Day two of the Scenic Design Master Classes, led by creative consultant David Gallo and supported by platinum sponsor Rose Brand, as well as Hudson Scenic, iWeiss, and PRG, was held today in New York at Baryshnikov Arts Center.
After last night's trip to see Nice Work If You Can Get It, the show's set designer Derek McLane led an in-depth discussion of the scenic design for the hit Broadway musical as the first session on day two. He covered a lot of topics, from working with directors, scene shops, and the all-important issue of budgets and how the financial picture can impact the design process.
McLane, who also designed sets for .a revival of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man, then joined Pete Sarafin, who did the show's props, for "Beyond the Fourth Wall," discussing immersive theatre on Broadway. "The challenge was how to install over 150 pieces of bunting in an historic theatre," said Sarafin. "Cable-tie fasteners became our best friend."
Frank McCullough finished off the morning with "It's All in the Details," in which he addressed the vital role of the associate in set design. He spoke about his projects from Coast of Utopia at Lincoln Center Theatre to the current Broadway hit, The Book Of Mormon, and working with such designers as Bob Crowley, Scott Pask, and Julian Crouch.
John Lee Beatty kicked off the afternoon with "Designing on Broadway," looking at his career of more than four decades of designing on Broadway.
The final session of the SDMC, "Shops And Drops," saw representatives from sponsors Rose Brand, Hudson Scenic, PRG, Showman Fabricators, and iWeiss discussing Broadway design case studies and relationships with designers, on a panel moderated by scenic designer Rob Bissinger. Mark Peterson from PRG, David Rosenberg from iWeiss, Bob Usdin from Showman Fabricators, Nancy Orr from Showman Fabricators, and Peter Finder from Rose Brand.
"The entire conference has been an unequalled experience. Just the sheer magnitude of scenic talent encompassed in one place was amazing, but more so, the ability to talk with other creatives in our discipline just doesn't exist. The sessions were informative, comprehensive, and personal." —Jonathan Wentz, scenic designer/attendee.