September 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, 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.

Jonathan Collins is having a ball designing The Penguin’s new lair on Gotham!

Susan Hilferty Three openings in three weeks! Set and costume designer for Hamlet at the Gate Theatre in Dublin directed by Yaël Farber with Ruth Negga playing Hamlet. Co-costume designer with Mark Koss '13 for Uncle Vanya: Scenes from Country Life in Four Acts (directed and translated by Richard Nelson. Hunter Theatre Project production. Set designer Jason Ardizzone West '12, lighting designer Jennifer Tipton). Turn Me Loose at the Arena Theatre in DC (Associate Designer Sarita Fellows ‘08) and deep into designing costumes for La Traviata at the Metropolitan Opera opening in December (Michael Mayer, director, Christine Jones ’92, set designer, and Kevin Adams, lighting designer).

Allen Lee Hughes
is currently designing Sweat by Lynn Nottage for the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. This production is directed by Loretta Greco, Artistic Director of the Magic Theatre and opens Oct 3rd.

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.

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. 

John McKernon will be in Kansas City and Tampa in September to supervise the lighting for the 2018-2019 National Tour of Chicago.

Chris Muller
continues work on the Sustainability Pavilion for the Dubai 2020 World Expo. He is also beginning work on a Museum of Biodiversity and Extinction in Southern England, and a new Master Plan for the Philadelphia Zoo. He is illustrating a famous director's memoirs. He spent the summer drawing on his iPad and sitting in the garden. 

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 travelled this summer to Italy and London, and on her return has been drafting the patterns from her summer research projects in the Acton dress collection at Villa La Pietra. The next step will be half scale mockups of these two dresses. In addition, there are still garden projects to attend to, and finding time to enjoy the last few weeks of summer.

Paul Steinberg
is currently designing sets for The Marriage Of Figaro for Opera Theater of St Louis (costumes by Constance Hoffman) directed by Mark Lamos, Judgement Day by Odon Von Hovath for The Park Ave Armory directed by Richard Jones, and a new work by Bryce Dessner inspired by Robert Mapplethorpe's photography directed by Daniel Fish. Paul is also supervising the transfer of The Twilight Zone by Ann Washburn from the Almeida Theater to the West End in London, directed by Richard Jones and the transfer of Lohengrin from the ROH Covent Garden to The Flemish Opera in Antwerp and Ghent, directed by David Alden.

Christina Watanabe
is happy to be joining the team over on the grad side after spending this past year teaching in the Undergrad Drama Production & Design Studio. This summer, she went Into the Woods where she encountered the Private Lives of Daddy Long Legs. None of the other shows she did fit together contiguously. As of this writing, upcoming productions include Heartbreak House at The Lion, a series of new plays on the topic of mass shootings with The Amoralists, Fashion and Holiday windows with Ralph Lauren, riding her bike, drinking lots of tea, and taking care of her carnivorous plants.