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• HOW TO HIDE A MIC• TV RESEARCH TOOL HITS THE BOARDS• EXCLUSIVE SUMMER STUDY DIRECTORYFind the right program for youwww.stage-directions.comJ A N U A R Y 2 0 0 7withRingNewYearinthecostumes&makeupHow to pick the rightcosmetic brushEverything you needto know aboutcorsetsDesigningG reyardens


Table Of ContentsJ a n u a r y 2 0 0 7Features28 It’s All In The BrandingNielsen, the name that defined ratingsas television’s lifeblood, may have justentered stage left. By Lisa Lipkin34 Summer Study DirectoryOut to hone your craft during those freesummer months? Here are some places todo precisely that.photo courtesy of Period CorsetsSpecial Section:Costuming & Makeup40 Underneath It AllA comfortable corset? Perhaps the secretlies not in the material, but in itsconstruction. By Lisa Mulcahy44 Brush Up Your BrushesGreat makeup designs rely on great toolsfor execution, and finding the right brush isstep one. By Lisa Mulcahy48 Costuming Grey GardensThis new musical examines a socialite andher daughter’s descent into near madness,and the clothing they used to stave it off.By Fiona Kirk40Spotlight:Seattle30 The Intiman TheatreThe fortitude to face challenges anda commitment to excellence have driventhis Seattle theatre company to success,sometimes unexpectedly.By Mary Murfin Bayley32 The University of WashingtonWith academic offerings rangingfrom bachelors to Ph.D.s, the Universityof Washington School of Drama hasbrought together the scholarship ofaesthetics and the practice of craft.By Mary Murfin BayleyChris Bennion30


Departments7 Editor’s NoteJust what time of year is it? By Iris Dorbian9 LettersA reader defends the non-smoking ban.10 In The Green RoomThe next round of copyright battles hitstheatre, early awards and honors, theGuthrie and Public add staff, while thetheatre world remembers two industrynotables. By Iris Dorbian27 Vital StatsMeet Robert Christen, lightingdesigner. By Kevin Mitchell52 Off The ShelfThe American musical has becomethe main course in the commontheatrical diet, and this month’s textsoffer up a few recipes to explain why.By Stephen Peithman54 The Play’s The ThingThree plays that run the gamut ofsubject and tone, and a compilationof lessons from those at the forefrontof the craft. By Stephen Peithman56 Answer BoxWhen a simple tree just won’t do,it’s time to get creative.By Dave WilliamsTech Talk16 Resource RoundupScenery builds the world of the play,and these companies build the scenery.18 Toys Of The TradeNew gear for the new year.20 Light On The SubjectFrom day one of tech to previewnumber 10, experience lighting anew Broadway musical from theinside. By Ben Pilat24 Sound AdviceBody mics can be tricky. They can alsobe virtually invisible. By Jason PritchardOn our cover: Christine Ebersole as“Little” Edie in the Broadway productionof Grey GardensPhotography by: Joan MarcusJoan Marcus4020


Editor’s NoteLooking Aheadkimberly butlerNow that the Christmas decorationshave been struckand the noisemakers putaway for the year, it’s time to getdown to the nitty-gritty and focuson the remainder of your season.For many people, January can be amonth of probing introspection andpersonal appraisal. Many like to setgoals (infamously dubbed as “resolutions”)for what they would like to accomplish in theyear. In the theatre calendar, however, January is notnecessarily the beginning of a new year. It’s the midwaypoint of a season that began in the fall. During thisperiod, several shows have already opened at most theatres,and the destinies of each have been determined.Perhaps one show has succeeded while the other hasnot — or maybe both have not. Perhaps, if Providencehas intervened, both have recouped and then some.Whatever the outcome, there are still a few moreshows left to open for the remainder of the 2006-07 season.The success or failure of these remaining showscould spell the meteoric rise — or precipitous fall — ofa theatre. With success comes a higher profile in thecommunity and in the local press, perhaps more money(approved by the board of directors) for long overduerepairs or equipment upgrades, or maybe an aggressivemarketing campaign to increase the audiencebase. With failure, the options grow increasingly morelimited, with the final — and dire — end result being thedemise of that theatre.So right now, there’s a lot at stake for a lot of theatrecompanies nationwide. Much of their theatre’s futuremay be riding on what will be happening to them in thenext few months. Taking this into account, I extend aheartfelt New Year’s best regards to all non-commercialtheatres (community, regional, academic, ministry, etc.)that are approaching the remainder of the season (andthe beginning of the next) with a mixture of excitementand optimism. Good luck to you all.Iris DorbianEditorStage Directionswww.stage-directions.com • January 2007


Publisher Terry LoweEditor Iris DorbianEditorial Director Bill EvansManaging Editor Jacob CoakleyAssociate Editor David McGinnisContributing Editor Richard CadenaContributing Writers Mary Murfin Bayley, Fiona Kirk, LisaLipkin, Kevin Mitchell, Lisa Mulcahy,Ben Pilat, Dave WilliamsConsulting Editor Stephen PeithmanARTArt Director Garret PetrovGraphic Designers Dana Pershyn, Michelle SaccaProductionProduction Manager Linda EvansWEBWeb Designer Josh HarrisADVERTISINGAdvertising Director Greg GallardoEastern U.S. Account Mgr Warren FloodWestern U.S. Account Mgr Holly O’HairAudio Advertising Manager Peggy BlazeOPERATIONSGeneral Manager William VanyoOffice Manager Mindy LeFortAdvisory BoardJoshua AlemanyRoscoJulie AngeloAmerican Association of CommunityTheatreRobert BarberBMI SupplyKen BillingtonLighting DesignerRoger clamanRose BrandPatrick Finelli, PhDUniversity ofSouth FloridaGene FlahartyMehron Inc.Cathy HutchisonAcoustic DimensionsKeith KankovskyApollo DesignBecky KaufmanPeriod CorsetsTodd KoepplChicago Spotlight Inc.CIRCULATIONBUSINESS OFFICEStark ServicesP.O. Box 16147North Hollywood, CA 916156000 South Eastern Ave.Suite 14-JLas Vegas, NV 89119TEL. 702.932.5585FAX 702.932.5584Kimberly MesserLillenas Drama ResourcesJohn MeyerMeyer SoundJohn MuszynskiTheater DirectorMaine South High SchoolScott ParkerPace University/USITT-NYRon RansonTheatre ArtsVideo LibraryStage Directions (ISSN: 1047-1901) Volume 20, Number 01 Publishedmonthly by Timeless Communications Corp. 6000 South Eastern Ave.,Suite 14J, Las Vegas, NV 89119. It is distributed free to qualified individualsin the lighting and staging industries in the United States and Canada.Periodical Postage paid at Las Vegas, NV office and additional offices.Postmaster please send address changes to: Stage Directions, PO Box16147 North Hollywood, CA 91615. Editorial submissions are encouragedbut must include a self-addressed stamped envelope to be returned.Stage Directions is a Registered Trademark. All Rights Reserved. Duplication,transmission by any method of this publication is strictly prohibitedwithout permission of Stage Directions.David RosenbergI. Weiss & Sons Inc.Karen RugerioDr. Phillips High SchoolAnn SachsSachs Morgan StudioBill SapsisSapsis RiggingRichard SilvestroFranklin Pierce College


LettersNo Smoking, Please!In Stage Directions’ December, 2006“In The Greenroom” column, you featureda story about the Curious TheatreCompany’s lawsuit seeking an exemptionfrom a statewide ban on smoking. Citingfreedom of expression under the FirstAmendment seems far-fetched to me.As a brittle asthmatic, and a theatregoerwho has had to leave performanceswhere smoking was allowed, I applaudstates that continue to uphold such aban on indoor smoking. My rights areinfringed every time I am excludedbecause I cannot access a venue. If thecourts allow theatres to be exempt underFirst Amendment case law, what will stopsmoking at all indoor concerts or comedyclub performances? This is a slipperyslope to be on. Knowing what wenow know about the dangers of smokingand exposure to secondhand smoke, whywould we want to open ourselves up topotential litigation from performers whoare required to smoke for a role, techniciansexposed to secondhand smoke, or,worse yet, our paying customers whochoose not to come rather than risk exposureto this avoidable hazard?Shan R. Ayers, MFAAssociate Professor of TheatreBerea CollegeBerea, KYLet us know what you think of aStage Directions article or how yourcompany dealt with a problem.You can reach us at311 W. 50th St., #3D,New York, NY 10019;or e-mailidorbian@stage-directions.comwww.stage-directions.com • January 2007


By Iris DorbianIn The Greenroomtheatre buzzW I N D Y C I T Y H O N O R SLast November Chicago MayorRichard M. Daley, representing the cityof Chicago, presented an award to theLifeline Theatre and Joyce Kilmer Schoolfor their long-time educational initiatives.For over 15 years, Lifeline Theatre hasbeen involved in an outreach programwith Joyce Kilmer Elementary School asartists-in-residence. Using their dramaskills, artists from Lifeline Theatre workwith teachers from the Joyce KilmerSchool to teach students from kindergartento sixth grade.“We believe that there is no moreimportant way we can give back to ourcommunity than to help its children getexcited about stories and reading,” saysLifeline Artistic Director Dorothy Milne.Lifeline Theatre primarily adapts literature(left to right) Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, LifelineTheatre Artistic Director DorothyMilne, Kilmer SchoolPrincipal Miguel Trujillo and Chicago Public SchoolsCEO Arne Duncan at a luncheon where LifelineTheatre and Kilmer School were honored with anaward from Mayor Daley and CPS for OutstandingSchool Partnership.for the stage for both children and adults.The award was presented at a luncheonat the Chicago Hilton and Towers.COPYRIGHT BREACH?The notion of what can be consideredintellectual property — or not — isbeing given an interesting twist withcopyright infringement charges recentlyleveled against two Midwest theatres bythe Broadway producers of the 2002 hitmusical, Urinetown.According to an article by CampbellRobertson that appeared in theNovember 15, 2006 edition of the NewYork Times, letters drafted by a lawyer,Ronald H. Shechtman, on behalf of thedirector John Rando, the choreographerJohn Carrafa, and the set, lighting andcostume designers of the Broadway production,were sent to the team involvedin the award-winning production at theMercury Theater in Chicago and to theteam behind the Carousel Dinner Theatreproduction of the show in Akron.The letters accused both companiesof replicating the directorial and designaspects of the Broadway production.Though both companies did get permissionto use the script and musicof Urinetown, that did not extend to“reproducing creative decisions madeby the Broadway production’s director,choreographer and designers.”The Broadway team is demandingthat both productions provide a “detailedaccounting of all their revenues, fromwhich an appropriate license fee” wouldbe determined. They are also asking thatBrian Loeffler, the choreographer of theMercury Theater production who wona Joseph Jefferson Award for his work,return his award. If these demands arenot met, continues the article, then theBroadway team will seek damages incourt.What makes this case particularlynoteworthy for the theatre community isthat although the legal standard of copyrightdoes protect the text and score,both of which are regarded as intellectualproperty, that does not necessarilyapply to other elements of production.COURTESY OF Frances LimoncelliGuthrieAdds To TeamMinneapolis-basedGuthrie Theater, oneof the country’s finestregional theatres, recentlyannounced a few additionsto its managementstaff. Joining ArtisticDirector Joe Dowling areJacques Brunswick aschief administrative officerand Trish Santini as directorof external relations.Both fill the void left bylast summer’s departureof then Managing DirectorTom Proehl.Brunswick comes tothe Guthrie from MysticSeaport in Connecticut,where for the last 14years he had been vicepresident of finance andadministration. Previously,he held similar dutiesat the Brooklyn Academyof Music for 12 years.Santini was vice presidentof the BroadwayDivision at the MarketingGroup, a national marketingand press agency forBroadway and nationaltours. She spearheadedthe marketing campaignsfor more than twodozen Broadway shows,including The DrowsyChaperone, Mamma Mia!and Avenue Q.Exterior view of the GuthrieCOURTESY OF Roland Halbe10 January 2007 • www.stage-directions.com


courtesy of ESTAindustry newsThe In-CrowdMike Woodholds his Swan AwardAt the recent ETS-LDIshow in Las Vegas, ESTA(Entertainment Services andTechnology Association)announced its 2006 Dealersand Manufacturers’ ChoiceAward winners.The Dealers’ ChoiceCustomer Service categorywinners were Doug FleenorDesign, Inc., Pathway Connectivity Inc. and Apollo DesignTechnology, Inc. Recipients of the Manufacturers’ ChoiceDealers of the Year Awards were Indianapolis StageSales & Rentals, Inc., Production Advantage, Inc. andStage Equipment & Lighting, Inc.The Dealers’ Choice Product Award winners for2005 were Faux Snow from Snowmasters EvaporativeSnow Systems, Inc, Lex Eectrol Plug-in Splitter from LexProducts Corp and Power Assist from J.R. Clancy, Inc.ESTA also honored Mike Wood with the 2006 EvaSwan Award “for the profound impact he has had onevery aspect of the Association through his volunteerservice.” Wood’s service to ESTA includes the TechnicalStandards Committee, Fog & Smoke Working Group,ETCP Council, two terms as president of the board ofdirectors, and currently as the association’s treasurer.TOMCAT BOUGHTThe Vitec Group, a UK-based company, recentlysigned an agreement with TOMCAT Global,Inc.’s president and CEO Mitch Clark to acquireits stock and assets. TOMCAT is a manufacturerof staging and lighting support equipment for theentertainment industry.“I am very excited about this acquisition,”says Clark. “It will not only create a great partnershipbetween two very strong organizations,but will give TOMCAT greater opportunitiesto invest in additional manufacturing technologies,infrastructure and other assets that willhelp us continue providing the highest qualityproducts at the best possible price to our customersaround the world. In addition, the acquisitionallows us to accelerate our goal of FarEast expansion.”In addition to its Texas headquarters, TOMCAThas offices in the UK and Mexico. The companyalso has two distribution hubs: one in Las Vegasand the other in Nashville, where the companyplans to expand its manufacturing capabilities.12 January 2007 • www.stage-directions.com


