Urinetown

BoHo Theatre at Stage773     |     Spring 2017

Jeff Nominated for Best Musical - 2017

Set Design

  • Direction     Stephen Schellhardt
  • Lighting      G Max Maxin IV
  • Costumes    Elizabeth Wislar

Urinetown was an amazing show with the challenge of pushing a tiny space with an epic score, cast, and band.  Our piece had the added task of having a ambitious and amazing choreographer (Aubrey Adams) alongside a director with loads of choreography and movement experience as well.  

We used a combination of withered foundational architecture alongside corporate logos and identities to show a world run over by greed.  The play worked on Brechtian levels with loads of epic elements such as exposed means, text and out-of-place elements, and consistently alienating spaces for the characters.  

Photos by Katie Stanley

The Body of An American

StageLeft Theatre at Theatre Wit         |     Summer 2016

Projections & Set

Jeff Award Winner for Projections - 2017

  • Direction     Jason A Fleece
  • Lighting       John Kohn III
  • Costumes    Brenda Winstead

The Body of An American is an exciting true story about regretting the things we've done and haven't done.  The story is told by two actors who play dozens of roles around the globe, from Africa to Alaska and everywhere in between.  Projections are key to this play, because one of the main characters, Paul Watson, is a photographer and much of his original work was used in the show.    

For this piece, I collaborated as set designer and projections designer which gave me the freedom to create the surfaces I was projecting on.  We felt it was important to leave the set fairly simple - yet evocative - and so the projections did a lot of the work in showing locale.

Photos by Ian McLaren

 

Spring Awakening

Marriott Theatre, Lincolnshire   |     Winter 2016

Projections

  • Direction      Aaron Thielen
  • Set Design   Thomas M Ryan
  • Lighting       Lee Fiskness
  • Costumes     Susan Hilferty and Nancy Missimi

This show used two ultra-short throw projectors to map the entire back wall - an unusual element for the Marriott.  Projections included art work from the period and special effects including chalk board graffiti and text.  We also enhanced a shadow play scene by projecting into the shadows of the actors.

Chicago Sun Times: "Thielen’s fluid, out-of-the-box direction (with choreography more reminiscent of Steven Hoggett’s work for “Once” than Bill T. Jones’ moves for Broadway’s “Spring Awakening”) uses the Marriott stage in a whole new way. And he is immeasurably helped by Thomas M. Ryan’s spare, subtly prison-like steel pipe set, Lee Fiskness’ stunning lighting, Anthony Churchill’s gorgeous projections (with images suggestive of such German Expressionist artists as Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt), and the period-perfect costumes by Susan Hilferty and Nancy Misaim"

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Photos by Liz Lauren

Dogfight

BoHo Theatre at Theatre Wit         |     Fall 2015

Projections

  • Direction     Peter Marston Sullivan
  • Sets             Patrick Ham
  • Lighting       Nicole Malmquist
  • Costumes    Theresa Ham

Dogfight is a memory play about a guy meeting a girl in a unconventional way just before shipping out to Vietnam.  There are a lot of locations in and around San Francisco, and a significant variety of specific locations and ethereal memory things that we needed to make up a vocabulary to identify things as specifically as possible.  The set is an organic deconstruction of the Golden Gate Bridge with a massive rear-projection screen as a back wall.

Media was served from a MacBook Pro via Qlab to two projectors.  An Ultra-Short Throw projector that needed to be extremely close to the set due to space restrictions and a Short Throw projector that was mounted sideways because the projection surface is very vertical.  These are two pretty unique setups, but achieve an effective look throughout the play.

Assassination Theater

Museum of Broadcast Communications, Chicago     |     Summer 2015

Set | Projections

  • Direction   Kevin Christopher Fox
  • Lighting     Matt Kooi
  • Costumes   Victoria Carot

Assassination Theater is a theatrical presentation of the events surrounding the Kennedy assassination in 1963.  It utilized more than 1100 media cues including video, images, and animations.  I designed both the set and the projections on three rear-projection screens in the museum's second floor Radio Hall of Fame - a unconventional space for theatrical performances.  The actors frequently refer to the images on the screens and more-often-than-not become many of the characters from the story of the events surrounding JFK's final days.  

Media was served from a Mac Pro via Qlab to three Ultra-Short Throw projectors that needed to be extremely close to the set due to space restrictions.  At it's biggest throw, one of the projectors is creating an image that is more than 12' wide from less than 42" away.  The media server needs to be broken down each night, so a rigorous system was created for full-proof media each performance.    

 

Graveyard of Empires

16th Street Theatre, Berwyn   |     Spring 2015

  • Direction   Kevin Christopher Fox
  • Lighting     Matt Kooi
  • Costumes   Emily Waecker

This was a particularly challenging show because there was a heavy mix of specific locations and meta notions of what each scene should look like.  The production used front and rear projection along with a minimal set to create a variety of different looks.  The actors needed to interact with the environments in many different ways and we wanted to create this effect with practical lights and - of course - projections.  

We projected media from a Qlab server to two front projectors and a rear projector connected to what the production named a "magic screen."  This screen was standard rear-projection material with a scrim hung in front of it - obscuring the material until we projected onto it.  This was used for several crucial effects that are shown in the photos below. 

Ordinary Days

February, 2015

BoHo Theatre at The Heartland Studio   |     Winter 2015

Projections

  • Direction     Jason Fleece
  • Sets             Patrick Ham
  • Lighting       Justin Castellano
  • Costumes    Elizabeth Wislar

Ordinary Days was my first project with BoHo Theatre and revolved around four city dwellers finding connection in a modern world.  The projections were used on a white wall of doors to be both representative of locations, and support the moods of the musical numbers.  I was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award for this design.

Media was served from a MacBook Pro via Qlab to a high-output projector.  It was projected onto a wall of doors and windows that had been whitewashed. 

Older Set Designs

This is a collection of some of my favorite set designs.

How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying

Oakton Performing Arts Center     |     Spring 2013

  • Direction   Jason Fleece
  • Lighting     Matt Kooi
  • Costumes Elizabeth Wislar

This play was a gender-reversed production that used a Mies van der Rohe facade made of rear-projection screen so all the 'scenery' was virtual.  We were able to create a number of effects, including static and motion graphics to establish specific locations.  In addition, we could do a lot of great graphics for the musical numbers, which featured amazing dancing from Kelly Maryanski.  The surface also let us record a number of sequences - such as the bookends where characters fly in and out on a window washing cart - that would have otherwise been impossible to do without a fly.  

Projections were created in the Adobe suite, and served via Qlab to two short-throw BenQ projectors placed about 15' behind the screens.