Costuming/Makeup

The cast (and costumes) for Maine State Music Theatre’s 2014 production of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, now available from MSMT Rentals.
The cast (and costumes) for Maine State Music Theatre’s 2014 production of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, now available from MSMT Rentals.
We asked costume and makeup designers what crazy things people do in the name of getting a look—and how to actually get the look right.

Crazy things happen during tech. We all know this. Decisions need to be made quickly, and will have ramifications for the run of the show and beyond. And when it involves costumes and makeup, the results are guaranteed to be a lot more visible. We asked six costume and makeup companies to share some of the craziest mistakes they’ve seen people make—and how to fix them. 

Read more: What Happened Next Will Shock You!

Costuming/Makeup

Marketplace dancers in the Broadway production of Disney's Aladdin
Marketplace dancers in the Broadway production of Disney's Aladdin
To create the colorful, bejeweled and magical costumes of Aladdin, Gregg Barnes needed a worldwide reach

Disney’s Aladdin on Broadway is a jaw-dropping, multi-million dollar spectacle that brings to the stage the beloved 1992 cartoon film. Along with new music, stellar performances and exciting effects, Aladdin features some of the most ambitious costumes in Broadway history. Gregg Barnes is the two time Tony Award-winning costume designer behind these elaborate costumes that mix old school craftsmanship with new and emerging technology that transports audience to “A Whole New World.”

Read more: It Takes a Village

Costuming/Makeup

Angelina Avallone (standing) and Kelly Paredes backstage.
Angelina Avallone (standing) and Kelly Paredes backstage.
Angelina Avallone revisits history for her makeup design for Roundabout’s Broadway Cabaret revival

Veteran makeup artist Angelina Avallone sets up her make-up supplies along a table in a backstage hallway of Broadway’s Studio 54, outside of the dressing room of the male ensemble members for the latest Broadway revival of Cabaret. Her bibles, charts and even fake tattoos are all arranged in a shelf unit along the wall. It’s a modest, unglamorous looking set-up for a Broadway show, but the veteran make-up artist knows how to create glamour under any condition, and no matter where she is, she dives passionately into her work. Tonight proves no exception as she gracefully and quickly works on cast member Jessica Pariseau (who plays a Kit Kat Club dancer named Texas--video after the jump).

Read more: Revisiting History

Feature

This liftline termination is non-compliant to any standard.
This liftline termination is non-compliant to any standard.
Do you know how often your rigging system should be inspected? Do you actually follow that schedule?

Increasingly in recent years theatre owners and users of installed rigging systems have engaged the services of qualified rigging inspectors. The obvious reason for this is an understanding of the inherent dangers and potential liability of lifting loads overhead of persons on stage. One of the most frequent questions I am asked as a rigging inspector is: When should the installed rigging in my theatre or auditorium be inspected? The simple answer is annually, but there are related issues that can make convincing everyone at the facility of this necessity a little harder. 

Read more: Simple But Not Easy

Feature

Marc Andre Roy from Cirque du Soleil used a tiny RC4Magic DMX2micro wireless dimmer to drive the LED in this lightbulb without impacting the piece’s balance for the performer. Photo by Dario Ayala / THE GAZETTE
Marc Andre Roy from Cirque du Soleil used a tiny RC4Magic DMX2micro wireless dimmer to drive the LED in this lightbulb without impacting the piece’s balance for the performer. Photo by Dario Ayala / THE GAZETTE
​Cirque du Soleil and RC4 Wireless team up to defy the laws of time, space and dimensions

Cirque du Soleil is known for its visual spectacle and technical innovation. Their newest tent show, KURIOS – Cabinet des Curiosités, is no exception. They describe the show as following “an ambitious inventor who defies the laws of time, space and dimension in order to reinvent everything around him.” But the Cirque artist tasked with actually inventing the props and gags to bring the show magic to life was Marc André Roy, the lighting project manager on Kurios.

Read more: Cabinet of Wonders

Light On The Subject

 A screen capture of the Chanalyzer app.
A screen capture of the Chanalyzer app.
When you’re up a ladder without a board op, a well-configured Wi-Fi network is your best friend

Throughout these recent articles we have been focussing on lighting networks as a method of getting DMX data from point A to point B. There is, however, another increasingly popular use of networking within theatre, and one which we should explore in more detail: Remotes. 

We’ve all been there: The rig is hung, the console is patched, the designer is waiting … But we’re a crew member short, with nobody to run the board during the focus session. Instead, you’re faced with the daunting task of running up and down a ladder to change the active channel after each focus, or asking a friendly member of audio if they could pull up some channels—and end up talking through each button push from the top of a ladder. Neither is ideal!

Read more: Remotely Interesting

Answer Box

 The cloud unit in action.
The cloud unit in action.
Jesus flies in for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

The Deus Ex Machina, or “God from the machine,” is not a new idea to the world of theatre. In fact, it’s so old that even the classical Greek dramatists thought it was cliché. In this plot device, characters saddled with an unsolvable or insurmountable issue are rescued by the sudden appearance of a god that solves the problem. While it may not be useful for drama the very hoariness of the device means it can be well used for comedy—a tactic the musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee uses when it has Jesus appear to help a struggling contestant. In the 2010 production of Spelling Bee at TriArts Sharon Playhouse, I got excited about the idea of introducing a vehicle for Jesus, taking the joke a step further. 

Read more: Deus ex Spelling Bee

Sound Design

Tony Meola was producer and sound designer for Lysistrata Jones on Broadway
Tony Meola was producer and sound designer for Lysistrata Jones on Broadway
We celebrate 10 years of giving voice to the sound team

This issue marks the 10-year anniversary of my sound design column. It started in a sister Timeless Communications publication called FRONT of HOUSE in the summer of 2004 and emigrated to Stage Directions in early 2007. The plan to celebrate this decade of audio investigation was already in the works before the Tony Awards rescinded the Best Sound Design categories, but it certainly highlighted the necessity of understanding what a sound designer does and the art of the position. Here are some great quotes about the art and craft of sound design from the past 10 years of my columns. (And even one from next month’s column with Carin Ford of Bullets Over Broadway.) Enjoy!

Read more: Sound Designers Speak

Off the Shelf

A Practical Guide to Greener Theatre, by Ellen E. Jones
A Practical Guide to Greener Theatre, by Ellen E. Jones
New books & recordings, from Greener Theatre to Big Fish

A Practical Guide to Greener Theatre, by Ellen E. Jones, takes a broad view of its subject, including costumes, set painting, lighting, technical direction, administrative offices, and even the rehearsal process. Jones provides checklists, examples of successful strategies, and detailed instructions on how to identify areas in your theatre where you can implement manageable, sustainable changes. [Focal Press]

Read more: All Eyes & Ears

Company 411

David Schraffenberger backstage at SUNY-Plattsburgh, checking in on a theatre build as part of their new install division
David Schraffenberger backstage at SUNY-Plattsburgh, checking in on a theatre build as part of their new install division
“We are in the business of solving problems and getting our customers the solutions they need—and we work on that very, very hard.” - David Schraffenberger

Started in 1990, Production Advantage quickly built up a following with its dedication to completeness, its problem-solving sales force and innovation behind the scenes, allowing it to offer more products, for less money, and get them to theatres faster than ever. General Manager David Schraffenberger has been with them since nearly the beginning, and he sat down with us to share the secrets to their success. 

Read more: Production Advantage

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