All photos courtesy of USHIO AmericaAltman Bulks Up Its SalesAltman Lighting, Inc., a leading industry manufacturerof theatrical and architectural lighting fixtureslocated in Yonkers, New York, is beefing up its salesteam with the addition of Victor Wittman as VP of salesand marketing.Says Robert Altman, president of Altman Lighting: “Ibelieve he will be a great asset to us; he brings with him astrong background in the architectural lighting market aswell as a wealth of industry experience to our company.changing rolesVictor’s appointment is a key step forward as our companycontinues to grow both in our traditional theatricalmarket and our quickly expandingarchitectural market.”Wittmann will overseeboth national and internationalsales, as well as help to developAltman Lighting in newmarkets. Most recently, he wasVP of sales and marketing forHeyco Products, Inc.Victor WittmanUSHIO Expands StaffUSHIO America is ushering in the new year by increasing its regional sales staff in the specialty lighting productsdivision. Stephen Mule was recently named Ohio Valley regional sales manager while Kevin Kennelly will coverSouthern California and John Godby has beentapped for the Northern California and PacificNorthwest territory. All will be responsiblefor the development and execution of salesinitiatives in their respective areas, and allhave experience ranging from 20 to 40 yearsin the lighting industry. For 40 years, USHIOhas specialized in developing new and innovativeproducts for a number of markets, amongthem theatre.John Godby Kevin Kennelly Stephen Mulecourtesy of Altman Lighting, Inc.www.stage-directions.com • January 2007 13


changing rolesPublic Hires New GMThe famous off-Broadway Public Theater has justnamed Nicki Genovese to be its new general manager.The appointment was announced by the Public Theater’sArtistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director MaraManus. Genovese comes to the Public after working as ageneral manager for the South Coast Repertory in CostaMesa, California. Prior to SCR, Genovese performed similarduties at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival.We are thrilled that NickiGenovese will be joining ThePublicTheater,” says Manus.“With her wealth of theatremanagement experience, she isthe perfect candidate for generalmanager and will be integralto the long-term growth of theinstitution.”Eustis concurs,addingNicki Genovesethat “Nicki’s brains, passion, experienceand energy will be a significantsource of support for The Public’smission. We are delighted to haveher on board.”Genovese, who has also managedproductions on Broadway,off-Broadway and off-off Broadway,holds an MFA in Theatre Managementfrom Columbia University.in memoriamBob FennellBob Fennell, a co-owner ofThe Publicity Office, a well-knownNYC-based theatrical press agencythat handles Broadway and off-Broadway shows, died November12 of liver cancer. He was 48.Among the shows Fennell, a formeractor and carpenter, worked foras a press representative were Wicked,The 25th Annual Putnam CountySpelling Bee and last season’s revivalof Three Days of Rain, which starredJulia Roberts. The Publicity Office alsohad other high-profile Broadway clients,including The Diary of Anne Frank starringNatalie Portman, Putting It Together,James Joyce’s The Dead, The GreenBird, Follies, Jane Eyre and the currentlyrunning Grey Gardens. The companyalso did press for the Off-Broadway nonprofitsPlaywrights Horizons and TheSignature Theatre Company.In addition to his duties at ThePublicity Office, Fennell also workedas an adjunct lecturer at BrooklynCollege, which has created a scholarshipin his name for a first-year managementstudent.He is survived by his longtimecompanion, Stacy Shane, five sisters,three nephews and six nieces.courtesy of Jeffrey Weiser14 January 2007 • www.stage-directions.com


in memoriamBetty ComdenLegendary, award-winning lyricistand librettist Betty Comden, whowith writing partner, Adolph Green,created some of musical theatre’smost unforgettable gems, such asBells Are Ringing, Wonderful Townand On The Town, died November 23of heart failure. She was 89.Born Elizabeth Cohen in Brooklyn,Comden paired up with the late Greenfor a collaboration that would endurefor six decades. Their partnershipwould begin as part of a sketch comedygroup, The Revues, which wouldfeature the late, Tony Award-winningJudy Holliday, for whom the duowould write Bells Are Ringing. Fromthere, Comden and Green would pena number of musicals that were valentinesto their beloved city.With Leonard Bernstein, a goodfriend from The Revues days, Comdenand Green created two of theirmost celebrated musicals, On TheTown, about three sailors on leavein Manhattan (which showcased thetunes “New York, New York” and“Lonely Town”) and Wonderful Town,about two sisters from Ohio who moveto Greenwich Village. That tuner introducedsongs such as “Ohio,” “A LittleBit in Love” and “It’s Love.”Other musicals the team wrotethe book and/or lyrics for include Onthe Twentieth Century, Hallelujah,Baby!, Applause, Peter Pan, ADoll’s Life, Do Re Mi and The WillRogers Follies.In addition to her dazzling successas a songwriter, Comden (with Green)would also write screenplays for severalfilms. Among them were Singin’in the Rain, Take Me Out to the BallGame, Auntie Mame, What a Way toGo! and The Barkleys of Broadway.For their theatrical achievements,Comden and Green were awardedwith numerous laurels. They won multipleTony Awards (Wonderful Town;Hallelujah, Baby!; Applause; On theTwentieth Century; The Will RogersFollies), and in 1991 were cited by theKennedy Center with special honors.Comden, who studied dramaat New York University, had earlyacting aspirations before switchingover to songwriting.She is survived by a daughter,Susanna Kyle.www.stage-directions.com • January 2007 15


Resource RoundupScenery CentralPhoto Courtesy of Ravenswood Studiophoto Courtesy of George & GoldbergDesign AssociatesStaffers at Ravenswood Studio work on scenery forThe Tempest for the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival.An image of the 2005-2006 tour for Benise that was designed and fabricated by George &Goldberg Design AssociatesFrom custom-designed, full-scale scenery to set dressing, here are just afew companies to consider for your scenic needs. For a complete listing,please refer to Stage Directions’ Theater Resources 2006-2007 Directory.Academic Production Serviceswww.academicproductionservices.com800.837.0005Based in Merrimack, N.H., this companyoffers scenic design services and acomplete line of theatrical supplies. Theirhighly personalized services, reasonablefee and quick turnaround have resulted insolid costumer loyalty. Specialties includelighting and scenic design, event managementand production workshops.All Access Staging and Productionswww.allaccessinc.com310.784.2463Offering set construction and design,this Torrance, Calif.-based companyserves the theatre, television, film, conventionand touring markets. In additionto custom design, they offer an unlimitedinventory for your rental needs.Clients include Apple Computers, CalvinKlein, The Dixie Chicks, Dave Matthewsand Elton John.Center Line Studios, Inc.www.centerlinestudios.com845.534.7143Seasoned craftsmen will build traditionaltheatrical scenery here at this Cornwall,N.Y. company based on your specifications.Serving theatre and opera, CenterLine Studios offers quality woodworkand state-of-the-art technology. Clientsinclude Broadway productions, regionaltheatres, Radio City Music Hall andLincoln Center Festival.Chicago Scenic Studios, Inc.www.chicagoscenic.com312.274.9900A full-scale scenic design studio, this companyprovides customized designs fortheatres, themed entertainment, exhibitsand special events. With a staff comprisedof top-notch craftsmen and designers,Chicago Scenic Studios can create anythingbased on your needs. Examplesof their work can be seen in regionaltheatres, toy fairs and the DemocraticNational Convention.Colorado Scenery EntertainmentConstruction Serviceswww.coloradoscene.com303.394.4857Located in Denver, Colorado Sceneryprovides backdrops, murals, set dressing,construction and paint restoration servicesfor all of your entertainment needs.Offering consultations and top-quality,cost-effective designs, Colorado Sceneryspecializes in making sure your expectationsare met. Non-profit companiesget special rates. Other services offeredinclude scenic carpentry, rentals, projectmanagement and backdrop constructionand repair.Fullerton Civic Light Operawww.fclo.com714.879.9761One of the largest suppliers of sets andcostumes for Broadway musicals, thisFullerton, Calif. company boasts 20 completesets for Broadway musicals, plusover 200 scenic backdrops and a multitudeof stage props. With sets for showssuch as Annie, Camelot, Carousel andAnnie Get Your Gun, among others, thecompany offers them for rent to highschools, colleges, community and professionaltheatres.Gateway Playhousewww.gatewayplayhouse.com631.286.0555Based in Bellport, N.Y., Gateway Playhousehas manufactured a large selection ofscenery for shows for rent to schools,theatres and tours. Many of their sets areflexible and can be adapted to fit yourtheatre’s configurations. Pricing dependson scenery being rented, length of showrun and distance from New York. All rentalsrequire the services of a Gateway technicianfor load-in and load-out.George & Goldberg Design Associateswww.ggda.net310.632.6300Located in Southern California, George& Goldberg Design Associates offers setfabrication (including CNC machining,carpentry, metal, soft goods and scenicart) and rentals (including drapes, platforms,kabuki drops, turntables, specialeffects and motion control systems).Serving corporate events, theatrical tours,live entertainment, exhibits and themedenvironments, the company has been16 January 2007 • www.stage-directions.com


in the entertainment production fieldsince 1988. Clients include Chrysler, Ford,Boeing, Tom Petty and the Venetian Hotelin Las Vegas.Hudson Scenic Studio, Inc.www.hudsonscenic.com914.375.0900One of the top scenic shops in the industry,Hudson Scenic Studio offers all level of servicesfrom pre-production planning andproject management to technical supervisionand installation. Located in Yonkers,N.Y., which is only a short car or bus driveaway from Manhattan, the company hasserved more than 300 Broadway showsand scores of national tours for over 20years. Clients include Manhattan TheatreClub, Playwrights Horizons, LincolnCenter Theatre, New York ShakespeareFestival, Universal Studios and Walt DisneyTheatrical.Insight Design, LLCwww.insightdesigngroup.com212.932.1446Based in New York City, Insight Designcreates set designs for theatre, corporateevents, trade shows and meetings. Servicesprovided include renderings in a broadrange of styles; color and white models;CAD design and technical drawings; colorand 3D presentation; floor plans, flat artand slide scanning. Whatever you want,they will execute and deliver it.R.A Reed Productions, Inc.www.reed-usa.com503.735.0003This Portland, Ore. scene shop offers comprehensiveservices that include sceneryfabrication and construction. Past clientsinclude Nike, MTV Music Awards, theMichigan Opera Theatre and the RadioCity Music Hall Christmas Spectacular.Whether it’s outdoors or indoors, R.A. ReedProductions can provide solutions to all ofyour scenic needs.Romeo Scenery Studiowww.scenerystudio.com845.226.6602For 30 years, this Hopewell Junction,N.Y. scenery and set studio has beensupplying theatre, film and televisionwith quality set construction anddesign. Client list ranges from IBM toProcter and Gamble. They can workwith you at whatever phase of productionyou’re at.Newmark Scenic Productionswww.newmarkscenic.com941.316.9204For more than 20 years, Newmark has beenproviding first-rate drops and scenery fortheatre, dance, fashion shows, beauty pageants,church groups and film companies.Based in Sarasota, Fla., Newmark offers avast array of themed exteriors and interiors;they also specialize in working withsmaller, financially pinched theatres.Pittsburgh CLO/Construction Center forthe Artswww.pittsburghclo.org412.381.8185The CLO Construction Center for the Artsbuilds quality sets for Pittsburgh Civic LightOpera as well as other major arts organizations,tours, Broadway and regional theatres.With its staff of proficient designers,the CLO Construction Center of the Artsoffers theatres a cost-effective option toset construction. Rental is also available.www.stage-directions.com • January 2007 17


Toys of the TradeGear JubileeTop industry manufacturers are ringing in the new year with a slew of new products.For many, January is the time when people are not only recovering from the festivities of the holiday season, but are taking stockof what they want to accomplish in the new year. This might take the form of a resolution, or as applied to a theatre professional,upgrading one’s equipment inventory. Recently, leading manufacturers unveiled a host of new, exciting products. Checkthem out below.Martin Professional’s Stagebar 54 and Martin Professional’s LC 2140 LED curtainMartin Professional (www.martinpro.com), the major lighting manufacturer, is currentlyraising eyebrows with its Stagebar 54,a bright, high-efficiency LED pixel bar and itsLC 2140 LED curtain. Making great inroadsinto the LED world, the lightweight Stagebarfeatures high-speed video capability and automaticcolor calibration. It is designed for thetouring market. The LC 2140 curtain also containsa switch mode power supply covering allvoltages, so there is only the need for one unit type when traveling. Like the Stagebar 54, theLC 2140 curtain is designed for tours.Avlex Superlux S241/U3 Condenser MicThe Avlex (www.avlex.com) Superlux S241/U3 Condenser Microphone is a true capacitor condenser microphonewith a half-inch gold evaporated diaphragm, a three-position attenuation pad switch, and a three-positionlo-cut filter switch. The microphone’s slight high-end elevation in frequency response enables it to capture acousticguitar, snare drums, hi-hat and other instruments whose transient frequency characteristics are often difficultto capture in a noisy pit environment. The S241/U3 ranges from 20 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response. The SuperluxS241/U3 ships with an HM-40 shock mount clip, S-09 foam windscreen and HM-43 anti-pop screen. For protectionand storage, the S241/U3 is housed in a plastic carrying case. Optionally available is the PS-2B phantom poweradapter. The Superlux S241/U3 Condenser Microphone carries a MSRP of $250.Look Solutions Touring Power-TinyThe German-basedLook Solutions (www.fogspecs.com), a manufacturerof high performancefog machines,has also jumped onthe new product bandwagonwith its latestaddition — the TouringPower-Tiny. A highlyportable version ofLook’s popular Power-Tiny fog generation, theTouring Power-Tiny features a custom case designed to holdthe Power-Tiny, its fluid, accessories and a spare battery. It isdesigned as an alternative to full-size fog generators for liveproductions.ETC’s new Eos lighting control systemLighting stalwartETC (www.etcconnect.com)has beencausing a lot of chatterwith its new Eos lightingcontrol system,which nabbed the LDI2006 Product of theYear Award for bestdebuting product inthe category of lighting.Created to handle the most complex and advanced lightingrigs, the Eos lighting control system is suited for Broadway,opera houses, concert halls and large-scale productions. Itsfeatures and syntax are user-friendly, and its design is the endresult of a great deal of feedback and study.18 January 2007 • www.stage-directions.com


Strand’s Light Palette VLLighting heavyweight Strand (www.strandlighting.com) has been very busyintroducing three new models in its LightPalette control consoles. They are theLight Palette Classic, which supportstwo standard dual playbacks and 12 submaster/playbacksfor flexible control andoperation; the Light Palette Live, whichbuilding on the Classic hardware, adds 48submasters allowing users to efficientlyrun a live performance with lots of handsoncontrol; and the Light Palette VL,which extends the power of the LightPalette control consoles with 24 submasters and a 100-key keypad that allows a quickusage of moving lights. Also new is the Pocket Palette, a handheld remote for thewhole Palette range that provides users with more portable control.Entertainment Technology’sLightLynx Designer SoftwareEntertainment Technology(www.etdimming.com) has beenpouring its attention on LightLynx,a new global lighting control systemfor both theatrical and architecturalapplications. Along withthe LightLynx Designer Softwareand the LightLynx Rack MountInterface, the LightLynx enablesILS and DMX512 lighting controldevices to be linked together intoone unlimited lighting control system.Also, the LightLynx DesignerSoftware allows your entire lightingcontrol system to be designedand edited off-line; it also allows for real-time configuration and revisions.Color Kinetics’ Color Blast 12 TRColor Kinetics (www.colorkinetics.com) hasbeen elevating its ever-increased profile withColor Blast 12 TR, which is earmarked for thetheatre and touring markets. An addition to theColor Blast line, the Color Blast 12 TR includes areplaceable lens, protective cover, standard XLRconnectors and a housing that easily accommodatesvarious truss clamps.GE Showbiz’s CSR400/SE/HR/75 metal halide lampGE’s Showbiz (www.gelighting.com) hasunveiled a new lamp of interest to theatre: thenew SHOWBIZ® CSR400/SE/HR/75 metal halidelamp. The new lamp’s 1,000-hour rated life is 25percent more effective than industry standardCSR400/SE/HR/60 lamps.www.stage-directions.com • January 2007 19


