Personal Design Philosophy
In order to properly assess what I consider my personal creative working philosophy, I found myself analyzing not only my approach to a production but also the eventual outcome of each of the processes that I have been fortunate enough to work on. While we as theatre artists would like to say that we are all dreamers, the reality in theatre is that we are more often than not working to achieve a goal within strict limitations – for myself, that is the challenge I find most intriguing. It is one thing to say, “this is what I believe the show should be,” and it is quite another to look at all of the factors and be able to say, “this is what the show actually needs.” I have found the meaning of a show often emerges when one is forced to assess the distinct aesthetic value of every choice in an unforgiving way – an editing step that is sometimes lost in theoretical design.
I have designed several shows which display a pastiche reminiscent of the stylistic layering of post-modernism. I am not, however, against modernism. I am trying to show how the rules and structures of modernism can be adapted into a new world perspective. I respect and admire the constructs of past movements. In spite of that, I believe there is a different way to connect history to a production by selecting recognizable elements and highlighting their relevance to a production and to an audience’s interaction with that production.
To me, theatre cannot and should not exist without collaboration. If I wanted to create solo installation art, I would do so. I relish in the joint brainstorming and invention that occurs when a group of designers gathers to determine an approach to a production. I am open to suggestions on my own work, and enjoy discussing the possibilities of the other design elements with those designers. This welcoming and developmental working environment is what drew me to the theatrical design process initially, and the success of such collaborations is what has kept me here.
One of my greatest joys is helping students find their way in the theatre world as artisans and technicians. I am grateful to have had amazing teachers and I strive to empower my classes with the same level of energy and commitment.