to Broadway. And I went back to Berkshire Theatre Festival in the summers and was the technical director. A lot of people at Berkshire would come down to Virginia, including Claire Dana [IRT’s charge scenic artist]. That’s how we met, and then after several months we started dating, and then two years later got married. Then we went to Stage West, and then we came here. AS IRT’S TECHNICAL DIRECTOR, WHAT EXACTLY DO YOU DO? Essentially my job is to take the scenic designer’s ideas and translate them to the stage. The designer has an idea of what the show is supposed to look like, and it’s my job to
figure out how to build it. We have to build it in pieces in the shop, then set it up relatively quickly on stage, within the time we have, within the budget we have. The amount of engineering varies from designer to designer. Sometimes they will make suggestions, sometimes I will come back to them—it really is a collaborative process at that point. It’s all digital drafting. I spend most of my time drawing, figuring out how stuff goes together and how it works. John Bennett, our assistant technical director, handles a lot of the actual physical motor and automation work—that’s his specialty. He also handles all the bills and hiring and that kind of stuff. And then the shop foreman, Kyle Baker, does the direct supervision of the carpenters. He’ll come to me or the carpenters will come to me if they have questions about things, but essentially he is the person running the shop floor out there. WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT YOUR JOB? It’s always a challenge and it’s always changing. Every four to six weeks I’m on to a new project, a new set of challenges. There’s a lot of creativity involved, taking something apart and figuring out how to put it together— that’s what I really enjoy, coming up with solutions. And certainly the collaboration: a bunch of people working towards a common goal, feeding off of ideas and solutions. The final product is always more than any one person can put together. Top: Chris Fretts in IRT's Scene Shop. Photo by Amber Mills. Left: Rob Johansen, Constance Macy, Hillary Clemens, and Jürgen Hooper in IRT's 2014 production of The Game's Afoot. Photo by Zach Rosing.
September 20 - October 15, 2016