Light On The SubjectBy Ben PilatHigh On Techcourtesy of Joan MarcusPictured (in foreground): Jay Klaitzas Barry, Will Chase as Rob, ChristianAnderson as Dick and Jon Patrick Walkeras Johnny the Drunk in the Broadway productionof High Fidelity.A graduate lighting student gives a first-hand glimpse into working behind thescenes of a Broadway musical.Witnessing the creation of a Broadway musical is aunique opportunity. With the Boston tryout of HighFidelity, a musical adaptation of Nick Hornby’s 1995book and Stephen Frear’s 2000 movie, that opportunity wasexactly what I received at the Colonial Theatre. As part of myschooling in the MFA Lighting Design program at BostonUniversity, I spent a month with prolific Broadway designer KenBillington and a team of talented theatre artists as I observed theformation of a new work.To document a process that is traditionally hidden from view,I kept an online journal of my experiences from focus to openingnight and beyond. Below are excerpts from this journal asI witnessed the show evolve both artistically and technically inpreparation for the move to Broadway.Day One: Focus (September 8, 2006)Today was my first day with High Fidelity. It was an overwhelmingexperience that confirmed some expectations anddefied others. I initially thought that the theatre would bechaotic and the pace hectic. The set was surprisingly stress-free.I don’t mean to imply that no work was being done, but thecarpenters and electricians worked at a steady pace, as if theyall knew what needed to be done, and were confident in theirability to accomplish all their tasks on time.Ken was only focusing one position when I arrived. I introducedmyself between lights. He, in turn, introduced me toAnthony Pearson, his assistant, and John Demous, his associate.After focusing a few more lights, Ken suggested that Anthonyshow me a groundplan to get my bearings.Anthony showed me scene-by-scene model photos, explainingthe various automated panels used to create different locationsand the hydraulic lifts used to raise and lower scenery fromthe traps. I saw [the] light plot for the first time, which, given thescale of the production, wasn’t as large as I imagined. Seventymoving lights and a few hundred conventionals isn’t exactly asmall show, but it’s not the extravaganza I created in my mind. AsI imagined, budget is still a primary concern, even for the mostprolific designers in the business. Anthony pointed out the holes20 January 2007 • www.stage-directions.com


on pipes and ladders where additional moving lights used to be,before they were cut. However, it’s likely they’ll be added back inonce the show moves to New York.Anthony then became my tour guide. We headed onstageto see the real version of what I saw in pictures and on paper.He pointed out winches and other gear for automation bothoffstage and under the stage. Most of the scenery is automated,with the exception of an upstage human-powered sliding wall.Another nearly comical contrast was seeing so much technologyand automation in such a low-tech hemphouse like the Colonial Theatre.At the end of the tour, after a few moreintroductions with a variety of crew members,I was finally put to work entering focus chartsinto Lightwright. During my tour, Ken andJohn were working onstage. Ken was focusingwhile John recorded the details of how eachlight was focused. I took this information fromthe hard copies John was using and entered itinto the computer. It was a great introductionto focus charts, which I was familiar with, buthad never needed to use before.location once again gave Ken ample time to continue focusingmoving lights and begin building basic looks. Although he generallylikes to wait until actors are onstage to fully cue the show,he did begin experimenting with internal cueing for a song ortwo. The work we accomplished today is a solid foundation forlater cueing, but, more importantly, it gives Ken a variety oflooks to show director Walter Bobbie when he arrives tomorrowafternoon.The vital role an exceptional programmer can play in theDay Three: Dry Tech (September 11, 2006)Today was an excellent example of howtechnology has impacted the way we maketheatre. Teching the automated aspects of theshow, including flying, tracking and revolvingpieces, takes significantly longer than I imagined.After five hours of work, we just barelycompleted two scene changes. Ken didn’tseem to mind, though; he appeared to haveample time in each set to focus moving lightsand rough-in cues.I was finally able to read the script fortoday. It was interesting, but seeing portionsof a rehearsal-hall video really brought life tothe piece. The show seems to be a mixtureof typical book musical and rock opera. I’mcurious to see what kind of visual interest Kenbrings to the table, how the worlds of songand dialogue vary.Day Four: Dry Tech, cont. (September12, 2006)Today was another slow-moving, yet productive,day at High Fidelity. A few morescenes were set and their positions recorded,in the hopes that future transitions will beexpedient and flawless. The set-up into eachJon Patrick Walker as Bruce and Will Chase as Rob in High Fidelitywww.stage-directions.com • January 2007 21


Light On The Subjectcreative process became apparent thisafternoon. Ken introduced programmerDavid Arch by saying, “He’s the best,”but not because he is a wiz on the board.David and Ken have worked together inthe past, so David has the advantage ofbeing able to anticipate what Ken willask for. David is an artist in his own rightand has a very collaborative relationshipwith Ken.Day Seven: Tech (September 15, 2006)Actors were onstage today for the firstofficial day of tech. We made progressslowly, but at a steady pace, stoppingas needed to fix problems. The first twotransitions received a great deal of attentionas we adjusted the timing and speedof each piece. The result is a world thatdoesn’t just transition; it morphs itselfinto a new location.Walter and Ken discussed the overallphilosophy of the show. It is importantto Walter that there is a clear distinctionbetween songs and book scenes in therecord store. One way Ken accomplishedthis was in his treatment of the portals: helit them with vibrantly colored texturedlight to create the world of the song withthe intention of leaving them unlit duringbook scenes. Walter wants to have a tightfocus within the store during dialogue,but wants the world to open up duringmusical numbers. Ken also uses colorwithin the shop to delineate betweensong and reality. Much of the openingnumber is inspired by concert-style lighting.Ken and programmer David are awareof the beams of light in haze as anotherelement of composition.Day Eight: Tech (September 16, 2006)Ken and I had a conversation aboutworking with directors when a show is stillin the planning phases. Their discussionsaren’t as detailed as I initially imagined.They talk about the overall look and feelingof the show, but may not go much morein-depth than that. As Ken has gotten older,it’s become rarer that he works with a directorthat he’s unfamiliar with. Since a workingrelationship already exists, Ken is usuallyon the same page as the director withoutthe need for a lengthy discussion.However, Walter and Ken talk frequentlyduring tech. For example, Ken created a fullstagetextured backlight look for a momentwhen the show’s main character Rob is22 January 2007 • www.stage-directions.com


Christian Anderson as Dick, Will Chase asRob and Jay Klaitz as Barry in High Fidelitylamenting Laura, his lost love. Walter wasconcerned that the look pulled too muchfocus and suggested a similar approachwith more isolation on Rob. Ken agreed,deciding that he was looking at the beamsof light when he should be looking at Rob.In response, Ken simplified the look byusing fewer lights and focusing them allon Rob. He then created variations of thislook for the rest of the song. I think Ken andWalter were both pleased with the result.Day Eleven: Tech (September20, 2006)We passed a large milestone today:we finished cueing Act 1. Ken wrote thefinal cue within seconds of the end ofthe day. Tomorrow we’ll need to clean itup and run the ending a few times, butall the cues are in the board. Speakingof cues in the board, we’ve made thedecision to switch moving light consoles.All of the raw data from the Hog iPC willneed to be entered manually into thenew Virtuoso console. All of the showinformation still exists, but we’ll have afew days of data entry. Luckily, Act 1 isonly 190 cues, and we have a few daysbefore we’ll need to run it again.Light On The SubjectDay Twenty-Three: Preview #10(October 4, 2006) and Day Twenty-Four:Boston Opening (October 5, 2006)On opening night, it became apparentthat the new Act 1 plans were put onhold in lieu of polishing the existing showprior to opening. The new upstage dropwas hung, now painted muslin instead ofprinted plastic. The new drop takes lightmuch better and fits the world of theplay by showing adjacent brick buildingsbefore transitioning to skyline.Although there were plans to continueworking for the next week, that is no longerthe case. Most of the team is back inNew York while Walter and the writerscollaborate on changes. There is a chancethat these changes will be implementedin the third week of the Boston run, butthey will more likely wait until the showcloses. After a week off, there are twoweeks scheduled for rehearsal before theshow techs in New York.[Editor’s Note: High Fidelity opened onDecember 7, 2006 at Broadway’s ImperialTheatre and closed December 17. You canread all of Ben’s blog entries online athttp://www.stage-directions.com.]www.stage-directions.com • January 2007 23


Sound AdvicePhotos and Text By Jason PritchardHeadCaseNeed to know how to attach a mic to an actor’s head andconceal it from public view? Read on.How do you attach a microphoneto an actor’s head and make itinvisible? Following is a guidethat will not only answer this commonquestion, but also help you understandhow mic rigs are built and used.First, the supply list:•Your favorite miniature microphone(Sennheiser MKE2, DPA4060,Countryman B3 or B6 or what haveyou). I prefer to start with mics that arelight flesh tone, because it allows thegreatest number of possibilities when itcomes to coloring them to match theirsurroundings.• 1 / 16″ round elastic. Again, I prefer tostart with white and color it as needed.In lieu of RIT or some other dye, wehave used 10 tea bags (regular Lipton,not the fancy herb stuff) and a bowl ofhot water to darken the white cord to alight tan.•Black and Brown toupee clips,assorted sizes. (Although we use moreof the small size than any other.)•Art markers. Assorted skin and hairtones. It’s usually good to have severalshades of brown, black and grey.We also have some browns that skewtowards red. We use PrismacolorArt Markers with DPA microphones,but have found that the Prismacolorsdon’t work as well on Sennheiser andCountryman mics. We have started touse Zig Paintys on the Countrymanmics. The color is a little shiny comparedto the Prismacolors, but it lasts longeron the Countryman.•Flexible super glue. (Miracle Glue,Foam Adhesive)•Floral wire — small gauge, solidwire.•Moleskin or fabric surgical tape.•Hellerman Tool and HellermanSleeves or surgical tube. Merithian hasHellerman tools for sale.Now it’s arts-and-crafts time. The processcan be time-consuming, and probablyshould be undertaken well beforethe half-hour call. As every actor’s hairand skin color is different, you have tostart with samples of various coloringoptions. Colorize a broken mic wirewith all of your art marker colors soyou have a color template to use forcomparison purposes. Take a couple ofminutes with each actor to do a quickcolor match using the color templatewire. You can also find out if the actorhas a preference as to using elastic orclips now, too. (Not that they will alwaysget what they want, as there are otherfactors that determine the form of thefinal rig.)Also try to get some rough measurements.The most important measurementis from the center of the foreheadto the edge of the hairline on the backof the neck. This may be different for aclip rig as opposed to an elastic rig. It’salso easiest to use the actual mic to dothe measurement. Hold the mic in placeon the actor where it needs to be, andstretch the wire through the path it willfollow. Mark the location of the rearhairline on the mic; that way you knowhow far to color the mic wire to matchthe hair.Elastic Rigs (Halo)Halo rigs are by far the easiest tomake and the easiest to put on. They canbe hidden quite effectively if coloredand fitted correctly. If done improperly,they end up looking like the actor iswearing a hairnet. Halo rigs don’t workfor everyone; the hairline has to besuch that the mic wire and elastic havea place to hide and aren’t stretchedacross the forehead without the coverof hair. Halo rigs can be difficult to hideproperly if the actor has a receding hairlineor a “widow’s peak,” as the wire willwant to run across the forehead. Bangsare also very helpful in hiding the headof the microphone.24 January 2007 • www.stage-directions.com


Uncolored Halo RigThe Halo Side View photo shows thesame actor from the side. Notice the micwire is colorized to blend in with theactor’s hair color, making it very difficultto see — even close up. From stage, thismicrophone completely disappears.Halo-ExtendedClip Close-upThis photo shows an uncolored halorig. The elastic is tied to the mic wire justbehind the head of the mic and again severalinches down the mic wire, resultingin a circle that can be placed around theactor’s head, with the mic in the center ofthe forehead at the hairline. Use a bowlineknot with a half hitch to secure theelastic to the mic wire. It holds well, andbefore it’s tightened down it can be slidon the wire to get the position correct.Care should be taken not to make theknot too tight, as that can be damaging tothe mic wire. Sometimes a drop of superglueon the knot can save re-tying knotsthat have come loose.Halo Mic Front ViewThe photo above shows a halo rig on anactor. The photo was taken with a slightlyupward angle to show the microphone.From a forward angle the mic head hidesbehind the actor’s hair. In this instance,care was taken to arrange the wire in sucha way as to weave it through the actor’shair, leaving only the head of the mic protrudingonto the actor’s forehead.Halo Side ViewHere is a shot of another halo rig. Thisphoto was taken looking at the side ofthe actor’s head to show the microphonehead extending down the forehead andbeing obscured by the actor’s hair. Noticethe mic wire to the right has not yet beenproperly dressed through the hair.The Clip MethodToupee clip rigs like the one abovecan be used to blend into the hairwhen halo rigs are not an option.Some actors prefer them to the elasticrigs; the clips, however, can behard on the hair and end up pullinghair out, leaving thin spots unlesscare is taken when removing the rig.Clip rigs are time-consuming to build.Attaching the elastic to the clips andthreading the mic wire through, aswell as getting the clip placementcorrect for the application, is onceagain a trial and error proposition.In the clip rig pictured above, wewere able to use a black mic andblack clips — no extra color wasused. Notice the head of the mic:a Hellerman sleeve is placed justbehind the mic head to minimizeany sweat that might run down themic wire.A close-up shot of the toupee clip withthe elastic tied between the two holeson either side, and the mic wire threadedthrough and wrapped around the elastic.Clip In HairHere is a photo of the rig in the actor’shair. The circled clip is hidden in the hair.Once again, this rig completely disappearswhen viewed from the stage. Thisphoto is taken from straight on. This actorhas a hairline that is ideal for this sort ofplacement. The mic sits past the crest inthe actor’s brow, placing the mic on thefront of the actor’s face, not the top oftheir head.Clip BackHere’s a photo of the back of an actor’shead, showing the mic wire and toupeewww.stage-directions.com • January 2007 25


