After last Season’s Ninth and Joanie, this is your second time designing the set for a Labyrinth production — how did you get involved with the Company and what initially drew you to Set Design?
I was fortunate to have worked with Mark Wing-Davey before and he called me about Labyrinth’s production of Ninth and Joanie. I had heard of the company before and any chance to work with Mark is not to be missed. I studied architecture in undergrad at Syracuse University and wanted to do a minor in theater. The Chair of the theater department at the time introduced me to the design faculty and I immediately was hooked.
How do you approach designing a set from scratch?
Reading and then re-reading the text. Every script is different, has a different set of characters, different circumstances, environments, actions, etc. My approach to the design is usually derived from my initial reaction to a piece and then the collaboration and adjustment of this reaction with a director and writers view.
The Bank Street Theater has, shall we say, unique requirements when it comes to a playing space, yet you’ve really made great use out of it — what are the challenges and advantages of designing a set for our theater?
Columns! and a LOW grid height. Like any puzzle there are defined limits. The joy of designing is how to exploit those limits and reconfigure the “rules” to my advantage. I do feel that my architectural background is an asset in tough spacial requirements but I find it exciting to discover what it is possible to achieve within the limits.
How did you go about designing this set for Radiance? What did you, without giving anything away, look for in the script?
I looked at a lot of research of bars from the 1940s and 50s. The play has some unique requirements but the bigger challenge was maximizing the audience’s sight-lines to the bar. I was interested in pushing the bar as far into the space as possible but without limiting the playing area.
What are you looking forward to about the production? What will you be looking for in rehearsal?
TECH, the moment when everything comes together and everyone’s hard work collaborating pays of. Rehearsal is about the process and the discovery. It is always exciting to see new work take physical shape.