December 2019 - January 2020 Faculty Projects

Sunday, Dec 1, 2019

WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHO?: What the faculty are currently doing.

Brett J. Banakis is developing designs for The Unsinkable Molly Brown at Abrons Art Center, directed by Kathleen Marshall, presented by the Transport Group; as well as a national tour of a new musical based on the film An Officer and a Gentleman, directed by Dick Scanlan.  Other shows in development: a new musical based on the film The Devil Wears Prada, co-design with Christine Jones ‘92, directed by Anna Shapiro; a new adaptation of Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov, co-design with Andrew Lieberman, directed by Sam Gold, at New York Theater Workshop; and the 1st National Tour of The Cher Show, co-design with Christine Jones ‘92. Currently Running: The Enigmatist, a one-man Magic/Puzzles/Prestidigitation show, starring David Kwong, at the High Line Hotel in Chelsea. Brett continues to work as International Scenic Supervisor on all worldwide productions of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, with set design by Christine Jones '92, in Hamburg, Germany; San Francisco, CA; and Toronto, Canada.  Christine and Brett's design work was recently featured in a new book, "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, The Journey: Behind the Scenes of the Award-Winning Stage Production," by Jody Revenson, published by Scholastic.

M.L. Geiger’s production of Murder on the Orient Express is running in Delaware until the end of the month - super fun mystery. Now lighting Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven, a new play by Stephen Adly Guirgus and a co-production with the Atlantic Theatre and the Labyrinth. It’s running through the end of the year at the Linda Gross theatre on 19th St.  - about eighteen people in a halfway house on the Upper West Side. 

Susan Hilferty’s designs can be seen at the Public Theatre for The Michaels, written and directed by Richard Nelson (set by Jason Ardizzone-West ’12, co-costume designer Mark Koss ’13, lighting Jennifer Tipton), and Tony Kushner’s A Bright Room Called Day, directed by Oskar Eustis (co-costume designer Sarita Fellows ’08, set David Rockwell, lighting John Torres). She is preparing Aïda for the Metropolitan Opera 2020-21 season, directed by Michael Mayer (sets by Christine Jones ’92, lighting by Kevin Adams). The Gate Theatre production of Hamlet with Hilferty’s set and costume designs will be performing at St. Anne’s Warehouse in January 2020. 

Constance Hoffman opened The Marriage of Figaro at the San Francisco Opera last month and has Cosi Fan Tutti on her drawing table now, which will premier in San Francisco next October. She just presented her designs for Wagner’s first opera, Die Feen (the Faeries), to the Glimmerglass Festival staff and will be preparing both Cosi and Die Feen for production over the next few months. 

Allen Lee Hughes is currently working on A Soldier's Play for the Roundabout Theatre at the American Airlines Theatre.  The play which stars David Alan Grier and Blair Underwood is directed by Kenny Leon and will start previews December 27th.

Christine Jones co-designed with Amy Rubin ‘12 a remount of an adaptation of Cyrano, with music by The National for The New Group (Now Running). In addition, she has started designing with Brett Banakis ‘10 The Devil Wears Prada, with music by Elton John. Her set for AIDA, which will open in September 2020, is being built at The Metropolitan Opera. She has also begun designing a new play by Noah Haidle called Birthday Candles for The Roundabout. She is an artist in residence at The Park Avenue Armory where she is developing a dance piece with music by Jonsi. Christine is planning a tour of Theatre for One, titled Theatre for One Democracy, which hopes to visit each state leading up to the next elections.

Hugh Landwehr is designing a new play, Starter Pistol, at Resident Ensemble Players at the University of Delaware, written by Michael Gotch and directed by Mark Lamos. Tricia Barsamian ‘07 will design costumes. Hugh, Tricia, and Mark Lamos worked on Michael Gotch’s play Minor Fantastical Kingdoms last season and will remount that play, retitled Tiny House, in May at the Westport Playhouse in Connecticut.

Chris Muller
is continuing work on the 'Sustainability' pavilion for the 2020 World Expo in Dubai, as well as continuing work on the new master plan for the Philadelphia Zoo. He is also drawing things.

Paul Steinberg is working on Judgement Day at the Park Ave Armory which begins previews on December 5th and opens on December 10th. The play was written by Odin Von Horvath in 1937 and translated by Christopher Shinn. It’s directed by Richard Jones with lighting by Mimi Sherin and costumes by Antony McDonald. The entire department has been invited to the dress rehearsal at 7:30 pm on December 4th.

David Zung was in Nepal for three weeks this summer filming a documentary on the preservation and clean up of the Nepalese rivers. He just finished a life size, half-length oil painting portrait commission of the Chairman of the Board of The Brooklyn Hospital Center. He started this fall as an independent media consultant to the UNFPA - The United Nations Population Fund - which is the United Nations agency for sexual and reproductive health. They have brought him in to help raise public aware awareness for their mission to "deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled". Our first project was designing an 8' high x 30' long graphic wall display for a conference held in Nairboi last week sponsored by the governments of Denmark, Kenya and the UNFPA. Around 5,000 participants were invited to attend including heads of state, diplomats, humanitarian aid workers, and children from around the world. (He’s still waiting to see pictures!)