October 2018 Faculty Projects

Thursday, Oct 4, 2018

Brett J. Banakis is working on a new musical, Renascence, based on the life and poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay, with poems set to music by Carmel Dean. Renascence is set to have its world premiere with the Transport Group this fall at Abrons Art Center, co-directed by Jack Cummings III and Dick Scanlan. Brett is also beginning design work on a one-man Magic/Puzzle/Prestidigitation show called The Enigmatist, starring David Kwong, at the High Line Hotel in Chelsea. Brett is continuing work as International Scenic Supervisor on all worldwide productions of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, with Set Design by Christine Jones ‘92, in Melbourne, Australia; Hamburg, Germany; and San Francisco. Brett continues other collaborative work with Christine Jones: they are co-designing a new musical, The Cher Show, based on the life of - and featuring the music of - Cher, set to open this fall on Broadway at the Neil Simon Theatre. They are also working on a new production of La Traviata at the Metropolitan Opera, directed by Michael Mayer, with costumes by Susan Hilferty.

M.L. Geiger is designing Sakina’s Restaurant starring Aasif Mandvi at Minetta Lane for Audible Theatre. Previous run from October 5th through November 11th.

Paul Hackenmueller
is currently designing Il BravoL’ Oracolo, and Mala Vita for The Wexford Festival’s 67th season opening at the end of October. Paul is also in production for the annual Target Corporation National Sales Meeting and beginning pre-production for the company’s annual Asia partner summits in Hong Kong next year. Pre-production design work is also beginning for the new musical Ever After at the Alliance Theater with Robert Wierzel.

Susan Hilferty is designing costumes for La Traviata at the Metropolitan Opera opening in December (Michael Mayer, director, Christine Jones ’92, set designer) and sets and costumes for Athol Fugard’s Boesman and Lena at the Signature Theatre. Her work can currently be seen Hamlet (set and costume designer) at the Gate Theatre in Dublin directed by Yaël Farber with Ruth Negga playing Hamlet; Uncle Vanya: Scenes from Country Life in Four Acts a Hunter Theatre Project production (Co-costume designer with Mark Koss ’13) directed and translated by Richard Nelson with set designed by Jason Ardizzone-West ’12; and Turn Me Loose at the Arena Theatre in DC (Associate Designer Sarita Fellows ’08); and October 30th is the 15th anniversary of the opening of Wicked on Broadway!

James F. Ingalls [helping cover Allen Lee Hughes class in the fall] is currently in Galway designing the lighting for Druid’s Richard III, directed by Garry Hynes; playing in Galway the last week of September and then transferring to Dublin’s Abbey Theatre at the beginning of October. [Will miss seeing Hilferty at the Gate and Robert and Pul at Wexford]. Following that, he designs LA Master Chorale’s Lagrime Di San Pietro in Mexico and Kaija Saariaho’s Only The Sound Remains at Teatro Real, Madrid, both directed by Peter Sellars. At the end of October Druid’s Waiting For Godot comes to the John Jay Theatre and Only The Sound Remains comes to the Rose, both for Lincoln Center’s White Lights Festival.

Christine Jones is currently working on the Broadway production of The Cher Show, which she is co-designing with Brett Banakis ‘10. She is also designing La Traviata for the Metropolitan Opera's 2019 Season. Her work continues on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which will soon add productions in Australia, San Francisco, and Germany.

Chris Muller is completing a masterplan for the Philadelphia Zoo, a proposal for a prison museum, and continuing work on the Sustainability Pavilion for the Dubai World Expo. He is also drawing robots and skulls. 

Peter Nigrini Since the last fall, Peter finished bringing The Spongebob Musical to Broadway, designed Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice for the Opera Theater of Saint Louis, and the pre-Broadway productions of Ain’t Too Proud, The Life and Times of the Temptations, and Dave. This fall, he will be in production for the musical adaptation of BeetleJuice, and Man in the Ring at Huntington Theatre Company and beginning work on Deep Blue Sea, with Bill T. Jones.

Maggie Raywood is working on half scale mockups of the Acton dresses she researched and patterned this summer. In October she will be collaborating with NYU and Florence colleagues Jim Calder and Jacob Oleson to create a costume for a script Jacob is adapting, and getting various gardens settled in for the winter.

Gail Segal continues her collaboration with Dean Sheril Antonio on the book, Dramatic Effects with a Movie Camera, forthcoming in 2019 from Bloomsbury Press.  Development on two feature screenplays she's written to direct moves forward. Her U.S. project, Lila Rose, has been invited to participate in IRIS/NYWIFT Writer's Lab, sponsored by Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman. The French project, Une Famille/One Family now has the backing of a La Belle Affaire, a French production company in Paris.

Robert Wierzel is working on the following projects: 1. Dinner At Eight, a new opera with music by William Bolcom; libretto by Mark Campbell; based on the play, Dinner at Eight by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber; directed by Tomer Zvulum; conducted by David Agler; scenery by Alexander Dodge; costumes by Victoria (Vita) Tzykun ‘05. Wexford Festival Opera, Ireland. 2. Field, an evening length work with choreography by Liz Gerring & the Liz Gerring Dance Company; music by Michael J. Shumacher; production design by Robert Wierzel; associate designer Amith Chandrashaker ’12; costumes by the LGDC. Produced by Peak Performance @ Montclair State University; Jedediah Wheeler, Executive Director. 3. Sean Curran Company, Everywhere All The Time, a new dance choreographed by Sean Curran; music by Donnacha Dennehy, called Surface Tension, a percussion piece inspired by the Irish bodhran drum; decor by landscape architect Diana Balmori (deceased); costumes by Liliana Casobel.  Abstract Concrete - a dance piece choreographed by Sean Curran; music by Third Coast Percussion and David Skidmore; decor by Mark Randall; costumes by Liz Prince. BAM Next Wave Festival Season 2018. 4. In pre-production for Deep Blue Sea, a dance/performance piece directed & choreographed by Bill T. Jones and the BTJ/AZ Company; decor by Diller Scofidio + Renfro; projections by Peter Nigrini (NYU adjunct faculty); costumes by Liz Prince.  Produced & presented by the Park Avenue Armory. 4/20.