May in New York City means it's time for the annual Live Design Master Classes, to be held this year from May 16 to 21 at various venues on the NYU campus in Manhattan. With Abe Jacob and Jules Fisher at the helm of the Broadway Sound (BSMC) and Broadway Lighting (BLMC) Master Classes, respectively, both once again feature the top name designers working on Broadway today. Designed for lighting, sound, and projection professionals specializing in theatre, the Master Classes represent the most intensive training of this kind offered anywhere. As one of the attendees noted last year, “I am so glad that I had the opportunity to attend all three sets of classes [BLMC, BSMC, and BPMC]. I have met some great people, but even more importantly, been able to get the stimulation and rejuvenation that I so desperately needed. It has been wonderful to have so many talented and knowledgeable professionals enthusiastically share their skills, experience, and art with us. I am truly ready to go home to work and teach. Thanks, Live Design, for an incredibly valuable experience.” All prices for the Master Classes are discounted by $100 for those who register before April 1, 2009.

Abe Jacob, the legendary sound designer who virtually invented Broadway sound, has lined up another stellar faculty for the 7th annual BSMC, May 16-17. Speakers include Duncan Edwards, who will discuss the sound from the Beijing Olympics to the sound for down-and-dirty national tours, and Bob McCarthy, who will present an essential Sound System Design Primer.

Also on tap are the designers from Acme Sound Partners who will discuss the sound design for Hair, then and now, “‘then’ being the original production of Hair back in 1967,” says Ellen Lampert-Gréaux, conference director for the Master Classes. “‘Now’ is the current Broadway revival, with sound by Acme Sound Partners.” All BSMC attendees will see the current revival of Hair on Saturday, May 16 as part of the official schedule. Jacob has also invited sound designer Jonathan Deans to speak “on anything he wants to talk about,” says Jacob. The BSMC will be held at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.

For the 15th annual BLMC, May 18-20, Tony Award-winning Fisher will head a faculty of leading designers. Following his insightful two-part look at lighting à la Jules comes his design partner in Third Eye Studio, Peggy Eisenhauer, also a multiple Tony winner, who presents two compelling sessions on lighting design and theory. This year's BLMC will attend Broadway musical 9 to 5, and the critique of the lighting will include Fisher and Eisenhauer as well as Tony Award winner Ken Posner and Peter Negrini, who created the images. They will share the story of the lighting for 9 to 5 in Los Angeles and New York. Additional designers for the BLMC include three more Tony winners, Kevin Adams, Don Holder, and Brian MacDevitt, plus leading projection designer Wendall K. Harrington. The BLMC will be held at NYU's Skirball Center for the Arts.

The Broadway Projection Master Classes, May 20-21, takes on a new element this year as all attendees will see a performance of Rock of Ages, with projection design by Zachary Borovay. The LD, Jason Lyons, will join in the discussion on the integration of video and lighting on stage. Additional speakers at the BPMC include designer Elaine McCarthy, who will discuss the images she created for the play, Impressionism.

All of the Master Classes — lighting, projection, and sound — feature a manufacturers showcase offering attendees the opportunity to meet with manufacturers of today's leading equipment and get a hands-on look at the gear. All of the corporate sponsors of the Master Classes participate in the showcases, as well as networking lunches and cocktail parties.

“We are really excited that this year we are able to offer low-cost housing in the dorm at NYU,” says Live Design's associate publisher and editorial director David Johnson. “With budgets being tight, these $70 dorm rooms may not be luxurious, but they represent a real cost savings over New York City hotels. These rooms are available as of May 17 and can be used by attendees as well as sponsors. I am also happy to note that we have kept the prices steady this year, with the additional of just the cost of a Broadway ticket for the projection classes.”For complete information about the 2009 Live Design Master Classes and an online registration form: http://livedesignonline.com/masterclasses.