The 2008 Live Design Master Classes was an exceptional event in many ways. The professional-level training program kicked off on Friday, May 16, when the BSMC (Broadway Sound Master Classes) attended a performance of Young Frankenstein on Broadway. All of the BSMC speakers at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts were outstanding this year, including Jonathan Deans, Peter Hylenski, Rob Milburn, Michael Bodeen, Steve Sockey, Chris Hubbard, Henry Cohen, and John Taylor. Dan Moses Schreier took a new approach with a session on collaborating with the music director and orchestrator and brought in Paul Gemignani, acclaimed music director for more than 40 Broadway shows since the ‘70s, and leading Broadway orchestrator Jonathan Tunick, whose name is synonymous with great orchestrations. A cocktail party with the presentation of the Live Design Sound Products of the Year took place on Saturday evening, May 17, with two of the first crop of Tony-nominated sound designers in attendance — Scott Lehrer and Acme Sound Partners' Nevin Steinberg.
The Projection Master Classes took place on Monday, May 19 with a new twist: they were held at the XL LED Lab in Soho — an exciting immersive LED environment that featured a series of panel discussions mixed with product demos and an evening cocktail party with the Projection Products of the Year Awards. Speakers included XL Video president Marcel DeKeyzer, David Taylor of Arup, Patrick Dierson of Artfag, Bruce Rogers of Tribe, projection designer Zachary Borovay, and LD Brian MacDevitt, plus Sean Cagney of Mode Studios, programmer Peter Acken, and Adam Dunaway of Dunaway Designs.
Last, but certainly not least, was the Broadway Lighting Master Classes (BLMC), May 20 to 22 at NYU's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, with LD Jules Fisher once again serving as creative consultant. The top-notch faculty featured LDs Peggy Eisenhauer, Beverly Emmons, Clifton Taylor, Brian MacDevitt, Kevin Adams, Christopher Akerlind, Howell Binkley, Donald Holder, Vivien Leone, and Wendall K. Harrington. The Live Design Lighting Products of The Year and inaugural Excellence Awards were presented on Tuesday evening, May 21, at the XL LED Lab, and on May 22, BLMC attendees went to see the Broadway musical Passing Strange, with lighting by Kevin Adams, this year's Tony winner for The 39 Steps.