Posted May 18th, 2011 in News by sarah

There are a few things to celebrate.

The least of which is not the well-deserved success of Festen at Steep Theatre.  “Festen” means celebration…but this party gets a little…um…uncomfortable?…when certain things are revealed about the man being celebrated.  Steep Theatre pursued this script for a long time before they landed it, and it was delightful to work with their talented ensemble, as well as to team up with director Jonathan Berry and set designer Dan Stratton again after the much-lauded Suicide, Inc. last year.

And for something completely different, I am looking forward to teaming up again with Lookingglass’s David Kersnar on two projects next season: first up is Goodnight Moon.  A musical based on the book we all know and love from childhood, it will come to life at Victory Gardens with a production by Chicago Children’s Theatre.

Then in early 2012 Lookingglass and David Kersnar are back at the Chicago Symphony with a special co-production. Into the Big Green Meadow was a blast last year, so I am excited to be invited to play again.

Also in 2012 I’ll be back at Lifeline with the same wonderful team from Wuthering Heights and Mariette in Ecstasy, adapter Christina Calvit and director Elise Kauzlaric for Pride and Prejudice. Can’t wait!

Winter Happenings

Posted January 23rd, 2011 in News by sarah

It is a busy January.

The New Electric Ballroom opens at A Red Orchid Theatre on Tuesday, January 25th.  My grad school chum (and revered Chicago director) Robin Witt directs Irish playwright Enda Walsh’s weirdo play about…well, its about loneliness and love and the safeties and dangers of locking oneself away from the outside world.  Its dark and disturbing and funny.  AROT Artistic director Kirsten Fitzgerald and founding ensemble member Guy Van Swearingen appear with Kate Buddeke and Laurie Larson and, man, do these kids know how to tell a story.  Jessica Keuhnau designed the set, Izumi Inaba designed the costumes, and AROT ensemble member Joseph Fosco designed the sound.

Next, I am thrilled (understatement) to be back at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra!  I have just posted photos of Into the Big Green Meadow from November.  That project was so much fun, and I am so delighted to have been invited back.  Opening to an audience of school children on Friday is From the City to the Country. Guest Conductor Mei-Ann Chen leads the CSO in several selections that highlight how the sounds of the orchestra can set the scene, from the cacophony of the city to a gentle country rain.  We will hear from Gershwin, Bernstein, Copland, Bach, Rossini…and a guest appearance by “Inspector Noteworthy.”

Then I take a quick walk down to the #12 Roosevelt bus and head to Provision Theatre for Shadowlands.  It is my first project with Provision.  They have a lovely space and it is a beautiful little love story, so I’m quite excited to get in and get started.  Shadowlands is directed by Provision artisitic director Tim Gregory, with scenery by Inseung Park, and costumes by Isaac B. Turner.  Previews start February 2nd, and the show runs through March 20th.

New projects, and Old projects that are News

Posted November 12th, 2010 in News by sarah

I have added production photos from Scorched at Silk Road Theatre Project.  It runs through November 21, so there are still plenty of opportunities to see a truly haunting story.  Its the Jeff Recommended Chicago premiere.

Into the Big Green Meadow took place at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra last week to four packed audiences of delighted (and delightfully well-behaved) kids.  At Symphony Hall.  Which is huge and beautiful!  The show was a tribute to the music of Sergei Prokofiev, featuring the childhood favorite Peter and the Wolf.  I will post some production photos soon, but I will take a moment to salute the always brilliant work of Marianna Csaszar and Alison Siple.  David Kersnar, my grad school chum who I haven’t worked with since his thesis project Marisol, directed the show that was co-produced with Lookingglass.  And Brett Schneider brought the magic and the whole thing was…magical!

And in Old projects that are News:  I will be re-designing lights for the re-mount of Wind in the Willows at City Lit this December.  City Lit Artistic Director Terry McCabe will direct Doug Post’s script.  Its a musical–look out for dancing Weasels and Toad!


Posted August 25th, 2010 in News by sarah

There is a lot of music in my work at the moment.

In November, I will light a delightful collaboration between the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Lookingglass Theatre.  Peter and the Wolf opens at Symphony Hall on November 6th.  David Kersnar is directing, Marianna Csaszar is designing our set, and Alison Siple is designing the costumes.

Also in November, I am working with Roosevelt University on a pair of operas.  Joanie Schultz is directing Savitri by August Holst.  Blake Montgomery is directing Ravel’s L’enfant et les Sortileges.  Marianna Csaszar is designing costumes, Margaret Goddard is designing the set.

And of course, the aforementioned Opera America Director-Designer showcase.

Opera competition

Posted July 31st, 2010 in News by sarah

This fall I will be collaborating on a design for the Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Showcase.  The showcase is a program offered by Opera America, a national service organization for opera.  Finalists in the design competition will present their design ideas to general, artistic and production directors at Opera Conference 2011 in Boston.

George Cederquist will direct our design for Marco Polo by Tan Dun.  Sally Weiss will design set, Mina Hong will design costumes.

Suicide Inc. Extended

Posted July 22nd, 2010 in News by sarah

Suicide, Incorporated at the Gift Theatre has extended its run.  The little house keeps filling up with people, so hurry up and get a ticket!

New Work at The Gift

Posted June 15th, 2010 in News by sarah

Suicide, Inc. opens Thursday at the Gift Theatre at 4802 N. Milwaukee.

Press opening was last night, and we are Jeff Recommended!

Also, Chris Jones has some nice things to say.

Congratulations to director Jonathan Berry and a room full of incredible designers: Emily McConnell on costumes, Dan Stratton on set, Matthew Chapman on sound.  Many loud and repetitive thank-yous to Columbia lighting design student Emily Barbian for assisting on lighting design.

Photos soon!

Wilson gets a nomination (or six!)

Posted May 18th, 2010 in News by sarah

Congratulations to the House Theatre‘s Wilson Wants It All for garnering count-em-up SIX non-Equity Jeff nominations:

Director – Michael Rohd
New Work – Michael Rohd and Phillip C. Klapperich
Original Incidental Music – Kevin O’Donnell
Sound Design – Michael Griggs
Artistic Specialization (Video Design) – Lucas Merino

Books on Stage

Posted May 2nd, 2010 in News by sarah

Now that Lifeline Theatre has officially announced their 2010-2011 season, I can officially get excited about Wuthering Heights!  I have always had a love/hate relationship with the tale of the most onerous hero and heroine in all of English literature.  Its such a desperate and depressing story of the pain of passion, and yet I have managed to read the book a few times and I have seen every television adaptation possible.  I guess that’s why it is a “classic.”

I will also be back at Lifeline Kidseries, designing lights for Arnie the Doughnut, an adaptation of a popular children’s book…with music, of course.  And I love doughnuts.

Old and NOW

Posted April 15th, 2010 in News by sarah

I have finished adding projects from grad school to my portfolio.  Have a look.

Girls vs. Boys opens Sunday!  Check out the House website for some early photos, and get tickets (the PIT is the place to be).
Many thanks to Silk Road Theatre Project, Northwestern University (whose American Musical Theatre Project co-produced the workshop last summer), and House company member Lee Keenan for the equipment to pull it off.
Additional undying gratitude to design assistant Jill Bowarchuk and master electrician Will Dean.