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Angela Mitchell

Scenic Design Master Class Takes Students Behind the Scenes on Broadway

By October 6, 2012

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Some lucky students got an intensive two-day immersion into the world of scenic design this week, complete with a glimpse behind the scenes of a working Broadway show, with a LiveDesign Scenic Design Master Class event that took place across two days (October 2-3, 2012) at New York's Baryshnikov Arts Center.

The event's first day included presentations on the practical and administrative side of scenic design by creative consultant David Gallo, and addressed everyday details like what's typically involved in booking a job, how to interact with creative personnel and producers, and more. It's interesting that here, Gallo also evidently mentioned his own waning reliance on scale models, and his preference to create 3D models by computer instead (I'm not quite there yet -- I still think real-world models offer a uniquely tangible perspective). That evening, attendees took a trip to the Imperial Theatre for a special pre-show Q&A on the Broadway show Nice Work If You Can Get it, and then attended the show.

The next day, Nice Work set designer Derek McLane then appeared to the class and offered his insights into the challenges and processes of designing the setsf or the show. McLane was later joined by props specialist Pete Sarafin, then followed by Frank McCullough (The Coast of Utopia and Book of Mormon). The two-day Master Class was capped off with a design retrospective by Broadway designer John Lee Beatty (whose credits include An Enemy of the People, among many others), and a final panel session on design case studies, relationships, and more.

I'll offer a head's-up on the next one of these, as I think this kind of intensive, practical teaching is invaluable, especially when delivered by people who work in the craft every day.

Courtesy of Nice Work If You Can Get It

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