Center Theatre Group Carpenter Kate Harrow builds, loads in, repairs, and strikes scenery for shows at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Downtown Culver City. Watch her review plans, work with wood, and handle a pretty big saw in our latest Working in Theatre video. She also talks about her education at USC, her big break in summer stock, and what it’s like to be a woman in an industry that’s traditionally seen as male-dominated.
Theatrical Shoe Designer Phil LaDuca worked as a Broadway dancer, choreographer and dance teacher before creating LaDuca dance shoes. He has created character shoes with the needed flexibility to be danceable, as well as the support and security for singers and actors. He works with costume designers, and handles the process from sketches through manufacturing in Italy to the finished products that end up on Broadway, national tours, and films. LaDuca shows how customized shoes are created for actresses such as Kristin Chenoweth in "Promises, Promises" and Bebe Neuwirth in "The Addams Family."
Okay, so I know every Costumer has their own good and bad stories about Child Wranglers, but I thought we should hear Felicia Velasco, the guardian for a show's young cast members talk about her work while they're at the theatre for performances and rehearsals. As a combined authority figure and assistant, she ensures the child actors are prepared, are kept safe, and helps to manage their downtime. Seen here working with the girls at The People in the Picture, she compares it to previous wrangling assignments, and finds the upsides to a career as a child wrangler.
Felicia sounds like she's on top of her game alright; she always knows where the children are when not on stage, and this is very important. The entire backstage area is very dark and often the stagehands are moving show props, costumes or scenery around between the cues and acts, so wranglers are usually advised to keep the children away from backstage until their cue to go on. Always remember, as Costumers, we are not necessarily responsible for the child performers; every gig is so different. But, if you ever think a child's safety or well-being is in question, take your concerns to your supervisor.
Production Manager Ruth Sternberg is the primary facilitator in executing a stage production within its given financial parameters. The Production Manager discusses with the director and designers what they want to achieve and provides staffing and resources for each play. After 10 years at Trinity Rep with Oskar Eustis, they both moved to the Public Theater where they work on 6 stages; Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte Theater, and off-site productions such as 'Passing Strange", "Hair", "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson", and "The Merchant of Venice on Broadway". Sternberg loves that her job always brings a new challenge, such as the one seen here for Kicking a Dead Horse.
Ruth's job is very interesting; and I could tell how much she enjoys it. I adore working with people like her; that positive attitude means everythng sometimes.
Puppet Designer Emily DeCola ,of The Puppet Kitchen has been designing and building puppets in New York for 7 years. She explains the wide scope of creating characters, sculpting puppets from a variety of materials, and both the possibilities and limitations in performing using puppets. She shares how her puppeteering career began and has led to partnering with Michael Schupbach and Eric Wright at their own puppetry studio. DeCola shows how the puppets were developed and designed for John Tartaglia's "ImaginOcean."
Emmy-winning hair stylist Monte Haught talks wigs, hair, and the demanding schedule of a period horror series. Check out what the Hair Truck looks like;
See through the eyes of the textile conservators as they wash the 17th century Mortlake tapestry ‘February’ in a wash bath built specifically for our largest tapestries at Hampton Court Palace. The tapestries are cleaned using de-ionised (soft) water and a special detergent mixture. Now, that's some hand-washing tub ...
What's it like to work on a stage crew behind the scenes, during a show?
Let's compare and contrast Rit liquid dye and Dylon fiber reactive dye.
The book The Costumer's Notebook is a 295 page comprehensive handbook for Costumers for stage and film including a full Glossary of stage and film industry terms. Sections include methods and tricks for laundry, dyeing, breakdown, Dresser guidelines and protocols for Stage or Film and various size charts for men and women from shoes to gloves. Other Sections include diagrams showing How to Iron A Shirt, How to Tie a Tie and How to Tie a Bow Tie. Costume fittings, costume lay out and costume storage are also discussed.