Sound AdviceHeadCaseclip holding the wire in place. In additionto the clip, a piece of surgical tape is usedon the back of the actor’s neck to provideadditional adhesion.The Ear RigI am not a fan of the sound of theear rig, but sometimes it’s the onlyoption. It is a piece of coat hangerbent into the correct shape. Themic wire, a piece of floral wire and acoat hanger are held together withHellerman sleeves. A little moleskinor fabric surgical tape covers theHellerman sleeves to provide a littlecomfort for the actor.When painting these rigs to hidethem, there are a few things to keepin mind. Remember that this is camouflage.In the hair, using color that’sjust a little darker is easier to makedisappear. Military camouflage ismulti-color and multi-pattern. Varyingthe color a bit usually gives betterresults than solid colors. It’s all abouttrial and error to see what works andwhat doesn’t. If you’re trying to hidea wire across open expanses of flesh(down someone’s back for instance),generally going just a bit lighterworks best.You’ll also need to perform routinemaintenance on your rigs. Mics don’tlast forever, and the knots, elastic andclips get old, and colors fade. Be sureto write down what works for eachactor and all the parts you need tobuild each rig. For the principal roles,we generally build two for each ofthem so that if one breaks, we haveanother ready to go. Building a newrig is just too time-consuming andtedious to have to do it at the halfhour,or worse, during a performance.In an ideal situation, the sounddesigner would have absolute sayover mic placement, but that’s nothow it works. I prefer the center of theforehead, provided the shape of onesbrow allows the mic to sit on the frontof the actor’s face and not the top oftheir head. Of course, the use of hatsin the production could influence micplacement, as sound produced with ahat tends to be hollow and loud. If anactor has a lack of hair, perhaps theonly option for unobtrusive miking isthe ear rig.Jason Pritchard is head of audio forCirque du Soleil’s production of LOVE. Aversion of this article originally appearedon the Bright and Loud Web site, (www.brightandloud.com).26 January 2007 • www.stage-directions.com


Vital StatsBy Kevin MitchellMeetRobert Christen, Lighting DesignerA Windy City resident makes good.Current Home: Goodman Theatre,Chicago, IllinoisAbout the Organization: Establishedin 1925, it has launched the careers asDavid Mamet, Sam Shepherd, William H. Macy, ChristopherWalken, John Malkovich, Joe Mantegna and MaryZimmerman, among others.Moonlights At: Steppenwolf, Looking Glass, NorthlightTheater and the Chicago Opera.Schooling: Graduated from the University of Wisconsin,and started at Goodman as an assistant electrician.Recent Work: A Christmas Carol (an annual affair 28 yearsyoung); and a festival of Edward Albee’s work.Up Next: A festival of David Mamet’s work.Chicago, My Kind of Town: “The 1960s and 1970s saw amanifestation of a lot of small theatre companies. We hadmore freedom than in New York, where the commercialaspects put a different kind of pressure on you. In LosAngeles, the main focus is on TV and film — not that there’snot good theatre there, too, it just gets a little lost.”Challenges: Conflicts. “Sometimes I get into productionsthat I don’t think have a conflict with another,but then I end up doing a lot of running back and forthbetween theatres.”Upside: “Equipment has become better. More theatreshere seem to have acquired more inventory, and mosthave computer-related products.”What Has Changed: The audience’s expectation.“Theatregoers are also going to concerts, and are seeingspecial live events on TV, and they are experiencing moreelaborate productions.”Why That’s Good: “Sometimes razzle-dazzle provides ahigher quality product. Ticket prices haven’t gone down,either! [Laughs.] It’s a matter of trying to give them theirmoney’s worth.”Vital StatsThe exterior of the Goodman Theatre in Chicago.All photos courtesy of Goodman TheatreRobert ChristenFrom the recentGoodman Theatreproduction of AChristmas Carol,where Christendemonstrated hisseasoned lightingartistrywww.stage-directions.com • January 2007 27


It’s All In The BrandingThe Off-Broadway productionof Altar Boyz (seenhere) owed a great deal ofits success to Nielsen marketingresearch.By Lisa LipkinPhoto courtesy by Carol RoseggA fabled TV market research tool is venturing into legit theatre.Say the name “Nielsen,” and television executives aroundthe country quiver in their boots. Ever since Arthur CharlesNielsen, Sr., an American market analyst, first developeda method for measuring the audiences of radio and televisionbroadcasting programs in the early 1960s, the Nielsen ratingshave been the single most important element in determiningadvertising rates, schedules and even program content.That kind of cold, statistic-driven approach to “art” has alwaysbeen shunned by live theatre professionals. Until now, that is.In an intriguing partnership between Nielsen Research Group(NRG), an affiliate of the television ratings group, and Broadway.com, the theatre news and ticketing Web site, a year-old companycalled Live Theatrical Events is determined to help producersreap more revenue by using the vast amount of data they collectto their advantage.The alliance between the two companies is not only timely;it’s strategic. While NRG has tremendous expertise in marketresearch for movies and other entertainment properties,Broadway.com is one of the most comprehensive online ticketingdestinations for live theatre, with access to hundreds ofthousands of theatregoers who use the site, and it has an abilityto gather information about their theatre-going habits. If a producer,for example, wanted to know if tourists who have neverbeen to an Off-Broadway show before will pay full price for theirtickets, or if middle-aged women who have seen Lion King twicebefore will respond to a show’s advertising poster, Broadway.com could quickly find out by reaching out to hundreds ofrespondents online.At the company’s helm is Joseph Craig, an enthusiastic 39-year-old with a passion for good theatre and great data, a potentcombination that has some producers hooked. “I will not doanother show without him in my advertising budget,” says KenDavenport, a producer of Altar Boyz, who credits Craig’s researchwith the show’s turnaround.After surveying three different Altar Boyz audiences, Mr. Craigdiscovered some unexpected facts: first, that the show’s OuterCircle Critics Award was a big plus, and second, that the descriptionof one of the characters as a “nice Jewish boy” had appeal.In no time, the advertising incorporated the new information.Visitors to the Altar Boyz Web site (www.altarboyz.com) will nowsee a Star of David dangling conspicuously from the necklaceof one of the animated characters and a large pop-up bannerannouncing their award.Live Theatrical Events is by no means the first group touse market research in the live performance arena. Theatreorganizations have for years organized focus groups to helpilluminate who their patrons are. The difference between hiscompany and others, according to Craig, is the sophistication ofits analysis. Formerly an account executive at NRG, whose tasksincluded doing studies for movie industry giants like Disney andParamount, Craig is adept at uncovering the habits and motivationsof the entertainment-going public.Some of his success lies in his vigilance. “We have a 70-percent in-theatre return rate,” he says, referring to the yellowquestionnaires he tapes onto seats at selected shows. “That’sbecause we do little things to make sure we get them back.” His“little things” include pencils stuck to each questionnaire anda big staff — sometimes seven or eight people, depending onthe size of the house — who constantly circulate and encouragepeople to fill them out.Then there are his questions. After two years of preparation,Craig has designed questionnaires that shed light on thehabits of theatregoers. Take last year’s survey of Off-Broadwaytheatres, commissioned by the League of American Theatresand Producers and the Theatre Development Fund. Among hisfindings: men proportionately hit Off-Broadway more frequentlythan Broadway, whereas tourists prefer the latter. Craig also targetsyounger members of an audience. Instead of rating a showas “excellent” or, “fair,” kids are given a special questionnairewhere they check off words like “Good,” “Okay” or “I don’t like it.”A smiley face is included as an alternative choice.Live Theatrical Events will typically survey three audiences —a matinee, a Friday evening and a weekend — so that they canget the widest demographic sampling. Primarily, their goal is tofind out what the commonality is among those disparate groupsand what drives ticket sales overall. Although there are alwayssome surprise responses, there are some predictable responses,too. Like the fact that tourists usually want to see two thingswhile visiting New York City: Ground Zero and a Broadway show.That matinee groups love the swinging chandelier in Phantomand everyone loves the turning wall in Les Misérables.In addition to in-theatre focus groups, Live Theatrical EventsCarol Rosegg28 January 2007 • www.stage-directions.com


will offer a Hot List, a biweekly survey oftheatregoers who rate which actor theywould like to see onstage; a TrackingService, using online polls asking whatshows people are aware of or interestedin; and a Syndicated Service of researchdata that will be available for approximately$800 per month.Not everyone is convinced of the accuracyof such research. Six months after Rentopened in New York, its producer, JeffreySeller, was told by one such researchgroup that his show had no brand recognitionin Chicago. Subsequently, theChicago show sold half a million dollarsin ticket sales within the first day. “ChorusLine, Annie, Hair, Les Misérables, Rent,” saysSeller, as quoted in a New York Timesarticle (“Nielsen Brings a New MarketingStrategy to Broadway” dated August 1,2006). “Were any of those shows built byfocus groups?”Craig acknowledges that some theatrepeople see his work as cynical and unromantic,a sign that theatre has becomeassimilated into the mass culture.But as content producers like Disneyand Dreamworks are becoming increasinglyactive on Broadway, the stage is beingset both literally and metaphorically.Matthew Freeman, a New York-basedplaywright who authors a popular theatreblog (matthewfreeman.blogspot.com),believes the theatre world can benefit byusing the tools of corporate marketers.“Because Disney markets Tarzan effectively,does that mean that those who wantto bring a large audience to Waiting forGodot should attempt to do so with ancientmethods?” asks Freeman. “I’m going to bestraight up about my belief that rebrandingOff-Off Broadway as ‘Indie Theatre’ is a verygood idea.“There’s no shame in the desire to bringpeople in the room to experience whatyou have to offer,” continues Freeman. “Tooffer it to the right people, to people whowill appreciate it, you need to know wherethey are and how to reach them. Let’snot treat market research as some sortof untouchable evil. It’s there. Using theprinciples of modern media and marketing(perhaps without using awful yellow checklists)might do us all a bit of good.”Lisa Lipkin is a professional storytellerand freelance writer. She is the author ofBringing the Story Home: The CompleteGuide to Storytelling for Parents (Norton,2000).www.stage-directions.com • January 2007 29


Theatre SpotlightBy Mary Murfin BayleyThe Artist Is TheAgendaPushingthe envelope is key to thisaward-winning theatre.From Our Town,directed by IntimanTheatre’s artisticdirector Bartlett Sher.“Essentially, I pick interesting artistsand I live with them, and themore obsessed and the moreinsane they are, the better I think itis to work with them.” -Bartlett SherSeattle’s Intiman Theatre has been making news recently.In May it won the 2006 Regional Theatre Tony Award.In 2005, The Light In The Piazza, a musical developedat Intiman, went on to a long run on Broadway, earned sixTony awards, and is now touring the country. In 2004 Intimanreceived a three-year $400,000 grant from the Doris DukeCharitable foundation recognizing the organization as one ofAmerica’s “Leading National Theatres.” What’s happening atIntiman that’s causing the stir? According to Artistic DirectorBartlett Sher and Managing Director Laura Penn, the theatre isessentially doing what it has always done: producing both theclassics and new works with passion and intensity and makingit a priority to connect to the community.Sher explains Intiman’s agenda and strategy as being builton trusting both the artist and the audience.“Essentially, I pickinteresting artists and I live with them,” he says, “and the moreobsessed and the more insane they are, the better I think it is towork with them.”Following the impulse of the artist led to one of Intiman’srecent big success stories: The Light In The Piazza by writer CraigLucas and composer/lyricist Adam Guettel.“We never expectedLight In The Piazza to be the big success that it was,” admitsSher. “We loved it, but we didn’t expect a 50-week sold outrun in New York and sold out national tours. We just went withthese two amazing artists. We were very connected to themand we protected their space and let them make something.”Being guided by the vision of the artist, whether director,designer or actor, instead of by market considerations, has builtan audience that comes back year after year (the subscriberrenewal rate is more than 73 percent), knowingthat whatever the play, it will be an intenseevening of theatre.The work may sometimesbe challenging, but the physical theatre is verycomfortable. With a garden courtyard for summerdining, steeply raked seating and a thruststage, the handsome 446 seat theatre was builtoriginally for the Seattle World’s Fair in 1962and renovated for Intiman (cost $1.2 million) in 1987.The intimate physical space suits the original concept of founderMegs Booker to make theatre personal and involving when shecreated the venue in 1972 and named it after August Strindberg’shistoric Stockholm theatre, “Intima Teatern.” Starting with a focuson the classics, balanced by staged readings of contemporaryplays, Intiman, under Artistic Directors Elizabeth Huddle, WarnerShook and now Sher, expanded its repertoire to include the productionof world premieres.These have included Robert Schenkkan’s The Kentucky Cycle,directed by Warner Shook in 1991, the first play to win thePulitzer Prize for drama without first having a New York production.Singing Forest, by Craig Lucas, won the AmericanTheatre Critics Association’s annual Steinberg New Play Awardin 2004. Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich’s bestseller aboutAmerica’s working poor, adapted for Intiman in 2002 by JoanHolden, went on to become one of the most produced newplays in the country. Intiman mounted Tony Kushner’s Angels inAmerica directly after the Broadway production closed, offeringPart One: Millennium Approaches as the final show of the 1994subscription season and Part Two: Perestroika as the first show ofthe 1995 subscription season.The type of community outreach surrounding Intiman’s 2003production of Kushner’s Homebody Kabul is typical of Intiman’sapproach. “The more complex and original the piece, the more wedo,” says Sher. “During Homebody Kabul, for example, we built alarge community structure around the piece, and connected withthe Muslim community.”photos courtesy of Chris Bennion30 January 2007 • www.stage-directions.com


Other community outreach initiatives include“Living History in Arts,” an educational program thatsends actors into schools where they use improvtechniques to explore historical or social issues raised by the plays.The program involves some 135,000 students in high schoolsthroughout Washington State each year.Audience has also been built through a long-time Christmastradition called Black Nativity, a gospel song play by LangstonSuzanne Bouchard asQueen Margaret withStephen Pelinski asRichard and members ofthe company in the 2006Intiman Theatre productionof Shakespeare’sRichard III, directed byBartlett Sher.Hughes, which has become one of Seattle’s popular holidaytraditions since it opened in 1998. “With 50 people on stagein a 446-seat house, it can’t be a huge revenue generator,”concedes Penn. “Still, it does tend to break even. It’s the onlyproduction we have that almost pays for itself, and everythingelse is almost 50/50.”Intiman’s faithful audience and its commitment tocommunity outreach have created an unusually courageoussubscriber base. At Intiman the small comediesthat usually sell out elsewhere can be less popular withthe audience than more trying works. “Last seasonRichard III did better than either of the comedies thatwere sure-fire elsewhere,” notes Sher.In addition to its community building and commitmentto artists, Sher and Penn attribute Intiman’s successin part to a decision to always move forward witha certain headstrong hardiness. “We choose to pushthrough challenges instead of retracting from them,”relates Penn. “Our response to the economic downturnof 9/11, for example, was not to cut back but to schedulesome of the biggest American plays ever written in acycle extending over five years.”This American Cycle presents one American classic a year,including Our Town, Grapes of Wrath, Native Son, To Kill AMockingbird and All the King’s Men. Intiman directs readings ofthe plays with volunteer community members taking parts inlibraries and other public spaces followed by discussions. “I’vejust come from the readings of Native Son and they have beenintense, angry and fabulous,” says Penn.The American Cycle plays were chosen, inpart, as a response to the political climate in thecountry. “We now have one, narrow, rigid versionof America being pumped out. There is agreat tradition of American letters and thoughtemphasizing other versions of what it means tobe an American. We wanted to tell the storiesthat only the theatre can tell,” explains Sher. “It’sthe artists who can really have an impact, theartists saying, ‘Knock it off!’”Always coming back to the artist’s vision isthe baseline for Sher and for Intiman. “We’rethrilled about the Tony, and we’re thrilled by allthe attention, but the fact is that it still comesback to the same premises we’ve always followed,”says Sher. “That you have to push it alittle bit out to the edge, and go with what artistshave to say, and their capacity to say it willreally make a difference.”To find out more about the Intiman Theatre, log ontowww.intiman.org.Mary Murfin Bayley is a freelance writer living in Seattle.Myra Lucretia Tayloras Mrs. Thomasand Ato Essandohas Bigger Thomasin Native Son at theIntiman Theatre.The pre-Broadwayproduction of the TonyAward winning TheLight In The Piazza atthe Intiman Theatre.www.stage-directions.com • January 2007 31


