DESIGN Meeting

Structured as a departmental check in, designers will report out on the state of our community and the field as whole

Originally aired on February 26th, 2021 by HowlRound

Welcome to a design meeting for the reconstruction of American Theater. This is a space that celebrates designers in their full humanity as artists, creative problem-solvers, changemakers, and leaders. Structured as a departmental check in, representatives from costume, lighting, wig and hair, video, props, sound, and set design will report out on the state of our community and the field as whole. Join Asa Benally, Stacey Derosier, Cherelle Guyton, Caite Hevner, Kris Julio, Lawrence Moten, and Sadah Espii Proctor for a discussion about the social position of designers in the larger theater industrial complex, the interconnectedness of artistry and advocacy, and strategies for co-creating a roadmap into the future. Hosted by Katherine Freer and Porsche McGovern.

Presenting DESIGN Meeting livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 26 February 2021 at 1:30 p.m. PST (San Francisco, UTC -8) / 3:30 p.m. CST (Chicago, UTC- 6) / 4:30 p.m. EST (New York, UTC -5).

Bios

Asa Benally was raised on the Navajo Reservation in northern Arizona. His grandmother, a traditional Navajo weaver and his father, a silversmith, fostered his love and appreciation for art and design. He went on to study at the prestigious Parsons School of Design in New York City. In 2016 he completed his M.F.A. in costume design at Yale University. His design aesthetic is derived from an interest in history and strong individuals. He lives and works in New York City. Website.

Stacey Derosier is a NYC based lighting designer and has just received her MFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Her recent lighting work includes Don Juan Comes Back from the War (Columbia Stages), An American Daughter (NYU), A Daughter & Some Sons (NYU), and Thyestes (NYU). She has also worked as a production designer on the short film Will You Be My Twin?. Website.

Cherelle Guyton, MBA, is an Ashland, Oregon based designer specializing in Inclusive hair, wig, and makeup design. She owns and operates C Stylez U, LLC a bi-coastal theatrical hair, wig and makeup design business providing inclusive design training, consulting, and custom wig services to theatres and universities throughout the country. Cherelle, an SC native, is currently the Hair/Wig Manager and Salon Director at the 86-year-old Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where she became the first Hair and Wig Designer in 2018. Cherelle designed and directed the construction of the OSF Hair Salon (2018), the nation’s first and only theatre owned salon space, dedicated to the inclusion of BIPOC people where all are provided with equitable and professional hair services. Oregon Shakespeare Festival: Wig/Hair Designer: Black Odyssey (2020) Mother Road, Alice in Wonderland, How to Catch Creation. Wig/Hair Designer, Romeo and Juliet. Wig Master: Midsummer Nights Dream (2020), Copper Children (2020), Confederates, Destiny of Desire, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, UniSon. ED&I Hair Texture Consultant: The Wiz, Head Over Heels, Into the Woods. Wig/ Hair Technician: The Cocoanuts, A Wrinkle in Time, Pericles, Antony and Cleopatra, Twelfth Night. Regional: Wig/Hair Designer: Citrus (Northern Stage); In The Heights (Dallas Theatre Center); Penny Candy (Dallas Theatre Center); School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play (Kansas City Repertory); A Wonder in My Soul (Baltimore Center Stage); Twelfth Night (Shakespeare in Detroit). Website.

Caite Hevner is a New York City based theatrical designer, specializing in projection and scenic design. Broadway: In Transit; Derren Brown: SECRET; Harry Connick Jr., A Celebration of Cole Porter. New York: Bella Bella, Manhattan Theatre Club; Collective Rage, MCC; DISCORD, Primary Stages; Ugly Lies the Bone, Roundabout Underground; Parade and The Scarlet Pimpernel, Manhattan Concert Productions/Lincoln Center; My Mother Has 4 Noses, Duke on 42nd Street; Baghdaddy, St. Luke’s; Triassic Parq, Soho Playhouse; Tail! Spin!, Lynn Redgrave Theater; The Elephant in Every Room I Enter, New York Theater Workshop Next Door; Orwell in America, 59E59. Regional: Alabama Shakespeare, Alley, Arena, Alliance, Baltimore Center Stage, Barrington Stage, Cleveland Play House, Dallas Theater Center, Everyman, Guthrie, Kennedy Center’s Broadway Center Stage, Long Wharf, Maltz Jupiter, McCarter, MUNY, Pasadena Playhouse, Playmaker’s Rep, Seattle 5th Avenue, Studio Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Westport Country Playhouse, Williamstown, Woolly Mammoth. Since 2018, Caite has served as the projection coordinator for Broadway Bares, which raises funds for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDs, and was video production manager for the recent Broadway Bares: Zoom In. Website.

Kris Julio is an educator, artisan and activist with over 15 years experience working in theater. Currently based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Julio is the Director of the Stage Properties concentration in the School of Design and Production at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Julio teaches his students to look at their work through a critical lens and is working on developing new courses exploring the collaborative process. Along with teaching both undergraduate and graduate level courses, Julio serves UNCSA as co-chair for the university-wide Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Framework committee. Over the past three years he has been a consulting faculty member developing a ground-breaking M.F.A. program in Animatronics set to launch Fall 2021. Outside of UNCSA, Julio has worked with theater and entertainment companies across the country including Contemporary American Theater Festival, Peppercorn Children’s Theater at Kaleideum, National Black Theater Festival, Santa Fe Opera, Shakespeare Santa Cruz and on the national tours of “Memphis the Musical” and Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” Julio has also collaborated numerous times with sculpture and installation artist Elizabeth Alexander. He is active in his community and recently completed a board term for the North Star LGBTQIA+ Community Center and now serves on their Advisory Board. Some of his podcast features include Jessamyn Stanley’s “Jessamyn Explains it All: Queer identity in the American South” and Ashley Flowers and Eric Hart’s “Silk Flowers and Papier Mache Hearts: Kris Julio takes us to school.” Originally from the Los Angeles area, Julio earned his B.A. in Theater Arts from UC Santa Cruz, with a dual-emphasis in Performance Studies and Scenic Design and his M.F.A. in Stage Properties from UNCSA. Website.

