The faculty for the 2006 Broadway Lighting Master Classes (BLMC), to be held May 22-24 at the NYU campus in New York City, have been announced. Led by creative consultant and award-winning lighting designer Jules Fisher, the faculty sees new well-known visual artists–designers Howell Binkley, Christopher Akerlind, and Philip Rosenberg–joining the already distinguished line up of professional Broadway designers, including Fisher’s partner Peggy Eisenhauer, Beverly Emmons, Clifton Taylor, Brian MacDevitt, and projection designer Wendall Harrington.
"We are extremely excited to have several new speakers added to the BLMC faculty this year," notes David Johnson, associate publisher and editorial director for Live Design magazine. "Creative consultant Jules Fisher, who sets the benchmark of excellence for the classes, has asked lighting designers Chris Akerlind and Howell Binkley, as well as associate LD Philip Rosenberg, to participate in addition to the roster of great design talents that will return to speak at the classes again this year. We are very lucky to have Chris Akerlind provide an in-depth look at his Tony Award-winning lighting for Light In The Piazza at Lincoln Center Theatre Company."
Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer are partners in Third Eye Studio, which conceives and designs lighting for all forms of entertainment. Fisher has designed the lighting for more than 150 Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, as well as film, ballet, opera, television, and rock-and-roll concert tours, while Eisenhauer’s designs have been seen internationally in 26 countries across six continents. He has garnered a record eight Tony Awards, five of which for collaborations with Eisenhauer. Most recently they designed lighting for comedian Mario Cantone’s Laugh Whore and Chita Rivera: A Dancer’s Life, which is currently on Broadway. Other recent theatre credits include Assassins (Tony Award, 2004), Caroline, Or Change, Jane Eyre, and Gypsy. They are currently at work on the film Dream Girls starring Beyoncé Knowles. Their other performance lighting can be seen in the films Chicago (for which they, along with cinematographer Dion Beebe, were honored with a 2003 Academy Award nomination for Cinematography), The Producers, Stepford Wives, and School of Rock.
Lighting and set designer Christopher Akerlind designed the lighting for the recently announced BLMC musical, The Light In the Piazza, for which he won won a Tony, Drama Desk, Hewes Design, and Outer Critics Circle Award. In addition to Piazza, he is currently represented on Broadway with Rabbit Hole at the Manhattan Theatre Club, where he previously designed Reckless, Between Us, The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, Day Standing on Its Head, and Mad Forest. His upcoming Broadway projects include Shining City and Awake and Sing!. Akerlind has designed more than 400 productions at theatre and opera companies across the country and around the world. Recent Broadway credits include A Touch of the Poet; In My Life; Seven Guitars (Tony nom.); Philadelphia, Here I Come!; and The Piano Lesson. Previous designs for Lincoln Center Theatre include Belle Epoque (Hewes Design Award, Outer Critics Circle Nomination), and The Lights (Drama Desk nom). He has designed lighting for American Repertory Theatre (A.R.T.), most recently the upcoming world premiere of Oedipus X. He has extensive credits in opera, including the premiere of Deborah Drattell’s Nicholas and Alexandra for L.A. Opera and over 40 productions for Opera Theater of Saint Louis where he was Resident Lighting Designer for twelve years. Akerlind is also the recipient of an Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Lighting Design and the Michael Merritt Award for Design and Collaboration.
Lighting deisgner Howell Binkley is currently represented on Broadway with Sarah Jones’ one-woman show Bridge & Tunnel and Jersey Boys. His work ranges from Broadway and Off Broadway to regional theatre, and dance. He was awarded the 1993 Laurence Olivier Award for Kiss of A Spider Woman. Some of his previous Broadway credits include Dracula, Steel Magnolias, Avenue Q, Golda’s Balcony, Hollywood Arms, The Full Monty (Drama Desk nomination), Parade (Drama Desk nomination), Kiss of the Spider Woman (Tony nomination), Grease, and Sinatra: His Voice. He also lit Batboy: The Musical off Broadway. In addition to his theatrical work, Binkley has worked extensively in the dance field; he co-founded of The Parsons Dance Company with David Parsons, for which he has created lighting designs for 60+ works in its repertory. He has also created designs for American Ballet Theater, National Ballet of Canada, Paris Opera Ballet, Lyon Opera Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, MOMIX, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Peter Pucci Plus and The Joffrey Ballet.