School SpotlightBy Mary Murfin BayleyFrom the University ofWashington productionof OthelloNPerformance and production values factor equally in student shows atthe University of Washington, such as Suite For Strangers, seen here.orthwest BountyTop-notch training, coupled with artistic riches, are rife at this theatre program.Arecent production on the historic arena stage of theUniversity of Washington’s Penthouse Theatre drew fromthe many levels of training offered there. Four actors skillfullyportrayed dozens of roles in director Mark Jenkins’ tour-deforceversion of Mikhail Bulgakov’s Black Snow. Two of the fourwere from the master’s program and two were undergraduates.The beautifully calibrated costumes and lighting were by studentsin the master’s design program. An audience question-and-answerevent after the play was led by a UW Drama Ph.D. candidate.“It’s a research university, but it’s a university that understandsthat artists’ work is research, that actors are supposed toact and directors to direct and that their productions are equivalentto publishing,” says Sarah Nash Gates, executive director ofthe UW School of Drama.The University of Washington School of Drama, ranked fourthin the nation by U.S. News and World Report, is comprised of 230bachelor’s students, 50 master’s students (30 in acting, four indirecting and 15 in design) and 10 Ph.D.s. The UW’s flagship isthe Professional Actor Training Program, PATP, a rigorous threeyearconservatory leading to a master’s in which actors attendclasses from nine to five every day, and rehearse an additional25 hours a week. The New York Times described the programas “…one of the most often mentioned MFA acting programsby casting and theatrical agencies.” Every year, Jenkins, whoheads up the PATP, chooses 10 actors from national auditionsof approximately 1,000 candidates. Well-known alumni includefilm, stage and TV actress Jean Smart, Christopher Evan Welch,Pamela Reed, Karl and Kyle MacLachlanThe other UW drama programs are equally rigorous. Themaster’s directing program is designed so that the four studentswho are selected get a variety of opportunities to direct underthe guidance of the PATP faculty. UW admits only two directingstudents every other year. These students usually already havesubstantial experience.The high-profile master’s design program is supported by astaff of professional technical directors, carpenters and drapers.There are three full-time employees in the costume shop, fourfull-time in the scene shop and one master electrician. Designstudents focus on one area of interest while becoming familiarwith all aspects of production and collaboration. They alsodesign for the music department’s opera productions. Admissionis based on portfolio and interview. “We achieve a very high levelof finish in our physical production,” maintains Nash Gates.The Ph.D. program emphasizes theory, criticism and performancehistory. Applicants usually come with master’s degrees,but those with bachelor’s are eligible to apply. “Many come intothe program with MFAs and much performing experience andwant to supplement that with a more scholarly study,” notesNash Gates. “Here the Ph.D.s also work as teaching assistants toDrama 101.”The Bachelor’s program is more broad-based, serving studentsfor whom theatre is a minor as well as a future career,and offering a well-rounded major within a liberal arts context.About 40 percent of the courses in the major focuses on history,literature and criticism; the rest of the courses are in all elementsof production. No auditions are necessary for admittance,although auditions are required for classes such as intermediateand advanced acting.“Undergraduates do perform and take some classes withgraduate students,” says Nash Gates. “But the undergraduateprogram is not a conservatory. It’s more about breadth. We stillcling to the belief that a broadly educated student makes for abetter artist.” Bachelor’s students have opportunities to act inthe Undergraduate Theatre Society, which presents the classicsand contemporary plays and in which students also produce,write and direct their own works.The cost of a UW drama education ranges from $5,160 or$1,720 per quarter for Washington residents and from $19,907or $6,636 per quarter for out-of-state residents. The School ofDrama offers scholarships of between $100 and $2000.32 Janurary 2007 • www.stage-directions.com


Students create a ladder in The Three BirdsGear AlertTo walk through the UW Drama building Hutchinson Hall isto glimpse all the levels of theatre at once. In the huge costumeshop, staff and students consult around one of the dozens oflarge cutting tables. One woman is wearing a huge bustle butseems to have forgotten about it as they pore over drawings.There are seven storerooms full of costumes hung from floor toceiling, while boot racks line the walls with every possible variationof boot.In the halls students in a class taught by Jon Jory, both PATPand undergraduates, are quietly running lines. In another emptystudio students practice a full scene while Jory intently watchesscenes in his classroom. Actors in makeup and costumes wait tohave a scene filmed for an “Acting For The Camera” class.Students in a greenroom and lounge are using computers. Inthe Drama library, some 50,000 plays fill the stacks, and undergradsand Ph.D.s read through scripts and reference books. “Allthe Seattle theatres use it,” says Nash Gates. “It’s a great resourcefor the city that way.”The UW’s three main theatres offer three different configurationsand atmospheres. The 1930-built Playhouse is a brick buildingon busy University Avenue. It is undergoing a $9.5 millionrenovation and will open again in late fall 2008. The MeanyStudio is an adaptable endstage (a proscenium without the prosceniumarch) in the middle of UW’s leafy campus. At the otherend of the scale is the Penthouse Theatre, which first openedin 1941. It was the first purpose-built theatre-in-the-round inthe country, showcasing such theatre luminaries as Moss Hart,Edna Ferber, Agnes Moorehead, Lillian Gish, Betty Compton andSinclair Lewis.Like the Penthouse and Playhouse theatres, the UW dramaprogram is part of Seattle’s theatre history and has contributedto Seattle’s identity as a theatre town since its creation. Studentsand teachers who have either founded or served as artistic directorsof major Seattle theatres include: Gregory Falls (foundedACT Theatre), Duncan Ross (long time artistic director at theSeattle Repertory Theatre), Arne Zazlove (Bathhouse Theatre),Ruben Sierra (Group Theatre) M. Burke Walker (founded TheEmpty Space Theatre) and Linda Hartzell (director of the SeattleChildren’s Theatre). The most recent addition is the WashingtonEnsemble Theatre founded by 11 UW drama alums in 2004.Further south, UW alumnus Angus Bowmer founded the enormouslysuccessful Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland.As the question-and-answer session ends in the PenthouseTheatre, the cast and crew of Black Snow are given one moreround of enthusiastic applause. It is applause directed at thesheer breadth and wealth of training at the UW drama program.For more information about the UW drama program, visit theWeb site at www.washington.edu.Check out the lighting inventory usedat UW School of Drama115 ETC Source Four Elipsoidals28 4.5x6.5 Altman 360q33 6x9 Altman 360q8 6x12 Altmam 360q8 6x16 Altman 360q22 Non Axial 6x91 Non Axial 4.5x628 8-Inch Fresnels28 6-Inch Fresnels2 2k Fresnel2 5k Fresnel44 PAR 647 L&E Mini Strip8 R40 Strip (4 cir)4 Selecon Pacific 50º ERS6 Selecon Pacific 40º ERS4 Selecon Pacific 30º ERS4 Selecon Pacific 20º ERS6 Selecon Pacific 23-50º ERS4 Selecon Pacific 14-35º ERS4 Selecon Pacific 45-75º ERS3 Selecon Pacific 5.5-13º ERS5 Vari*Lite VL1000TS2 Vari*Lite VL3500Q2 High End Technobeam I2 Martin MAC 7002 Apollo Smart Move Gobo Rotators3 GAM Film/FX14 Morpheus M-Fader6 Morpheus S-Fader6 Wybron ForeRunner1 ETC Obsession II SPS1 Colortran Encore2 ETC Express 24/48


mmer Training ProgramsSummer Training ProgramsSummer Training ProgramsLooking to expand your repertoire over the summer? Here are some opportunities.ARIZONACenterStage WestP.O. Box 36688Phoenix, AZ 85067Phone: 602.242.1123E-mail: info@cstage.comWeb site: www.cstage.com/summer/west/index.htmlMid-June through late-JulyCALIFORNIAAmerican Academy of Dramatic Arts1336 N. La Brea AveLos Angeles, CA 90028Phone: 323.464.2777 or 800.222.2867Web site: www.aada.org6 Week Summer IntensiveJuly 9, 2007–August 17, 2007American Musical Theatre Artists InstituteCorporate Offices and Studios1717 Technology DrSan Jose, CA 95110Phone: 408.453.1531E-mail: trintala@amtsj.orgWeb site: www.amtsj.orgTheatre Arts Conservatory, 5-week intensiveCalifornia Shakespeare Festival Conservatory701 Heinz AveBerkeley, CA 94710Phone: 510.548.3422 x127Fax: 510.843.9921E-mail: info@calshakes.orgWeb site: www.calshakes.orgDell’Arte InternationalSchool of Physical TheatreP.O. Box 816Blue Lake, CA 95525Phone: 707.668.5663E-mail: info@dellarte.comWeb site: www.dellarte.comSummer Workshops: June-JulyIdyllwild Arts Summer Program52500 Temecula Dr.P.O. Box 38Idyllwild, CA 92549Phone: 951.659.2171 x2365/2366E-mail: summer@idyllwildarts.orgWeb site: www.idyllwildarts.orgPlease check the Web site for dates for summer courses.PCPA Theaterfest at Allan Hancock CollegeP.O. Box 1700Santa Maria, CA 93456Phone: 805.928.7731 x4115Fax: 805.928.7506E-mail: conservatory@pcpa.orgWeb site: www.pcpa.orgSummer internships available in acting and techFantasy Theatre: mid-JulyCONNECTICUTYale Univ. Summer SessionP.O. Box 208355New Haven, CT 06520Phone: 203.432.2430Fax: 203.432.2434E-mail: summer.session@yale.eduWeb site: www.yale.edu/summerSession 1: June 4–July 6Session 2: July 9–August 10DISTRICT OF COLUMBIAThe Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory1501 14th Street, NWWashington, D.C. 20005Phone: 202.232.7267Fax: 202.588.5262E-mail: conservatory@studiotheatre.orgWeb site: www.studiotheatre.orgILLINOISNational High School Institute–Theatre ArtsNorthwestern University617 Noyes StEvanston, IL 60208Phone: 800.662.NHSI or 847.491.3026Fax: 847.467.1057E-mail: nhsi@northwestern.eduWeb site: www.northwestern.edu/nhsiRigging Seminars2416 3rd Ave WSeattle, WA 98119Phone: 206.283.4419Fax: 206.282.9362E-mail: riggingseminars@earthlink.netWeb site: www.riggingseminars.comJuly 9–12, 2007, in Chicago, IL.34 January 2007 • www.stage-directions.com


IOWADonna Reed Performing ArtsFestival & Workshops1305 BroadwayDenison, IA 51442Phone: 712.263.3334Fax: 712.263.8026E-mail: info@donnareed.orgWeb site: www.donnareed.orgJune 19–23, 2007MAINECelebration Barn Theatre190 Stock Farm RdSouth Paris, ME 04281Phone: 207.743.8452Fax: 207.743.3889E-mail: info@celebrationbarn.comWeb site: www.celebrationbarn.comVarious workshops June 25–Sept.1MASSACHUSETTSBoston University, College ofFine ArtsSummer Theatre Institute Office855 Commonwealth Ave, Room 470Boston, MA 02215Phone: 617.353.3390Fax: 617.353.4363E-mail: mkaye@bu.eduWeb site: www.bu.edu/cfa/index.htmHarvard Summer School51 Brattle StCambridge, MA 02138Phone: 617.495.4024Fax: 617.496.4525E-mail: ssp@hudce.harvard.eduWeb site: www.summer.harvard.eduThree acting workshopsOne directing workshopJune 26–August 18Shakespeare & Co.Training ProgramsSummer Training Institute70 Kemble StLenox, MA 01240Phone: 413.637.1199 x114Fax: 413.637.4274E-mail: education@shakespeare.orgWeb site: www.shakespeare.orgFive-week intensive actor trainingin ShakespeareWilliamstown Theatre FestivalApprenticeship Program229 W 42nd St Suite 801New York, NY 10036Phone: 212.395.9090Fax: 212.395.9099E-mail: mcoglan@wtfestival.orgWeb site: www.wtfestival.orgwww.stage-directions.com • January 2007 35


Summer Training ProgramsMICHIGANInterlochen Arts CampP.O. Box 199 (US Mail)4000 Highway M.137 (FedEx, UPS,Airborne Ex)Interlochen, MI 49643Phone: 231.276.7472 or 800.681.5912Fax: 231.276.7464E-mail: admissions@interlochen.orgWeb site: www.interlochen.org/camp/index.htmAll summer programs fall betweenJune 24 and August 7Michigan Barn Theatre13351 W M.96Augusta, MI 49012Phone: 269.731.4121E-mail: barntheatr@aol.comWeb site: www.barntheatre.comGenerally runs May 14–September 14NEVADAThe National StageCombat WorkshopDept. of TheatreUniversity of Nevada, Las Vegas4500 S Maryland PkwyLas Vegas, NV 89154702.895.3666E-mail: NSCWCoordinator@safd.orgWeb site: http://www.safd.org/NSCW/NSCW_Main.htmlJuly 9–27, 2007NEW YORKAmerican Academy ofDramatic Arts120 Madison AveNew York, NY 10016Phone: 212.686.9244 or 800.463.8990Web site: www.aada.orgSix-Week Summer IntensiveJuly 9–August 16, 2007Circle in the Square Theatre SchoolSummer Workshop-Acting andMusical1633 BroadwayNew York, NY 10019Phone: 212.307.0388Fax: 212.307.0257E-mail: circleinthesquare@att.netWeb site: www.circlesquare.orgJuly 2–August 17, 2007Cobalt StudiosSummer Scene Painting134 Royce RdP.O. Box 79White Lake, NY 12786Phone: 845.583.7025Fax: 845.583.7025E-mail: mail@cobaltstudios.netWeb site: www.cobaltstudios.netScene Painting: July 23 throughAugust 10Hangar TheatreP.O. Box 205Ithaca, NY 14851Phone: 607.273.8588Fax: 607.273.4516E-mail: info@hangartheatre.orgWeb site: www.hangartheatre.orgLab Company, summer repertorytraining program in acting/directing/design/playwritingJune–AugustThe New Actors Workshop259 W 30th St, 2nd FlNew York, NY 10001Phone: 212.947.1310 or 800.947.1318Fax: 212.947.9729E-mail: newactorsw@aol.comWeb site: www.newactorsworkshop.com36 January 2007 • www.stage-directions.com


