Summer 2018 Faculty Projects

Thursday, Oct 4, 2018

Brett J. Banakis is beginning work on a new musical, All I Could See, 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 continuing work as International Scenic Supervisor on NYC and Worldwide productions of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, with Set Design by Christine Jones. 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. They are also working on a new production of La Traviata at the Metropolitan Opera, directed by Michael Mayer, with costumes by Susan Hilferty.

Paul Hackenmueller is currently designing a new Carmen co-production with Opera Philadelphia and Seattle Opera, a private concert by the musical artist Zedd, the Financial CommunityNow Next, and Owned-Brand meetings with Target Corporation executives and the corporate worldwide re-branding of the Rezidor Hotel Group (Radisson Hotels) in Hong Kong. 

Over the summer, Susan Hilferty is designing sets and costumes for Rinne Groff’s new play Fire in Dreamland at the Public, sets and costumes for a Hamlet at the Gate Theatre in Ireland, costumes for Turn Me Loose at the Arena Stage, costumes for Uncle Vanya at the Old Globe, and costumes for La Traviata at the Met, which, though it opens in December 2018, is deep in production now. She is currently working with alumni Christine Jones ‘92, Brett Banakis ‘10, Jason Ardizzone-West ‘12, Ilana Breitman ‘16, Mark Koss ‘13, Tricia Barsamian ‘07, Sarita Fellows ‘08, Amith Chandrashaker ’12, Lap-Chi Chu ’98, and Glenna Ryer ’13.

Christine Jones is currently working on the NYC production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child along with Brett Banakis ‘10. She is also designing La Traviata for the Metropolitan Opera's 2019 Season, and has recently begun a new project - The Cher Show - which she will co-design with Brett Banakis. Christine is also designing an adaptation of Cyrano, with music by the band The National, to be workshopped this summer.

This fall, Hugh Landwehr will be designing Sherlock’s Last Case at the Huntington Theatre in Boston, directed by Maria Aitken, and a new play, Minor Fantastical Kingdoms, at REP in Newark, Delaware, directed by Mark Lamos.

Maggie Raywood has left for Florence! Her time will be split between the research and pattern work in the Acton dress collection and the projects with Jim Calder. 

Paul Steinberg’s photo essay, Drawings Lie, appears in the current issue of Theater and Performance Design. You will have access to the issue through the Bobst Library here. Paul will be in London from May 4th for Lohengrin rehearsals at Covent Garden, directed by David Alden. It opens June 7th.

Robert Wierzel is designing A Walk On The Moon, a new musical, with music & lyrics by Paul Scott Goodman; book and additional lyrics by Pamela Grey; based on her screenplay A Walk On The Moon; directed by Sheryl Kaller; choreography by Josh Prince; musical direction by Greg Kenna; scenery by Donyale Werle ‘02; projections by Tal Yarden; costumes by Linda Cho; sound by Leon Rothenberg; produced by Hendel Productions; general management by Roy Gabay Management. A.C.T. San Francisco. The Summer King, an opera based on the life of Josh Gibson, one of the greatest Negro League baseball players. Music by Daniel Sonenberg; libretto by Daniel Sonenberg and Daniel Nester with additional lyrics by Mark Campbell; directed by Sam Helfrich; scenery by Andrew Lieberman; costumes by Kaye Voyce. Michigan Opera Theatre. Rigoletto, directed by Mark Lamos; scenery by Michael Yeargan. Costumes by Constance Hoffman.  LA Opera. A Thousand Splendid Suns, a play by Ursula Rani Sarma, adapted from the novel A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini; directed by Carey Perloff; scenery by Ken MacDonald; costumes by Linda Cho. Old Globe Theatre, San Diego. 5/18. Camelot, a musical with music by Frederick Loewe;  book & lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner;  based on the King Arthur legend as adapted from the T. H. White novel The Once And Future King; directed by Alan Paul; choreography by Michele Lynch; music direction & conductor- James Cunningham; scenery by Walt Spangler; costumes by Ana Kuzmanic; sound by Ken Travis; fight choreography by David Leong.  Shakespeare Theatre, DC.   

Christopher Young has been promoted to Vice President – Creative Director, Creative Visual Merchandising & Archives of Tiffany & Co. In his new role, Christopher will amplify an evolved brand message, revolutionize in-store product presentation, and, in partnership with cross-functional teams, deliver an exciting OmniChannel customer experience. Christopher will achieve this by continuing to ideate original creative visual merchandising (CVM) campaigns aligned with our brand position that enable Tiffany & Co. to be culturally relevant, a market leader amongst our competitors, and help us achieve our sales growth plans. In addition, he will be responsible for all creative direction for Tiffany windows, in-store, events and archives. Christopher will conceptualize, design and develop the CVM aesthetic for the brand in order to maximize sales while maintaining the Tiffany tradition of excellent quality and design. He will also oversee the global Creative Visual Merchandising and Archives teams to support key business strategies, product launches and sales initiatives.