America, Coles, Lincoln Center discussed on Half Hour to Curtain


We're going to be sitting in that location in one of the things that the script coles or do we need a bed. We need a door. We need nothing and my basic instinct is to not put anything more on stage than the things that the script absolutely calls for. I being a little disingenuous to say that but if the script calls for door I don't really WanNa do more than a door. If literature one other thing that helped establish that location it depends on the play for sitting in one location for forty five minutes. Then I'll probably do a little bit more but one thing I I just can't stand is watching scenery. Change in a scene. Change can very quickly feel like a very very long amount of time. And it's important that the transition's GonNa be interesting and beautiful and feel like they have sudden dramatic import otherwise they begin to get in your way and and tread on you and getting from from Point A. To Point to point see through a show is is one of the most important things that I think about i. I have described set designers as the transformation of space over time. And that is sort of how I think of it. It's a volume of space that needs to emphasize an actor or actors. Depending on what size of play it is and as that space transforms from scene that needs to either be fast or slow or the pace of has to relate to sort of the pace of the play in helps establish the pace of the play. And it's important in general that means that it needs to be able to move fairly quickly so you're not waiting for things but sometimes you can have a very long transition back the interesting as well if it's appropriate to the play in that moment of the storytelling well and we're way beyond the time in the old days where they closed the curtain and there'd be a scene out in front in one while they're doing a massive seen change behind that's those days are over so important. Yeah and I still do that sometimes. It's a great technique. When you get there were moments in Princeton Broadway. That were set that way where we would we would have seen the next thing set up behind it and you do kind of wonderful reveal. It's it is to this day quite effective but audiences sort of quite honestly idea that you can't just do a little down on the Apron telling a joke although some try thank you said that your work always lies in simplicity in the Anthony. Last question you talked about using space for multiple different things and that everything ultimately is about working in the same space. Is that what you mean by that? I'm trying to think what I mean by that. I you know what I think I mean by that is. I don't like a lot of clutter on stage. Host of the time were there were all. There is a lot of clutter. I wanted to all kind of Meld together into a single idea right I feel like a set design. Ought to be kind of a single idea not an accumulation of details and I don't like it when when a set is just an accumulation of details. It feels like it all should meld together and you should be able to summon up a sense with the visual idea is it shouldn't be this and this and this and this it should be boom when thing and often that means not a lot of stock or not even sure what. I mean by that could really I I I do some very involves that a lot of things in in producers who pay for them certainly wouldn't wouldn't you know let me get away with saying they're all simple working on a set right now at Lincoln Center with Lupine that is conceptually. Very simple idea. It's it's sort of around volume of space that morphs into a couple of different things in the course of the show. But it's a sixty foot diameter twenty five foot tall volume of space And so that you never even though it's a it's a very simple idea. It's a massive construction and as much as I keep talking about. Changes need to be fast because actually show where we've got scenery Vince. Moving forty five or fifty feet sometimes in the course of the transition and even moving really fast. That still takes awhile. And it's it's a show that we think will will work well that way. But it's it's it's a little counter to what. I preach ended in when Nina. That's part of the adventure of it is seeing if in fact it works. It is exciting as we hoped that it will be. Who'd you look up to as influences for your work be whether they be set designers? Visual Artists Authors. Whoever they are are there particular. People that that have influenced you say Joe Millionaire I. His his renderings are gorgeous and beautiful and I have a few of them on my walls. I can't paint like that and so I'm immensely jealous of anyone. Who can you know all that said? I don't know that I my my style has much to do with his style. I just I but I do find his rendering tend to be kind of simple innovative and in that sense. I I do try to work that way. I really think the biggest influences have been some of the really wonderful directors. I've gotten to work with. Howell was a huge influence on me. James Pints started as a graphic designer. And he's very visually oriented and the shows that I've done with him have always been some kind of visual idea. That's a little off base in something that most directors wouldn't allow me to do and East so interested in the visual that he'll he'll do something that may be hard to say jacked. One was a nightmare staged a very hard exercise for him do now. Though ultimately it it it helped. Tell the story the process of putting it all together. It was very difficult and so I I loved working with him in that way. I've done a lot with Susan. Stroman in the past ten years and nobody tells the story dance the way the way she can do that consequently every time we go into a project you know. I know that that is going to be front and center. Whatever the visual part of the story in need to allow dance to to play out in allow her the tools and the space that she needs to do that one really wonderful experience Adler summer. I did much ado about nothing in the park for Kenny. Leon and I've worked with Kennedy maybe ten fifteen years ago. We've known each other for a long time. But we hadn't worked together in a while and so we were doing this show and his idea from the beginning was that he wanted to be set essentially in Atlanta in Modern Day. Our first conversation he said well at the beginning of their coming back from the war and I said okay. They're coming back from Iraq or Afghanistan and he said the war that's going on in the US right now and it's not for second and I thought you know what I'm you know I think of myself as sort of a woke guy but I'm a you know a straight white guy living in America right and if you're a black man living in America today you're watching people shut down for no reason around. Yoda where she'd make a bit of a war and it opened my eyes to something that I it's not the information hadn't been there for me. I had never thought of it. That way and in the play wasn't something that he beat over the head and you know the the soldiers coming basically felt like they were coming from some kind of a black lives matter rally or a slightly stylized version of that in the end he very carefully was trying to sort of tell the story with when he kept saying. I don't WanNa hit it so hard that it turns people off right on. I'm trying trying to thread the needle and sort of make his point without increasingly about it and knowing that the bulk of his audience we're going to be middle class white people. It was truly a case of theater opening my eyes to something that that had been there for me to see but I have never seen before in that way and it. It was deeply moving to me. The whole production was sort of deeply moving to me. And we talk a lot about theater being something that opens people's eyes and teaches them in Blah Blah Blah and. I feel like most of the time it doesn't you know it's nice when it does and even just having like an emotional reaction to it is nice. So much theater doesn't actually even elicit emotional reaction but for me to get to work on a show that actually changed me in a way. That way was was sort of extraordinary and meant a lot to me. You know I don't know if I could take. Never show is urged to emotional to for that kind of awakening but it. It's I think the red it's best. allows us to see the world through somebody's on somebody else's eyes and that's part of why just keep doing it as every show not always dramatically is that and not necessarily with political. Gatien's but every show can can allow you to see the world through some new set of eyes and that at its best. I think is what we're trying to do. Well I think that's a great note to wrap up on. Thank you for your wonderful designs. Keep them coming. Where is the Richard the second going to be reduced? I don't think I'm allowed to say at because it's not been announced. Get in trouble announced and you'll figure it out. I'm not sure that that's true. But I don't Wanna get point and say the Tri State area possibly yes. The Trident is the hemisphere. They wore it. Thank you so much for joining us today. And thanks for your time. It's a pleasure and honor and really great to talk to you too. Excellent thanks so.

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