Summer Training ProgramsSession 1: July 9–27, 2007Session 2: August 6–24, 2007Saratoga International TheatreInstitute520 8th Ave, Ste 310New York, NY 10018Phone: 212.868.0860Fax: 212.868.0837E-mail: inbox@siti.orgWeb site: www.siti.orgJuly 22–August 18, 2007Stella Adler Studio of Acting31 W 27th St, 3rd FlNew York, NY 10001Phone: 212.689.0087 or 800.112.1111Fax: 212.689.6110E-mail: info@stellaadler.comWeb site: www.stellaadler.comDates vary depending on program.New York UniversityTisch School of the Arts721 Broadway, 12th FloorNew York, NY 10003Phone: 212.998.1500E-mail: tisch.special.info@nyu.eduWeb site: www.tisch.nyu.edu/page/homeUniversity at BuffaloThe Center for the ArtsTechnical Theater Program ForHigh School, College Studentsand Adults716.645.6254Email: drw6@buffalo.eduWeb site: www.ubcfa.orgAugust 15–17, 2007NORTH CAROLINAEast Carolina Summer TheatreSchool of Theatre and DanceMessick Theatre Arts CenterEast Carolina UniversityGreenville, NC 27858Phone: 252.328.6390Fax: 252.328.4890E-mail: theatre@mail.ecu.eduWeb site: www.theatre.dance.ecu.eduNCSA School ofDrama-Summer Session1533 S Main StWinston.Salem, NC 27127-2188Phone: 336.770.3238Fax: 336.770.3369E-mail: tsgilliam@ncarts.eduWeb site: www.ncarts.edu/ncsaprod/dramaJune 25–July 27OHIOPorthouse Theatre CompanySchool of Theatre & DanceKent State UniversityP.O. Box 5190Kent, OH 44242Phone: 330.672.2082Fax: 330.672.2889E-mail: theatre@kent.eduWeb site: www.theatre.kent.edu/default.htmPENNSYLVANIACamp Ballibay1 Ballibay RdCamptown, PA 18815Phone: 877.746.2667Fax: 570.746.3691E-mail: camp@ballibay.comWeb site: www.ballibay.comAll programs take place betweenJune 24–August 25www.stage-directions.com • January 2007 37


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION:Summer Training HighlightsSummer Training ProgramsTHE NEW ACTORSWORKSHOP259 West 30th St. 2nd Flr.New York, NY 10001Phone: 212.947.1310Fax: 212.947.9729Email: newactorsw@aol.comThree-week SummerSessionsSession 1: July 9–27Session 2: August 6–24Tuition: $1,575Admission is based ontwo letters of recommendationor interview.The New Actors Workshopfeatures three-week intensives focusing on ActingTechnique, Improvisation, Voice and Movement. ActingTechnique focuses on simple practical exercises that developan increasing awareness of self in an expanding repertoryof choices. Improvisation, based on the contributionsof Viola Spolin, offers a playful and energizing approach toacting and serves as a refreshing counterpoint to the moreanalytical technique class. Classes in movement and voiceround out the curriculum.www.newactorsworkshop.comSKIDMORE COLLEGE815 North BroadwaySaratoga Springs, NY 12866Phone: 518.580.5595Fax: 518.580.5548The SITI Company,lead by Anne Bogart,will offer an intensiveworkshop atSkidmore Collegefrom July 22 - August18, 2007. Actors,directors, designers,choreograhers, writersand dancers are invited to take part in this four-weektraining program that will include classes in the SuzukiMethod, Viewpoints, Composition, Voice, Movement andDramaturgy. Undergraduate and graduate credit is available.For more information visit the SITI Web site atwww.siti.org, or contact the Office of the Dean of SpecialPrograms, Skidmore College, 815 N. Broadway, SaratogaSprings, NY 12866.Pre-College ProgramsCarnegie Mellon University5000 Forbes AvePittsburgh, PA 15213Phone: 412.268.2082Fax: 412.268.7838Web site: http://www.cmu.edu/enrollment/pre-college/June 30 to August 10Muhlenberg Summer MusicTheatre Muhlenberg College,Theatre and Dance Dept2400 Chew StAllentown, PA 18104-5586Phone: 484.664.3333E-mail: roberts@muhlenberg.eduWeb site: www.summerbroadway.orgTEXASKD StudioSummer Camps–MusicalTheatre Camp2600 Stemmons Fwy, Suite 117Dallas, TX 75207Phone: 214.638.0484 or877.278.2283 E-mail: admissions@kdstudio.comWeb site: www.kdstudio.comTexas Tech UniversityDept of Theatre and DanceBox 42061Lubbock, TX 79409Phone: 806.742.3601Fax: 806.742.1338Web site: http://www.angelfiretheatre.org/index.htmlSummer program in partnershipwith Angel Fire Mountain TheatreThree weeks in JulyUTAHShakespearean ActorWorkshopUtah Shakespearean Festival351 W Center StCedar City, UT 84720Phone: 435.586.7880Email: usfinfo@bard.orgWeb site: www.bard.orgYouth Theatre at the UUniversity of UtahDept. of Theatre240 S 1500 E, Rm 206Salt Lake City, UT 84112Phone: 801.581.6098Fax: 802.585.9863E-mail: amy.oakeson@youththeatre.utah.eduWeb site: www.youththeatre.utah.eduWashingtonSeattle Children’s TheatreDrama School201 Thomas StSeattle, WA 98109Phone: 206.443.0807Fax: 206.443.0442E-mail: dramaschool@sct.orgWeb site: www.sct.orgWisconsinCTM Madison Family TheatreSummer Drama School228 State StMadison, WI 53703Phone: 608.255.2080Fax: 608.255.6760E-mail: admin@madisonfamilytheatre.orgWeb site: www.theatreforall.comCanadaTheatre OntarioSummer Courses215 Spadina Ave, Ste 210Toronto, ON M5T 2C7CanadaPhone: 416.408.4556Fax: 416.408.3402E-mail: info@theatreontario.orgWeb site: www.theatreontario.orgwww.skidmore.edu/summer38 January 2007 • www.stage-directions.com


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION: Summer Training HighlightsCIRCLE IN THE SQUARETHEATRE SCHOOL1633 BroadwayNew York, NY 10019Phone: 212.307.0388Email: circleinthesquare@att.netOur school provides comprehensivetraining programsusing the facilities of the CircleIn the Square Theatre complex.The Acting and Musical TheatreProfessional Workshops areintensive, fully accredited twoyearprograms providing individualattention in small classes witha faculty of the theatre’s leadingactors and directors. The Actingand Musical Theatre Workshopsattract students from colleges across the country andaround the world, as well as young professional actors whoare perfecting their craft. These seven-week workshops runin July and August, providing an introduction to advancedtraining and the professional theatre. All admission is byaudition.www.circlesquare.orgUTAH SHAKESPEAREANFESTIVAL351 West Center StreetCedar City, UT 84720Phone: 435.586.7880Fax: 435.865.8003Email: burt@suu.eduGet in-depth training fromworking professionals!The festival’s most popularcourses include ActorTraining, a 10-day, in-residenceclass that allows studentsto work one-on-onewith Festival actors andinstructors, Tech Camp anda five-day intensive class forup-and-coming playwrightswhere students write and workshop their scenes withFestival actors. Other Festival classes include Shakespearefor Junior Actors and Creative Shakespeare for Teachers.Tuition to many of the classes includes tickets to Festivalplays, June 21 – September 1.www.bard.orgNORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY– NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL INSTITUTE– THEATRE ARTS DIVISION617 Noyes St.Evanston, IL 60208Phone: 800.662.NHSI or 847.491.3026Fax: 847.457.1057Email: nhsi@northwestern.eduThe Theatre Arts Division (Acting,Musical Theater or design/Technology Concentration) isdesigned for students betweentheir junior and senior year of highschool a serious interest in theatre.You will become a part of acommunity of talented students and outstanding artists andscholars from across the country and discover that theatre is anemotionally, physically and intellectually rigorous collaborativeart. Students take classes in acting, voice/movement, aestheticsof performance, text analysis, production crew, electives andwill either act in or stage manage one of our highly-regardedand fully-mounted productions. Dates for summer 2007 areMarch 5 for early admission, April 2 for regular admission.Musical Theater (7 weeks) is June 24 to August 11. Programdates for Theatre (5 weeks) are June 24 to July 29.www.northwestern.edu/nhsiDELL’ARTE SCHOOL OFPHYSICAL THEATREPO Box 816Blue Lake, CA 95525Phone: 707.668.5663Email: info@dellarte.comDell’Arte InternationalSchool of PhysicalTheatre is a professionalactor-training centerthat attracts studentsfrom all over the worldtoour full-time, one-yearProfessional TrainingProgram, summer workshopsand the first accredited MFA in Ensemble-BasedPhysical Theatre in the United States. Summer ’07 workshopsrun in conjunction with Dell’Arte’s annual Mad RiverFestival and will include clown coaching, generating newmaterial, mask and physical comedy. A special Dell’Artetraining intensive will be held in Denmark from July 31– August 17. Please check our Web site for more information,or write us at info@dellarte.com.www.dellarte.comwww.stage-directions.com • January 2007 39


Special Costuming/Makeup SectionBy Lisa MulcahyUnderneathIt AllHow to get the right period corset.Mention the word “corset” in a room full of experiencedactresses, and what’s the reaction you’re most likely toget? Disdain — to put it mildly. Most actresses who’veworked in period productions have had a really tough timewearing era-specific underpinnings, for a variety of reasons.Obviously, the most common complaint heard is discomfort;boned undergarments like corsets can fit in an extremelyrestrictive, and even painful, way. Another issue is the fact thatperiod undergarments can significantly limit one’s range ofmotion, and therefore affect a performance adversely. A thirdproblem involves ongoing wear: Can an actress truly ever getused to spending long rehearsal days in such a tight, unfamiliarcostume style?photo courtesy of Period CorsetsAn example of a period undergarment providing thecorrect tension (and cleavage) to a character’s look.Boning Up On The BasicsConstruction is a real make-or-break factor when it comes toensuring that a period undergarment is going to be wearable.A costumer’s first task in this regard is to do their productionresearch as thoroughly as possible, to get the historical detailsright in terms of appropriate garment structure and material.“When choosing a corset, the designer’s first focus is the periodin which the production is set,” says Susan Davis, co-owner(with Becky Kaufman) of the Seattle-based Period Corsets andcostume shop manager at the Seattle Opera. “Within each period,there are some variations to style, but the overall silhouetteis relatively consistent. If the corset is to be seen, then the fabriccolor and design are also key. But whether the corset shows orthe corset is truly underwear, a basic coutil fabric—herringboneweave, usually cotton—works best as the base. Coutil is strongyet flexible and can be used in either one layer or two, with afashion fabric top-layer for a corset.”Once you have a solid grasp of the shape and specifics of yourcostume piece, it’s very helpful to work with a specialty corsetretailer to make sure the fabric you choose will be both flexibleand comfortable for your actress. This is important whether youare renting, buying or building a corset.Linda Sparks, the owner of Farthingales Canada andFarthingales Los Angeles, a highly respected industry corset/materials supplier, explains how that expert advice should work:“I deal with the raw materials and help costumers decide whichtypes of bones to use — there are 11 different possibilities. Wealso have six different hoop steels and four different busks.”Sparks recommends being as hands-on as possible whenevaluating materials for their use and period accuracy.Choosing sample fabrics and/or corsets and undergarmentsin person is ideal even before ordering online, as you want40 January 2007 • www.stage-directions.com


Corsets provide an important silhouette to a period wardrobe.to be as informed as possible about what products you aregetting, and what you can realistically do with them. Study asmany period-correct photos and drawings as you can to visuallycement the end result you are looking for. A corset shouldsmooth the torso and reduce the hips to a certain extent, plusgive the bustline a pronounced lift and shaping.The Perfect FitOnce you have the right corset, it’s time to meet with yourperformer. Before you attempt a first fitting, talk a bit with youractress; ask her how much experience she’s had working withstructured costume pieces. If she’s worn a corset onstage previously,even once, it’s likely that your performer will have inputto give you about what type of tension she will prefer whenshe’s laced into the garment. She’ll also be able to detail anyspecific concerns she might have in terms of movement.If you’re working with a completely green actress, take timeto assure her that you will both work as a team to make sure thecorset works as comfortably and effectively as possible.“There is no scientific formula for the right-fitting corset,”says Davis, “since there are so many variables. How tight doesthe performer prefer the corset? How much can the corset belaced in on that person? What amount of gap at center backlacing is okay? In general, the corset will measure smaller thanthe performer in the bust and waist byone to several inches, and measure similarto but not larger than the performer’ship measurement.”In terms of the actual corset fitting,here’s a step-by-step guide to getting thejob done right.1. Use the Right Foundation. Neverfit a corset on bare skin. For both comfortand sanitary assurance, your actressshould put on a thin T-shirt, tube topor slip (cotton is best) to serve as thecostume’s base. Keep this base as wrinklefreeas you possibly can.2. Position the Garment. It’s hardto tell whether some corsets are rightside up or upside down at first. Inspectthe piece to make sure the knot holdingthe back laces together is at the bottomof the corset. Make sure the knot is tiedsecurely, then open the corset at the backto maximum width.3. Lace the Corset Onto the Actress. “Use either twolaces, starting at the waist and lacing up with one lace, anddown with the other; or use one lace and lace from thebottom up or top down,” advises Davis. “Tighten the lacesgradually, pulling the laces smoothly through the grommets.The hips should not be overly compressed; the lacedcorset should smooth the line over the hips, but should notwww.stage-directions.com • January 2007 41


