Not even the withering heat of a New York City summer could keep people away from a trio of important industry events: the ninth annual Broadway Lighting Master Classes, the inaugural Broadway Sound Master Classes, and the 11th EDDY Awards, all held June 25-29 at the John Jay College Theatre. A total of 110 aspiring and working lighting and sound designers attended the master classes, and over 300 of the industry's top designers, technicians, manufacturers, and distributors came to party at the awards ceremony on June 27.
Tony Award-winning lighting designer Jules Fisher, creative consultant for the BLMC, led a distinguished faculty of lighting and projection designers for the three-day BLMC, which ran June 25-27. The event included a performance of the musical Gypsy on Broadway (lit by Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer, with sound by Acme Sound Partners) followed by a post-show discussion, as well as sessions by such lighting luminaries as Ken Billington and Don Holder.
Attendee Andrea Bilkey, assistant professor at Texas Technology University, says of the BLMC: “I had a good experience. Re-energized in my own work, and some new interesting information to take back to my students. I look forward to future opportunities.”
BSMC creative consultant Abe Jacob kicked off the sound classes on June 28 with a keynote on why sound became necessary in the theatre. The two-day event also featured discussions on sound design, budgets and management, and the optimization of sound systems, paneled by such leading sound experts as Tom Clark, John Leonard, Chris Cronin, and Sam Berkow.
Cricket Myers, a freelance sound designer enrolled in the MFA program at Cal Arts says of the program?, “I am so excited to see a Sound Master Class. I had a fantastic time talking and learning from the experts in my field.”
While both the BLMC and BSMC focus on the creative and artistic side of the design disciplines, each event also featured a manufacturer's showcase with 37 corporate sponsors offering hands-on exploration of exciting new technologies to the attendees.
All attendees-as well as a select group of industry leaders-were invited to the 2003 EDDY Awards held on June 27, as Entertainment Design honored a group of individuals and design teams for excellence in design, and presented outstanding product awards for new products in the sound, lighting, and projection and staging fields.
At this year's event, choreographer Kathleen Marshall presented John Lee Beatty an award for sustained achievement in set design, sponsored by Rose Brand; set designer Lauren Helpern presented an award to Elaine McCarthy for the next generation in projection design, sponsored by Scharff Weisberg; lighting designer Natasha Katz presented to her husband Dan Moses Schreier an award for sustained achievement in sound design, sponsored by Meyer Sound; lighting designer John McKiernon, bravely serving as a last-minute replacement for designer Howell Binkley (who was stuck in Chicago for the previews of Bounce), presented an EDDY to production electrician Mike LoBue for keeping the lights bright on Broadway, sponsored by ETC; Second Stage artistic director Carole Rothman presented to the design team of director Mary Zimmerman (costume designer Mara Blumenfeld, lighting designer TJ Gerckens, and set designer Dan Ostling) for exemplifying the art of collaboration, sponsored by Altman Lighting; and set designer Tony Walton presented to Richard Pilbrow and Theatre Projects Consultants for their 45th anniversary, sponsored by Strand Lighting.
The photos on this spread are but a glimpse of the five-day festivities; look for many more images on the ED website at www.entertainmentdesignmag.com.