jolla Playhouse, Center Theatre Group, The Huntington, The Alliance Theatre, Geffen Playhouse, George Street Playhouse, Trinity Rep, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Cincinnati Playhouse, Ford’s Theatre, Goodspeed Opera House, and NY Stage and Film. Jeff has been the lighting designer for Jennifer Muller The Works since 1996 and is a producer of the hit web comedy Submissions Only.
This week’s episode is brought to you by the number 78 as we sit down with Emmy Award winning Costume Designer for Sesame Street, Brian Hemesath! Direct from Kaufman Astoria Studios, Brian is sharing with us stories and fun facts about costuming the humans on the show while trying not to get too star struck surrounded by Elmo, Big Bird and the entire gang. He breaks down how the costume department approaches each new season of shows, deals with clothing celebrity guest stars, makes sure the human clothes play nice with the puppet clothes and other tales and tidbits. Brian and Cory also chat about his 10+ years spent at Saturday Night Live and a typical week in costume world at SNL from table reads, fittings, research, rehearsals, and pre-tapes to the organized chaos of the live show and how he became the go to costume designer for Andy Sandberg and the Lonely Island sketches. And if THAT isn’t enough, the guys chat about Brian’s Broadway debut designing ‘Honeymoon in Vegas’ as well as the challenges and problems facing costume designers often forced to front their own money on clothing and issues surrounding receipts, reimbursements, credit cards and cc debt, and ideas to mitigate the pressure placed on designers. From Bert to Ernie, to Mother Lovers, to flying Elvis’s…this episode has it all including a trip down memory lane to a dairy farm in Iowa. Sweep those clouds away!
Brian Hemesath is a New York based Costume Designer and is currently the Costume Designer for Sesame Street, having received 5 Emmy nominations and 2 wins. Previously he was a Costume Designer for NBC’s Saturday Night Live (credits include 100 “digital shorts” for the Lonely Island boys with memorable favorites including “Dick in a Box,” “Motherlover,” “The Golden Rule,” “Threw it on the Ground,” “Boombox,” “Like a Boss,” Laser Cats,” and many more.)
Broadway: Honeymoon in Vegas. Off-Broadway: Disaster!, Unbroken Circle, Curvy Widow. Selected regional credits include Honeymoon in Vegas, Boeing Boeing and Smokey Joes Cafe (Papermill Playhouse), the world premier of The Rivals (Skylight Opera,) Guys and Dolls (Asolo Rep/Old Globe, and Evita (Asolo Rep.) Graduate of Carnegie Mellon (MFA) and St. Ambrose University (BA.) Irene Shariff Young Master Award, 2015.