Special Costuming/Makeupcreate a ridge at the bottom edge of the corset. If there isa ridge, the corset is laced too tight, or needs more roomthrough the hips. The waist and bust should be controlledand shaped by the corset, but again, not laced tighter thanis comfortable for the performer, and not laced so tightlythat the boning cannot control the torso.”4. Get the Actress’s Feedback. Ask your performer to wearthe corset for a while — say, a half-hour to 45 minutes — andthen ask her how it fits and feels. Let her know that the corsetwill give gradually each time she wears it. Still, if she says thegarment is uncomfortably tight, listen to her — she’s the onewho has to breathe in it. Start the re-lacing process, and repeatuntil she’s satisfied.Petticoats are another period garment that will makewearing a corset easier. These full skirts will help an actressget used to the feel of wearing a corset with a large amountof fabric (as her full costume overlay will probably be).When choosing the proper petticoat, make certain that itshem doesn’t drag down too far over the actress’s feet, thatits fabric isn’t too stiff or bunchy, and that if it’s a vintagepiece, its seams are durable enough for stage use. Reinforceall stitching prior to first rehearsal, and again prior to actualperformance use.Inside Farthingales L.A. shop.Rehearsal Dos and Don’tsYour actress should wear her corset and petticoat, with anoverlay rehearsal skirt, from blocking onward, if possible. “A performerwill have to wear the corset in rehearsals to understandthe restrictions and limitations of movement,” explains Davis.“For example, in a 1660-style corset with wide shoulder straps,the arms cannot be raised above chest height. In all corsets, thetorso is very erect, and the legs become more engaged whensitting or rising from a sitting position.”Resources 411Corsets and Crinolines29 Lansdowne Grove, Wigston • Leicestershire, UK LE18 4LUPhone: 0116.224.5361www.corsetsandcrinolines.comThis online service provides custom-made, historically accurate pieces. The company also offers a selection of vintagecorsets and related garments.Corset Connection/Cameo Designs400 E. Evergreen Blvd. Suite 320 • Vancouver, WA 98660They offer custom-designed corsets of all kinds, from many different eras.Farthingales L.A.3306 Pico Blvd. • Santa Monica, CAFarthingales Canada 240 Wellington Street • Stratford, Ontario Canada N5A 2L6519.275.2374www.farthingales.on.caThe Canadian branch sells a wide range of materials such as corset bones, busks, coutil and hoop steel. The LosAngeles branch sells these items as well, plus a selection of historical corsets, fashion corsets, waist cinchers andcorset/costume patterns in books.Originals By Kay819 Wilt Street • Fort Wayne, IN 46802260.422.7617www.originals-by-kay.comDesigner Kay Gnagey specializes in creating 19 th century and Victorian corsetry; she also provides period underclothesand full costumes. A full design/build service.Period Corsets10002 Aurora Avenue N. #36 PMB 5584 • Seattle, WA 98133206.264.0997www.periodcorsets.comMakers of custom corsets. Owners Becky Kaufman and Susan Davis also design their pieces with a view toward futurealteration possibilities.42 January 2007 • www.stage-directions.com


photos courtesy of Linda SparksCorsets on display at Farthingales L.A.Here are a few solid rules of thumb tohelp your performer during the “breakingin” process:• Ask her to practice sitting, leaning andstanding up in the corset as much as possible,until these actions flow more naturally(they will over time).• Remind her not to get her corset wet,which will rust its metal. Sweat stains shouldbe removed with a damp cloth or papertowel, never with a harsh spot cleaner.Period garments should be uniformly drycleanedby a professional laundry service atthe end of a show run.• Eating and drinking in a corset isn'trecommended. If doing so is requiredonstage, have your performer drill this businessextensively, to be sure swallowing anddigestion is as comfortable as possible.• Tell your actress not to share her corsetwith anyone else, not even for a quick "tryon.”The more she wears a structured periodgarment, the more the garment will assumeher specific shape. If someone else slips intoit, even briefly, the "break-in" process couldbe compromised.• Corsets, petticoats and all other periodpieces should be hung up properly whennot in use. Place a corset horizontally over achair; do not use traditional hangers or clipsof any kind. This will help avoid damage tothe piece, and will allow sweat and bodyodors to dissipate. Gently hang a petticoatwithout clips.If your actress's period underpinnings fitproperly, and once she's had a little time towork with them, she (and you) may actuallybe surprised to find how much these garmentscan improve her performance. “Theymake the wearer feel different — transportedto another time period,” says Davis.“That's the beauty of a corset: Whateverthe era, they change a performer's carriageand movement.” As a costumer, that's thebest you can hope for — that your workenhances a performance, and the productionas a whole.www.stage-directions.com • January 2007 43


Special Costuming/Makeup SectionBy Lisa MulcahyBrush Up Y urrushesHow to choose and use the right stagemakeup brushes for your production.The secret to a great theatrical makeup jobdoesn’t just lie in its design, or in the brandof cosmetics you favor — the tools withwhich you apply it are just as important. Thereare numerous key factors to consider: which type of brushserves the application purpose; the correct bristle material(not only can this affect the look of your finished face, butyou must be sure to avoid allergic reactions in your actors);ease of use; plus, convenience in terms of care, storage anddurability must be considered. Who knew picking a brushcould be so complicated?No need to be intimidated, though. The following makeupbrush primer should clearly and concisely outline everythingyou need to know. It also contains the advice and opinionsof the best make up experts in the business to give you theinside skinny.The Shape of ThingsMany experienced thespians (even some makeup artists)believe that there are really only a few basic options when itcomes to makeup brush types: your standard foundation, blush,eye and lip models. This is not really the case.“There’s hundreds of different shapes of brushes out there,”says Gene Flaharty of Mehron, Inc., a veteran makeup artist,teacher and designer. In a nutshell, the shape of a brush refersnot to the full width of the bristles, but to its tip, which determinesthe width and detail of shading, contour and the amountof makeup that can be deposited on a section of the face.Three basic types of finished tips are:• Straight or square tip: ideal for lining the eye, plususing for eye shadow or defining eyebrows.• Round or tapered tip: an excellent lip brush.• Chisel tip: great for blending blush and contour makeup,as well as applying eye shadow.Within these categories, many, many different size measurementsare available. The specifics of the size you choose arereally all about personal preference and the makeup designyou'll be executing. Ben Nye's sales and marketing manager,Patricia Saito-Lewe, breaks thingsdown by category: Powder andBlush Application, Eye Makeup andLip Product Application.For “Powder and Blush”, biggeris better according to Saito-Lewe."Since face powder is applied overthe entire face, a generously-sized(1.5 to 2 inches or wider) domedheadbrush is typically the most efficient,"maintains Saito-Lewe.For her next category, “EyeMakeup,” Saito-Lewe suggestsusing a ¼” to 3 /8” wide brush for basecolors. Smaller, more tapered headsare good for contouring. When itcomes to lining, she recommends afine to very fine round brush. The tipof the brush should be tapered to afine point. A narrow, flat, angle-cutbrush is excellent for application ofdry or wet eye shadow to the lashline. The top end of the angle willGraftobian’s Onyx Brusheseasily work well in tight areas such asthe corners of the eyes.Finally, for “Lip Product Application” Saito-Lewe stresses, “Lipbrushes should be no wider than ¼ to 3 /16 of an inch. The brushhead should be flat, with a tapered head suitable for ‘painting in’the corners of the lips. Turn the brush on its side for lining, use theflat side for filling in color.”There are many shape options when it comes to FX design aswell. For example, Mehron offers a three sided brush, “great forface-painting in shows like Godspell,” says Flaharty. “You can load upthree colors at a time, and do detailed FX like flower petals.” Do yourhomework by isolating the steps it will take to create your specificFX, then browse the Web. You’ll be amazed at the shape range ofFX brush products that all the major theatrical makeup lines offer toget the job done.photo courtesy of Graftobian44 January 2007 • www.stage-directions.com


“Good quality synthetic brushfibers now available replicatethe qualities of natural fibers,such as sable.” –Dana NyeBen Nye’s Lip Brush with CoveThe 411 on FibersTop-notch bristle material is an essential component to agood brush. In the past, this meant you had to buy expensivenatural fibers, but not anymore. “Good quality synthetic brushfibers now available replicate the qualities of natural fibers,such as sable,” explains Dana Nye, president of Ben Nye. “Theyare delicate, supple, resilient, versatile and often more economicalthan natural hair bristles. For example, dome brushesand angle brushes are excellent alternatives for eye makeupapplication if cost is a factor.”Flaharty concurs. “Sable brushes will always be more expensivethan synthetic, but nylon brushes are a really good option,too, and are available at very good prices,” he explains. “Thebiggest thing to keep in mind is that quality will last you.” Innumerous application scenarios, synthetics are specificallypreferable. “Synthetic hair fibers provide more body and firmness,which is essential for certain applications such as cream(oil-based) makeup, including lipstick and water-activatedcakes,” notes Saito-Lewe.Another important point: ease of use, which some qualitysynthetics can more readily provide less experienced customers.“Golden tacklon brushes, designed to be a substitute forred sable, are easier to clean,” points out Eric Coffman, presidentof Graftobian. “It’s nice for a young makeup artist to havebrushes that can easily be taken care of.”Road-test a brush’s bristles before you buy. Here’s how:swirl the bristles over the sensitive skin on your inner wrist,the brush should feel soft and plush to the touch. Fan outthe brush to see how sturdily the bristles are attached to thebrush, you don’t want any shedding. Make sure the bristlehead is firmly attached to the brush handle. Also, evaluate theweight and heft of the handle in your hand while you’re at it.The brush should feel comfortably light, and the handle lengthshould ideally fall within the range of seven to nine inches.Flaharty also recommends choosing a brush with an acrylichandle; painted handles or regular handles can become damagedwhen submerged in water, while acrylic can stand up tothe elements. Also, remember to double-check that the brushbristles are hypoallergenic in every case.Graftobian’s Brush Setwww.stage-directions.com • January 2007 45


Special Costuming/Makeup Section“The biggest thing to keep inmind is that quality will last you.”–Gene FlahartyMaintenance MattersIt’s crucial to care for your brushes the right way if you wantthem to have a long life. Harsh chemicals, for instance, canwreak havoc on both natural and synthetic bristles. “Alcoholcan frizz up your brush,” warns Coffman. A mild conditioninghair shampoo can be used to wash out your brushes safely.Even better, however, is a professional stage brush cleanser,which is gentle, but contains ingredients strong enough torinse away the toughest makeup residue.Make sure you wash out your brushes frequently enough.“Ideally, you want to wash your brushes at the end of eachday, but you can’t wash them if they’re being used betweenNow that you’ve acquired the know-how you need to choose and care for your makeup brushes, it’s time tocheck out some of the products on the market. Check with manufacturers for current pricing and availability.Makeup Brush ResourcesBen Nye Company, Inc.5935 Bowcroft Street • Los Angeles, CA 90016310.839.1984 x105 • www.bennyemakeup.comBen Nye’s product range offers many brush products for any makeup product. The Professional Rouge Brush(RB-2) offers an alternative to face powder as well, if a smaller brush is what you’re after. The company also makes anumber of Contour Brushes, including models FDB-3 Small Tapered (a pony blend) and FDB-4 Petite Shader (anox blend). Ben Nye’s Lip Brush With Cover (FdB-7) is made of dipped taklon and has a finely tapered brush head.Ben Nye Brush Cleaner disinfects as well as cleans and conditions all types of brushes.Graftobian510 Tasman Street • Madison, WI 53714608.222.9848 • www.graftobian.comGraftobian: The Masterpiece Set (available this month) was designed by acclaimed makeup artist SuzannePatterson. “She gave our customers the benefit of her knowledge by developing this makeup brush set,” enthusesCoffman. “It’s very affordable, especially for anybody just getting into makeup — we deal with a lot of students.”A complete set of brushes for every purpose, the Masterpiece offers a variety of natural and synthetic fibers.Graftobian also offers two standard brush sets. The company’s Onyx and Platinum Series consist of brushes tomeet every makeup need. Additionally, Graftobian offers a brush cleaner fluid, available in both bottle and pumpdispenser form.Mehron, Inc.100 Red Schoolhouse Rd. • Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977845.426.1700 • www.mehron.comMehron Stageline Cosmetic Brushes are made with durable “golden nylon” and are designed for resiliency.The company offers a Fan Duster finishing tool, which smoothes and softens a completed makeup job. Mehron’sJumbo Powder Brush is a complexion tool, made extra-large for effective product distribution. Additionally, thecompany’s popular Paradise Brush Line is made for face painting. Mehron’s Stageline Brush Treatment cleansoff makeup residue, plus contains a deodorizer as well.46 January 2007 • www.stage-directions.com


photo courtesy of Ben NyeBen Nye’s Rouge Brushesacts or shared by actors every time,”points out Flaharty. In this situation, youcan use a quick-dry product (usually inspray form), but don’t make a regularhabit out of it; these products can stiffenbristles gradually. Instead, Nye advises,“Pour a brush cleaner into a shallowdish or small plastic cup (approximatelythree ounces) to clean your brushes. Asecondary cleansing and/or final rinse inclear water is recommended in a secondcup to remove residue.” Saito-Lewe alsonotes that brushes should be swirled,not soaked, in a cleaning solution. Sheadditionally advises wiping the brushesdry with a tissue.A few extra cleaning tips and tricks:• Keep water temperature aboutlukewarm to warm for best results.• Visually inspect your brushesafter washing to make sure allmakeup has been removed.• Never try to speed the dryingprocess by blow-drying yourbrushes, which can be verydamaging. You can, however, air-drybrushes by laying them on theirsides on clean towel if desired.• Reshape bristles gently by handonce your brushes are dry.• Don't store wet brushes in a sealedbag or container. Once your brusheshave dried completely, it's okay tostore them in a professional brushroll or case, or to put them in amakeup case, drawer or simiarcontainer.Using the right brushes and keepingthem well cared for will insure your skill isreflected on every face they touch.Lisa Mulcahy is the author of the bookBuilding The Successful Theatre Company(Allworth Press).www.stage-directions.com • January 2007 47


Special Costuming / Makeup SectionBy Fiona KirkDown and Outin the HamptonsFor the hit Broadway show GreyGardens, costume designer WilliamIvey Long explored both the fabulousand the outlandish.Joan MarcusMary Louise Wilson asBig Edie in Grey Gardens.When William Ivey Long heard rumors of a new musicalbased on the 1975 documentary Grey Gardens,about a reclusive mother and daughter living insqualor in an East Hampton mansion, his first reaction wasdismay. He’d seen the documentary soon after it came outand found it quite depressing. “I’m from the South,” saysLong, “and old ladies in reduced means — that’s one of ourstaple products.”He reluctantly agreed to take on the project, but wasunsure how to approach it. As one of Broadway’s top designers,Long had worked on several other “previously-ownedvehicles,” including The Producers and Hairspray, which hadbeen developed from films. He usually tried to avoid seeingthe movie again, so that his approach for the stage wouldbe fresh. However, Grey Gardens director Michael Greif hada very different idea. Greif asked Long to watch the documentaryover and over, in order to burn the images into hismind. Long reluctantly agreed. “The first re-watching — again— was depressing,” says Long. “But by the second and thirdtime through, I realized that Big and Little Edie were heroes;they were valiant.”Little Edie was a well-known socialite in the 1940s, andChristine Ebersole as Little Edie in the Broadway production of Grey Gardens.cousin to Jacqueline Bouvier. Little Edie and her mother, EdithBouvier Beale (“Big Edie”), shone among the smart set of LongIsland and New York City. But the women’s lives took a turnfor the worse when Big Edie’s husband left her and disownedLittle Edie. By the early 1970s, Big and Little Edie were living inGrey Gardens in seclusion. The 28-room, dilapidated mansionwas overrun with cats and raccoons, making a filthy mess ofwhat had once been the scene of many an elegant dinner andgarden party.Filmmakers Albert and David Maysles spent six weekswith the mother and daughter, capturing their arguments,song and dance routines and quirky personalities in theaward-winning documentary. The Off-Broadway productionof Grey Gardens, with a book by Doug Wright, music by ScottFrankel and lyrics by Michael Korie, premiered at Playwrights48 January 2007 • www.stage-directions.com