Lawrence Moten is a New York City based designer for plays, musicals, live events and installations. His design work, often new plays and world premieres, has been seen in New York City with Page 73 Productions, 59E59 Theaters, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Cherry Lane Theatre, and Houses on The Moon as well as The New School and Marymount Manhattan College. Regionally his work has been seen at California Shakespeare Theater, American Conservatory Theater, The Old Globe, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, PlayMakers Repertory Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Everyman Theatre, Capital Repertory Theatre, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, UCCS Theatreworks, Children’s Theatre Company, Company One, and the theatre departments at Dartmouth and Princeton University. He has been the Resident Scenic Designer for the 2018, 2019, and 2020 National Playwrights Conference at The Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center where he works with Playwrights like Beth Henley, Cori Thomas, Benjamin Benne, Enid Graham, Charly Evon Simpson, Craig Lucas, George Brant, Anna Ziegler and others developing their new works from a design perspective. Lawrence was raised in Seattle, WA and San Antonio, TX and gained an appreciation for design, art, and music at a young age. He pursued his passion for design, earning his BFA in Theatrical Production Arts: Design from Ithaca College. He lives in Brooklyn and freelances across the country.

Sadah Espii Proctor (Espii) is a VR director and sound/media designer for theatre and immersive experiences. Named by American Theatre Magazine as one of “6 Theatre Artists to Know” for multimedia storytelling, her work encompasses global stories of women, social issues, and the African Diaspora, often with an Afrofuturist/Cyberpunk lens. Her original work is also influenced by gothic horror, anime, and visual kei. She received her M.F.A. in Performance and Interactive Arts from Brooklyn College and is a proud alumna of Virginia Tech. Proctor’s work lies at the intersection of art, technology, and community. Her journey in this work began at Virginia Tech where she was a member of the Linux Laptop Orchestra and Building Home Ensemble. The Linux Laptop Orchestra combined movement with interactive music by using Wiimotes to play compositions. Building Home used Story Circle techniques from Roadside Theater and Image/Forum Methodologies from Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed to engage New River Valley residents in social issues. After graduation, she then performed as a singer in The Bowery Birds, an all-female ensemble of Downtown Art dedicated to women’s stories from the Lower East Side in New York. Visual collaborations have included Kimbra and Sophia Brous (EXO-TECH), Sasha Velour, Neycha, Soul Science Lab, and Hi-ARTS. Proctor works regularly throughout New York City and across the country as a sound and video designer in places like JACK, Brooklyn Museum, Pioneer Works, Portland Stage, Passage Theatre, August Wilson African American Cultural Center, and La MaMa. She’s received developmental support for her work as a Member of NEW INC through the Kate Spade Fellowship, Creative to Founder Lab at NY Media Center, Digital Art Resident at Con Artist Collective, Researcher-in-Residence at Virginia Tech’s Spatial Music Workshop, and XR Lab Fellow at NYU Tandon/Timewave Festival. She’s also given back as a mentor at institutions such as #BUILTBYGIRLS, Elgin Community College, MIT, and NYU. Proctor is the creator and director of Girl Icon , a 360-documentary created as part of Oculus’ VR For Good Creators Lab in partnership with Malala Fund and Milaan Foundation in India. Girl Icon had its world premiere at SXSW, has been showcased at festivals such as Tribeca, Beijing, BioBioCine, and Women Deliver, and a nomination for Best Digital Narrative at Sheffield Doc Fest. Website.
 

Facilitator Bios

Porsche McGovern is a facilitator for social justice conversations and a consultant for Year of the Stage Manager 2020/21. She has been honored to attend the artEquity National Facilitation Training 2016, the Berkshire Leadership Summit, the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond Undoing Racism Community Organizing workshop, and the Emergent Strategy Ideation Institute Immersion NYC. She is a lighting designer. She designed Skeleton Crew and We Are Proud to Present… (Playmakers Repertory Company), The Thanksgiving Play (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis), A Single Shard (People’s Light and Theatre Company), and The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Oregon Shakespeare Festival). In New York, she designed Mothers (Playwrights Realm), Ghetto Babylon (Dramatic Question Theatre), many shows with Spookfish Theatre Company, among others. She has an MFA from California Institute for the Arts and a BA from St. Lawrence University.

Katherine Freer is a multimedia artist, filmmaker, organizer, and educator. Her artistic practice lives at the intersection of story, technology, and civic engagement. It is rooted in joy, curiosity, mutual learning, and the pursuit ofective, Projections Design Instructor at University of the Arts (Philadelphia), and a Teaching Artist with Roundabout Education. She justice for all living beings. She is a core collaborator with All My Relations Coll is a proud member of Wingspace Theatrical Design and United Scenic Artists Local 829. Website.

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