Residence: Chatham, NJ
Position/title: Freelance costume designer
Current project(s): Evil Dead the Musical at New Stages in New York (with co-director/choreographer Hinton Battle and set designer David Gallo)
Most notable achievements: Peter Pan's Neverland spectacular at Universal Studios Japan; contract costume designer for five years at Walt Disney World at age 23; the period costumes in Silent Laughter (off-Broadway) on a very tight budget.
How I got into this industry: Graduated summa cum laude from Drexel University with a BS in Fashion Design
Influences: Countless artists around me, as well as some amazing classics: Vionnet, Tiffany, Rodin, Valentino, Edith Head, Adrianne, Seurat, Charles Worth, Deco everything, also color. I worked at the oldest color company in NY for a while (United States Color Association). I was fascinated by the history, reason behind color, and color trending.
Worst advice I've ever heard: “Work retail for design experience.”
Best advice I've ever heard: “Work retail…” This gave me the incentive not to stop and, instead, to be a dark horse in the running who gets her chance.
My favorite thing about the production industry: The people and being in an environment where art can be felt and real, all at the same time.
Favorite design/programming/technical trick: Fabric hair
Plans for the future: A project on Broadway
Other interests/side gigs: Being a wandering antique-flea market gal on any continent, interior decorating, and being Aunt Skippy in an amazing family.
Awards, honors: Several fashion awards out of college
Memberships: Costume designer in Local 829Why To Watch Her?
“Cynthia comes with a very different approach; there's just something about her. Even though she is formally trained in the world of costume design, Cynthia has a more diverse approach to it. She built her career doing shows she wanted to do and not necessarily by taking any show that came along, which I think helped her shape her own voice and vision. She's very funny, and there's a real humor to what she does. She's also a really terrific collaborator. In every show, she's right there for you. She has scenic ideas, comes to all the meetings, and really wants to be part of the whole design process.
She's not only an excellent designer, she's got a very good head for the business end of it. She's incredible for stretching the budget, but always completely conscious of where the money's going or how it's being spent. She's also quite at home working on a commercial production, which is not always the case.”
— David Gallo
Residence: Los Angeles, CA
Position/title: Freelance sound designer
Current project(s): Stage Struck (Colony Theatre); Iphigenia, A Rave Fable (Son of Semele Ensemble); Orestes Remembered: The Fury Project (Ghost Road Theatre Company); The Bacchae (Celebration Theatre); the world premiere of Mommy! Mommy! The Musical Musical! (Hudson Backstage); Marvelous Wonderettes (El Portal Forum); and assisting Jon Gottlieb on Distracted (Mark Taper Forum). Upcoming projects include Beautiful Thing (Celebration Theatre), the world premiere of Impending Rupture of the Belly (Furious Theatre Company), and Throwing Rubies (Ivy Theatre).
When I started in this industry: I was passionate about theatre and immediately knew that it was going to be where I spent the rest of my life. I didn't find sound design until later, but it was a perfect fit.
How I got into this industry: My mother suggested I try out for the school play after having transferred to a new high school. I was cast as a ferret in Toad of Toad Hall, and although I will never act again, I had found my calling.
Influences: Jon Gottlieb, John Gromada, Paul James Prendergast, Mark Bennett, Drew Dalzell.
Worst advice I've ever heard: Theatre isn't a proper job for a woman.
Best advice I've ever heard: Follow your heart, and do what you are passionate about.
My favorite thing about the production industry: I love meeting new creative people and spending several intensive weeks working with them. We work hard, and then we all sit back at opening and enjoy the art we have made!
Favorite design/technical trick: Finding new and creative ways to get speakers on turntables! Thank heavens for iPod speakers!
Plans for the future: I love freelancing and look forward to working in more big houses and with new and interesting people. I hope to get into the League of Resident Theatres (LORT) circuit and travel some, too.
Other interests/side gigs: I am a National Ski Patroller and patrol at June Mountain (north of Mammoth in California). I volunteer for a rabbit rescue, Zooh Corner Rabbit Rescue, and spend one day a week at the local Humane Society. Recently, I have started to do a little web design. I love to travel and have seen 21 countries on five of the seven continents.
Awards, honors: Nominated for an LA Weekly Award for Iphigenia; Los Angeles Drama Critics Award for Floyd Collins (nominated for a Robby); USITT Clear-Com Award; and a finalist in the TCG/NEA Career Development Grant.
Organizations, memberships: USA Local 829, USITT, National Ski Patrol, and resident designer/company member of several theatre companies in town.Why To Watch Her?
“Cricket is sharp, creative, and always an inventive design collaborator. Her tireless enthusiasm for her craft is evident in the quality and quantity of work she produces. I was very impressed with her work on Side Show at the Colony Theatre and Nightingale at the Mark Taper Forum. I'm looking forward to hearing her work in the upcoming production of Mommy! Mommy! The Musical Musical! at the Hudson Theatre in Hollywood.”
— Jon Gottlieb