William Ivey Long’s costumesketches for Grey Gardens.Horizons in March, 2006, and moved toBroadway in October.Act 1 of the play takes place in GreyGardens in 1941, with Little Edie playedby Erin Davie and Big Edie played byChristine Ebersole. Act 2 jumps aheadto 1973, with Ebersole taking on the roleof Little Edie and Mary Louise Wilsonstepping into the role of the mother.While the first act is filled with characterswearing glorious dresses and crispsuits and takes place in an immaculategrand sitting room, Act 2 is a study incontrasts: the dingy set is filled withdebris and cans of cat food.Little Edie, who has gone slightly offher rocker by this point, amuses herselfby dressing with a flair for the strange.In the documentary, she covers her baldhead with various sweaters and scarves,secured with a large brooch. She wearsskirts upside-down, tied at the waist,drapes scarves around her like a cape,and often rearranges her outfit as shespeaks to the camera.“We tried to get inside the brainof Little Edie,” says Long, “with theidea that she’s constantly wrapping andrewrapping garments that once fit, andpinning them all with that one brooch.So we tried to do that.” Long madesweaters and skirts out of cashmere,then spent hours in a fitting room withEbersole attempting to recreate LittleEdie’s idiosyncratic attire.Long came up with the idea of usinga cardigan instead of a turtleneck asone of Little Edie’s wardrobe staplesfor two reasons: Ebersole wouldn’t beable to pull a turtleneck over her headwithout taking her head mic with it,and the cardigan could just as easily bereconfigured into a skirt, headscarf orsweater (worn backwards, of course).www.stage-directions.com •January 2007 49


Joan MarcusErin Davie (left) and Christine Ebersole asLittle Edie and Big Edie in Grey Gardens.After figuring out exactly how Edie hadassembled her outfits, replete with brokenzippers and safety pins, Long reinventedversions with snaps that couldeasily be removed for Ebersole’s manyquick changes.The hues of the second act costumesare bold navies and reds that pop outagainst the dinginess of the set. Act 1,on the other hand, is a vision of pastels.“Ultimately, it needs to feel like adream,” says Long. “The room in Act 1is blue and white. While some ladieswant to match their outfits with theirrooms, Big Edie is bohemian, and shewalks into a room and dominates it. So Iplayed opposites on the color chart. Theopposite of that turquoise was salmon,or peach, so I made that the color of thetwo ladies, and then it filters out andharmonizes with the other family members’clothes. It was a way to say thatBig Edie was out to take no prisoners,without program notes.”Big Edie, in the first act, wears palazzopants, a silk kimono, strings of beadsaround her neck and ornaments in herhair. Her daughter wears flowing dressesof corals and pinks and a stunning whiteengagement dress with an embroideredtulle skirt. Big Edie’s husband, played byJohn McMartin, is a conservative businessmanwith no time for his wife anddaughter’s dramatic antics.“So what does conservative mean?”Long asked himself when he was contemplatingMcMartin’s costumes. “Itmeans that once he got the look ofproper clothing, say in his 20s, he stuckwith it. So you go back to what peoplewere wearing then and you adapt it.That’s what the actor does, in researchingtheir characters, and that’s my jobas well.”Long filled cork boards with differentphotos and drawings for inspiration.He sketched out scenes from theplay, pasting the subsidiary referencepages around it. The fabrics for GreyGardens included sumptuous cashmere,silks and pima cotton. It took aboutsix weeks for the costumes to be builtfor the Off-Broadway run, followed byseveral fittings (and several more, inEbersole’s case).Before the show moved to Broadway,Long created doubles for the men’sshirts as well as costumes for the understudies.He also made ghostly doublesof the clothes in the first act for thecharacters that come back as faded figuresof the past in the second. “For thegirl’s party dresses in the Off-Broadwayrun, I just went to a ‘partydress.comtype’Web site, ordered two dresses anddyed them grey. Done, happy to havethem.” says Long. “But for the Broadwayrun we made exact duplicates in greybecause I think the audiences can tell.”The second act opens with Edie wearingthe first of many strange outfits andsinging “The Revolutionary Costume forToday.” When asked which outfit is hisfavorite from the show, Long doesn’tmiss a beat. “I’ve never worked on a projectwhere you make a costume that hasa song written about it,” says Long, “so Ihave to say that one is my favorite.”Fiona Kirk is the former managing editor ofStage Directions.50 January 2007 • www.stage-directions.com


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Off The ShelfBy Stephen PeithmanMusicalsAll TheWayThis month’s installment focuses on an indigenous art form.Musicals, to paraphrasecomedian RodneyDangerfield, don’t getmuch respect. However, severalrecent books seek to changethat with thoughtful, insightfuland occasionally quirky analysesof this most American ofperforming art forms.Raymond Knapp’s two-volume analysis of the musical theatrephenomenon begins with The American Musical and theFormation of National Identity, originally published in 2004 andnow released in paperback. Knapp explores how musicals suchas Fiddler on the Roof, West Side Story, Show Boat and Oklahoma!deal with issues of assimilation, ethnic conflict, racism andmanifest destiny. More to the point, he shows that while somemusicals have served to reinforce the way people feel aboutAmerica, many others have helped to challenge aspects of ourculture that needed to be changed. [ISBN 0-691-12613-5, $19.95,Princeton University Press]In Knapp’s recently published second volume, The AmericanMusical and the Performance of Personal Identity, the focusshifts to individual and group expressions of idealism, romanceand sexuality. Musicals discussed range from Annie Get Your Gunand My Fair Lady to The Rocky Horror Show. [ISBN 0-691-12524-4,$39.50, Princeton University Press]In both books, Knapp’s passion for his subject is obvious. Hewrites with great passion, energy and a depth of knowledgethat crosses over into classical, jazz and popular music, as well.At times, his passion gets the better of him. For example, someopinions are stated as if they were fact, without further explanation.Also, both books tend to wander from the theme expressedin their title. The result is wide-ranging and intriguing, and if youdon’t mind the occasional detour, you’ll have a good time.Scott McMillin’s The Musical as Drama takes a narrowerapproach, which accounts for its relative brevity at 230 pages.The focus here is on how the modern musical is structuredand written, with discussions onthe book, musical numbers, character,ensemble, orchestra andhow advances in theatre technologyhave affected all of theseelements. Using examples fromboth recent and classic productions,The Musical as Drama helpsus understand both the continuityand evolution of this distinctively American dramatic form.[ISBN 0-691-12730-1, $24.95, Princeton University Press]The evolution of the musical has accelerated dramaticallyin the past 30 years. That fact is made clear in a fresh look atthe work of Lehman Engel, whose Words With Music: Creatingthe Broadway Musical Libretto was first published in 1972.The dean of Broadway musical directors, Engel examines howthe book, music and lyrics work together to create such hits asMy Fair Lady, Fiddler on the Roof, Guys and Dolls, Hair, Pal Joey,West Side Story, Company and South Pacific. In the new revisededition, Howard Kissel, chief theatre critic for the New YorkDaily News, brings things up to date with commentary on suchshows as A Chorus Line, Nine, Sunday in the Park with George,Rent, Working and Falsettos. Chapter by chapter, we first readEngel’s original words, then Kissel’s thoughtful analysis of bothEngel’s reaction to the changes that were then taking place,and how those have evolved into the Broadway musical oftoday. [ISBN 1-55783-554-3, $17.95, Applause Books]Performers trying to land a part in a musical often wonder,“What are they really looking for?” Producer Stuart Ostrowprovides some insight into that question in How to Auditionfor the Musical Theater II: Finding the Song. “My purpose isto give the professional actor, singer and dancer a practicingproducer’s point of view from the other side of the lights,”Ostrow writes. In other words, this is not a how-to book, buta glimpse into the mechanism by which casting decisions aremade. It’s good information to have. [ISBN 1-57525-451-4,$11.95, Smith & Kraus]52 January 2007 • www.stage-directions.com


The Play’s The ThingBy Stephen PeithmanAll Over The MapPlays on many topics — and making sure they keep comingWhile we usually group recently-released plays in termsof an overall theme, this month’s roundup is a hodgepodge,or as we sometimes say, all over the map.A good example is Craig Sodaro’s anthology of 12 short royalty-freemystery plays, Make It Mystery, which offers a widevariety of situations and characters to suit different staging andcasting needs. While targeted primarily at middle grades andhigh school, most can be performed by actors of any age. Playsare frequently laced with comedy — The Mother Goose Mystery,for example, features a cast of suspicious nursery-rhymequotingcharacters. In Queen of Hearts, a young Shakespearehelps solve a crime, while Mommy’s a Zombie! treads the wellwornpath of classic farce. [ISBN 1-56608-115-7, MeriwetherPublishing, $19.95]The only mystery in Maiden’s Progeny: An Afternoon withMary Cassatt, 1906, is why it took so long for someone to seein artist Cassatt the makings of an intellectually entertainingdrama. Set in the artist’s chateau outside Paris in the late springof 1906, Cassatt is visited by the controversial English art criticWynford Johnston. The two are at odds, but over the course ofhis visit, their discussion of art and the place of women in the artworld creates a dramatic shift in the viewpoints of both characters.Playwright Le Wilhelm has created a fascinating portrait of awoman far ahead of her time — one of the few to become a professionalartist, and one of the few Americans of either gender tobe part of the Impressionist movement in France. Two females,one male. [Samuel French]In The Magic Flute Reloaded, young Merton is suspendedfrom school for his constant fighting, and sentenced to time inthe land of Droon. Droon, as it turns out, is really the world ofMerton’s own conscience and imagination, and while doing timethere, he learns about anger management from King Meltdownand meets the beautiful but rebellious Princess Melody, whois held prisoner by her mother, Lady Notsofast, a two-headed,insult-hurling monster, and the cowardly but lovable Grumbo.For Merton, his visit to Droon provides a valuable lesson that willserve him well in the future. This musical, with book, music andlyrics by Frumi Cohen, is indeed inspired by Mozart’s The MagicFlute, although familiarity with that opera is not required to enjoyit. With a 75-minute playing time and a flexible cast size of 11-25(or more), The Magic Flute Reloaded seems a good candidate for aschool or youth theatre production. A music CD is available withrehearsal tracks (including vocals), as well as instrumental tracksfor performance use. [Anchorage Press]If the play’s the thing, we must begin with the craft of playwritingitself. Just how do we encourage new playwrights? Moreto the point, how do we help them learn to create exceptionalwork and advance the development of theatre in general? InPlaywrights Teach Playwriting, Joan Harrington and CrystalBrian gather essays by well-known playwrights who have alsotaught, including Christopher Durang, Marsha Norman, TinaHowe, Tony Kushner, David Henry Hwang, Maria Irene Fornes,José Rivera and Romulus Linney, among others. They provideinsight into the unique vision of each playwright, offer widerangingadvice and propose courses of study for both studentsand teachers of playwriting. A concluding essay by dramaturgand literary manager Mead Hunter offers career guidance foraspiring playwrights. Not surprisingly, the volume’s contributorsoffer no consensus in their approach. Each uses a methodunique to his or her voice and vision. It’s that inner passion, thesedramatists emphasize, that is crucial to producing work of lastingvalue. [ISBN 1-57525-423-9, $19.95, Smith and Kraus]54 January 2007 • www.stage-directions.com


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Answer BoxBy Dave WilliamsA Tree Disappears In OhioA college production faces a unique arboreal predicament.From the 2005OSU production ofWitchcraze; notethe tree in thebackground.Figure 1 Figure 21” dowel1 / 4“ dowelMuslin boot1” dowel1 / 4“ dowelBryony Lavery’s 1983 play Witchcraze presents an unusualchallenge to the set designer. Following the entrance ofSt. George in Act I, an entire landscape, including a smalltree specified in the script, is supposed to burst into flowers.The tree is required to transform in full view, and the scriptspecifies that it has to disappear completely for the second act.For the American premiere of this play at the Newark branch ofthe Ohio State University in March, 2005, solving this problempresented a considerable challenge to the design team.Because the tree appeared only in the first act, the first stepwas to construct a small rolling platform of two-by-fours and5/ 8-inch plywood. As the play dealt with paganism, it was builtin the shape of a pentagon 18 inches on a side.On this base, an armature was constructed of small piecesof two by fours and one-by-twos of varying lengths, screwedtogether in an upward, linear, random fashion to approximatethe shape of a gnarled, stunted tree. The height of this structurewas about five feet, and it was approximately six feet wideand three feet deep. Each future branch ended in an eight-inchlength of one-inch dowel, with a 1 / 4-inch diameter hole drilledone inch down into the center.From the bases of these large dowels on down, this armaturewas completely covered with chicken wire, which wasstapled to the wood at various convenient points. The chickenwire was covered with papier maché and allowed to dry.Meanwhile, bright purple artificial flowers were boughtand the stems snipped off one inch from the base. Holeswere drilled 1 / 2-inch deep into the ends of four-inch lengthsof 1 / 4-inch dowel, and the ends of the stems were insertedand secured with Superglue. The 1 / 4-inch dowels were theninserted into the holes of the one-inch dowels at the ends ofthe branches and secured with wood glue.Then, 3 / 4-inch diameter bamboo was cut into two-inchlengths. A 10-foot long piece of fishing line was threadedthrough the bamboo and tied into a tight loop. An isoscelestriangle of muslin eight inches on the short side and 10 incheson each of the long sides was cut out and sewn into a cone.The bamboo was pushed into the small end of the cone fromwithin, and glued down to it with wood glue, with the tail ofthe fishline escaping the boot at the joint. The large end of thecone was placed over the papier maché covering the branchnear where the one-inch dowel was attached to the two byfour. The entire muslin boot was painted the same color as thetree, a dark brown, and a small plug of muslin of a similar colorwas inserted into the open end of the bamboo. The defaultposition of each branch assembly was that the flower wascompressed within each bamboo tube (see Figure 1).The final step was to screw small hooks into the tree onthe upstage side, and to run the fishlines from each branchthrough them and out the back. Three feet behind the tree,all the fishlines were ganged together into a one-inch metalring. Also attached to the ring was a thick black cord that ranbackstage through hooks screwed into the floor.For the opening portion of the act, the tree simplyappeared to have many blunt branches, concealed amongthe others, which tapered to points. When St. George enteredand tapped his staff on the floor, however, the stage managerbackstage pulled the cord, retracting all the bamboosleeves simultaneously without disturbing the position ofthe platform. Released from the compression, all the flowerssprang out, driving out the muslin plugs and catching theattention of the audience both by their movement and bytheir vivid color (See Figure 2). On more than one occasion,the audience gasped at this moment, gratifying the designteam enormously.Dave Williams is an associate professor at Ohio State Universityin Newark, Ohio.56 January 2007 • www.stage-directions.com

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