Brett J. Banakis is currently developing The Devil Wears Prada, co-design with Christine Jones ‘92, set for an out-of-town tryout in Chicago summer 2020; as well as Three Sisters, co-design with Andrew Lieberman, directed by Sam Gold, at New York Theater Workshop; The Cher Show national tour, co-design with Christine Jones ‘92; An Officer and a Gentleman national tour, directed by Dick Scanlan; and The Enigmatist, a one-man Magic/Puzzles/Prestidigitation show, starring David Kwong, which is returning in November to 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 Hamburg, Germany; San Francisco, CA; and Toronto, Canada.
M.L. Geiger’s work can be seen in Murder on the Orient Express, running at the Repertory Ensemble Players in Newark, Delaware for the rest of the month. Stephen Adly Gurguis’ new play Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven starts performances at the Atlantic on November 14, and open December 9. She is also preparing sabbatical projects!
Paul Hackenmueller just completed production on Target Corporation’s annual Fall National Meetings in Minneapolis with Target’s internal marketing agency. The private event includes an audience of around 20,000 people at multiple venues with an annual production budget of $18+ million. This year, Target sponsored a recent 2019 alumni to join the Target creative team in designing lighting for one of the meeting’s theatrical venues - a direct extension of the classwork from the Lighting Studio course. In October, Paul begins production at The Dallas Opera for The Golden Cockerel with director Paul Curran, alumni and projection designer Driscoll Otto ‘07, and set and costume designer Gary McCann.
Sam Helfrich continues working on various projects.
Susan Hilferty’s set and costume design for Federico García Lorca’s Blood Wedding can be seen at London’s Young Vic directed by Yaël Farber and adapted by Irish writer Marina Carr. Her costume designs can also 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), and Tony Kushner’s A Bright Room Called Day, directed by Oskar Eustis (co-costume designer Sarita Fellows ‘08). She is preparing Aïda for the Metropolitan Opera, 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. And Wicked just celebrated its 16th anniversary!
Christine Jones is co-designing with Amy Rubin ‘12 a remount of an adaptation of Cryano, with music by The National for The New Group. 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.
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 and Pat Collins will design lights. Director and all three designers worked on Michael Gotch’s play Minor Fantastical Kingdoms last season and will remount that play in May at the Westport Playhouse in Connecticut.
Ed McCarthy is doing sets and lights for Kathleen Turner in her one woman show Finding My Voice. He’s also opening this year’s edition of White Christmas for Ken Billington, set designer Anna Louizos ’90.
Chris Muller continues work on 'Terra,' the Sustainability Pavilion for the Dubai 2020 World Expo, as well as the master plan for the Philadelphia Zoo, now concentrating on the Elephant Center, both for Thinc Design.
Maggie Raywood is preparing for sabbatical and planning research trips to the Drexel Institute Costume collection as well as continuing her Acton dress research in Florence. It's also the time of year for fall garden work, getting the gardens of various clients put to bed for the winter.
Robert Wierzel is working on Shout Sister Shout!, a new musical inspired by Gayle Wald’s book of the same name, music by Sister Rosetta Tharpe, book by Cheryl L. West, direction by Randy Johnson, music direction by Sheilah Walker, arrangements and orchestrations by Brendan Milburn, choreography by William Carlos Angulo, scenery by Skip GW Mercier, costumes by Emilio Sosa, sound by Joanna Lynne Staub, projections by Kwame Braun, produced by Seattle Repertory Theatre; also, The Ghosts of Versailles opera with music by John Corigliano, libretto by William M. Hoffman, directed by Jay Lesenger, scenery by James Noone, costumes by Nancy Leary, choreography by Eric Sean Fogel, hair and makeup by Samantha M. Wootten, Château de Versailles Spectacles, Versailles, France, a co-production with Glimmerglass Festival.
Christopher Young is overseeing Vision & Virtuosity, an exhibition encompassing over 180 years of design artistry at Tiffany & Co. This exhibition is a once in a lifetime moment for Tiffany. Christopher curated over 400 jewels and gemstones and other objects from the Tiffany Archives as well as loans from various museums and institutions. The exhibition opens in Shanghai, China on September 23, and will run until November 10th. For this exciting project, he hired Paris-based scenographer, Nathalie Criniere (ageNCe) as well as AV team La Meduse, and for Lighting Gerald Karlikow (Gelactic) and mountmakers AINU. The sections of the exhibition include Blue is the Color of Dreams: blue colored gemstones from Tiffany; World of Tiffany which explores the history of the little blue box and how it has appeared in popular culture since its beginning in September 1837, The Blue Book, the world’s first catalog which was a Tiffany invention, including the period of design leadership of the company by son of the founder, Louis Comfort Tiffany. The Tiffany Blue Book is still the means by which Tiffany shows its most dazzling creations to its customers today. Tiffany Love is an important chapter of the exhibition which explores Tiffany’s introduction of the Tiffany Setting; Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the design of a Tiffany Style Icon is an important section of the exhibition and Diamonds: Wonders of Nature, including the Tiffany Diamond which is rarely seen outside of the New York flagship. For the Breakfast at Tiffany’s chapter, working with Paramount and the Audrey Hepburn Estate, Young unearthed many never seen before costume renderings and designs for the famous film, including several drawings and renderings by Edith Head, as well as illustrator Robert McGinnis who designed the iconic Breakfast at Tiffany’s poster.