Beverly Emmons has designed for Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional theatre, dance, and opera in the US and abroad. Her Broadway credits include Annie Get Your Gun, Jekyll & Hyde, The Heiress, Passion, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Hapgood, High Rollers, Stepping Out, The Elephant Man, The Dresser, and Doonesbury. Her lighting of Amadeus won a Tony award. Off-Broadway, she worked on the Vagina Monologues and with Joseph Chaikin, Meredith Monk, and Jack Hofsiss, among others. She has regularly designed lighting for Robert Wilson; most notably in America, Einstein on the Beach, and Civil Wars Pt .V. She has been awarded six Tony nominations, the 1976 Lumen Award, 1984 and 1986 Bessies, and a 1980 Obie for Distinguished Lighting.
Projection designer Wendall Harrington was the creative consultant for the first annual Projection Master Classes last year. She designed and directed the premiere of Snapshots with the Elements Quartet, and Arjuna's Dilemma. Her Broadway design credits include In My Life, The Good Body, Drowning Crow, Amy's View, Putting It Together, The Capeman, Ragtime, Freak, Company, The Will Rogers Follies, and The Heidi Chronicles. Opera credits include A View from the Bridge at the Metropolitan Opera; The Juniper Tree; The Photographer at BAM; The Magic Flute in Florence; and Orpheo in Vienna. In the concert circuit, she designed projection for the Talking Heads, Simon and Garfunkel, and Chris Rock. Harrington is the former design director of Esquire magazine.
Brian MacDevitt is currently at work on the much anticipated Broadway premiere of The Wedding Singer set to open in April 2006. His recent lighting designs–on and off Broadway include–The Color Purple, Absurd Person Singular, Sweet Charity, Good Vibrations, Pacific Overtures, ‘night Mother, and The Pillowman, for which he received the 2005 Tony Award. His previous Tony nominations include Fiddler on the Roof and Henry IV in 2004, Nine in 2002, and he won for Into The Woods in 2001. MacDevitt's other productions include A Raisin in the Sun, Match, The Retreat From Moscow, Long Day's Journey Into Night, Tartuffe, Morning's at Seven, The Women, Urinetown, Major Barbara, Judgment at Nuremberg, Proposals, Side Show, Present Laughter, Sex and Longing, Summer and Smoke, Master Class, and Love! Valour! Compassion!.
Associate lighting designer Philip Rosenberg is currently represented on Broadway with five hit musicals, three of which are designed by Kenneth Posner–the Matthew Broderick/Nathan Lane blockbuster The Odd Couple, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Hairspray–as well as Tony Award-winning The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Spamalot. As associate designer, he has worked with Hugh Vanstone (Spamalot, Bombay Dreams) and Paul Gallo (Never Gonna Dance, Man of La Mancha, 42nd Street, The Crucible, The Sound of Music, The Civil War). He assisted Peter Kaczorowski on The Producers and Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Lighting and projection designer Clifton Taylor’s Broadway production, Frozen, received a Lortel nomination. His designs will be seen in the upcoming April Broadway releases of Hot Feet and Jay Johnson: The Two and Only. His recent projects include Yellowman at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and new dances by Lar Lubovitch, Elisa Monte, Jacqulyn Buglisi and Karole Armitage. In 2005, he opened a new production of Pigmalion at the Chatelet Theater in Paris, for which he designed the scenery and lighting. Taylor’s other commissions include: Maggio Danza (Florence), The Venice Bienalle, L'Opera de Lorraine (France), Ballet do Rio de Janiero, Scottish National Ballet, Les Grandes Ballet Canadiens, the Royal Ballet of Cambodia, Rambert Dance Company (London), the International Flamenco Festival, and Sardono Dance Theater of Indonesia. US credits include extensive work for the Asia Society, MCC Theater, the San Francisco Ballet, Alvin Ailey, and the American Ballet Theater. In 2002, he was awarded a major grant from the Asian Cultural Council to develop and teach a design course at the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where he lived for several months. This is Taylor’s tenth year on the BLMC faculty.
The BLMC and the fourth annual Broadway Sound Master Classes (BSMC) make up the Live Design Master Classes, which are produced by Live Design magazine in conjunction with the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. The BLMC will take at the Skirball Center on the NYU campus. The entire BSMC program, led by creative consultant Abe Jacob, including seminars, manufacturers showcases, and cocktail parties, will run May 19 to 21 at the Burrows Theatre at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. For additional information about the 2006 BLMC and BSMC and to register online, visit www.livedesignonline.com/broadwaymasterclasses.
Broadway Musicals Announced For BLMC & BSMC
American Repertory Theatre Presents World Premiere Of Orpheus X
French Postcards: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Broadway Bloodlust in Dracula
Nixon in China: Behind The Bamboo Curtain
Q&A: Brian MacDevitt
How I Did That: Thirty Companies, Six Nights by Clifton Taylor
Questions for Beverly Emmons
Coupla Lighting Designers, Sittin' Around Talkin': Jules & Peggy
Carnival Knowledge: Assassins
Seen & Heard: Chita Rivera