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DCMTA 2018 Staff Favorites: Outstanding Design Elements in Professional Productions

DCMTA 2018 Staff Favorites: Outstanding Design Elements in Professional Productions

Because the yr attracts to an in depth, we requested DCMTA writers to assume again on the exhibits that left an indelible impression on them in 2018. On this class, excellent skilled design, we acknowledge:

  • Design parts together with set, sound, lighting, and costume
  • Administrators and Choreographers
  • Playwrights and Composers

Listed here are the skilled theater designers that left the most important impression on our writers in 2018. Recipients are listed in alphabetical order by final identify.

The forged of ‘The Farnsworth Invention.’ Photograph by Teresa Castracane.

Ethan Balis, Sound Design
‘The Farnsworth Invention’ at 1st Stage
Ethan Balis composed music for The Farnsworth Invention and was additionally answerable for sound design. The play’s soundtrack was a personality in and of itself, enjoying subtly within the background, by no means overpowering the dialogue however aiding to form the temper of every scene. – Kendall Mostafavi
Kendall Mostafavi’s Assessment

Alistair Beaton, Script Translation
‘The Caucasian Chalk Circle’ at Constellation Theatre Firm
Each the music, which mixes conventional and modern types, and the interpretation, by Scottish satirist Alistair Beaton, are harking back to Brecht’s Three Penny Opera. Earlier translations are typically overly preachy. Beaton, who can also be a novelist and screenwriter, manages to keep away from that lure. “Individuals overlook that that is satire,” Constellation’s Allison Arkel Stockman stated. “What occurs when a play is in one other language is that the humor typically will get misplaced in translation. Beaton places it again.” – Ravelle Brickman
John Stoltenberg’s Evaluate
A Trendy Basic Takes on Epic Proportions: Constellations Musical Makeover of ‘The Caucasian Chalk Circle’ by Ravelle Brickman

Michael J. Bobbitt (Path), Walter “Bobby” McCoy (Music Course), Tony Thomas II (Choreography), and Roc Lee (Sound Design)
‘Aida’ at Constellation Theatre Firm
Director Michael J. Bobbitt, Musical Director Walter “Bobby” McCoy, and Choreographer Tony Thomas II have collectively triangulated a compelling manufacturing with a first-rate forged of actor-singer-dancers and a band so nicely balanced by Sound Designer Roc Lee that we hear each musical nuance, each emotional observe. On this manufacturing of Aida, Bobbitt and his group decreased the forged from 25 to 14 and forged the present completely with individuals of colour. – John Stoltenberg and Ravelle Brickman
John Stoltenberg’s Evaluate
Michael Bobbitt’s ‘Aida’ Mixes Grandeur and Intimacy at Constellation Theatre by Ravelle Brickman

John Burkland, Lighting Design
‘four,380 Nights’ at Signature Theatre
John Burkland typically sufficient brings klieg-like lighting to bear. There isn’t any place to cover within the intimacy of Signature’s ARK.
David Siegel’s Evaluate

The Forged of ‘Chocolate Coated Ants.” Photograph courtesy of Restoration Stage.

Steven A. Butler, Playwrighting
‘Chocolate Coated Ants’ at Restoration Stage
Steven A. Butler’s play pulses with electrifying candor about race, gender, and black fatherhood. Butler’s thematic scope, empathically drawn characters, and dynamic language have the heft and dimension of a basic. In worldview, voice, and type, Chocolate Coated Ants is a triumph. It belongs within the canon of up to date performs produced throughout the nation. —John Stoltenberg
Bob Ashby’s Assessment
John Stoltenberg’s Column

Matt Chilton, Composition
‘An Iliad’ at Atlas Performing Arts Middle
Bow in hand, bassist and composer Chilton is not any mere accompanist, however a wordless muse to Iason Togias’ efficiency because the poet. Utilizing the modes of each the diatonic and maqam scales, and typically delving outdoors of such established melodic ideas, he units the moods and rhythms of the story. – Ian Thal
Ian Thal’s Assessment

Tony Cisek (Scenic Design), William Okay. D’Eugenio (Lighting Design), Michael Redman (Projection Design), Danielle Preston (Costume Design), Nick Hernandez (Music Composition and Sound Design)
‘Lengthy Approach Down’ at The Kennedy Middle
The set evokes an elevator’s inside with shiny, translucent panels that envelop the motion and show, beneath the animated lighting design, arresting projections together with Will’s intelligent anagrams (canoe = ocean). Will’s outsized streetwear accentuates his youth and fragile agility. And extraordinary music compositions and sound design, together with samples from Tupac and Biggie, amplify the narrative. Altogether, a few of the greatest storytelling-through-design I noticed all yr. – John Stoltenberg
John Stoltenberg’s Evaluation

Regina Aquino (Tong) and Marc Delacruz (Quang) in Vietgone. Photo by Teresa Wood.Regina Aquino (Tong) and Marc Delacruz (Quang) in Vietgone. Photograph by Teresa Wooden.

Tony Cisek (Scenic Design), Frank Labovitz (Costume Design), Heather T. Gilbert (Lighting Design)
‘Vietgone’ at Studio Theatre
In Vietgone, Vietnamese-American Playwright Qui Nguyen units out to inform how his mother and father fell in love after being resettled in America as refugees after the autumn of Saigon. Nguyen, a practitioner of geek theater and a screenwriter for Marvel Studios, ornaments their romance with the wildest pastiche of popular culture I can recall seeing on a DC stage. He drops on this and that from comedian books, Hollywood films, hip-hop, cartoons, sitcoms, farce, kung fu preventing, intercourse comedies, you identify it. Extremely, all of it coheres. The set transforms Studio Theatre’s fourth flooring into one thing like a cool storage or unfinished shelter with a bandstand upstage, big billboard-type placards on the wall representing Arkansas, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, California; a jumble of bags, guitars, and different set dressing together with a map of Saigon. The costumes get the comic-book look but hold the characters plausible. The lighting lends a fantasy fun-house really feel. And amazingly, all of the impressed bits and items turn into a far-out entire that finally lands with beautiful influence. – John Stoltenberg
John Stoltenberg’s Assessment

Kellie Crandall d’Amboise, Path
‘Across the World in 80 Days’ by The American Pops Orchestra
Kelly Crandall d’Amboise does a masterful job of bringing Jules Verne’s Across the World in 80 Days to the stage for The American Pops Orchestra. On this new musical adaptation, the artistic workforce efficiently portrays the circumnavigation of the globe with minimal set and numerous creativeness. The performers dive into their characters and construct the power and pleasure all through the musical, not letting up till the journey is over. – Kendall Mostafavi
Kendall Mostafavi’s Evaluate

Annalisa Dias, Playwrighting
‘four,380 Nights’ at Signature Theatre
four,380 Nights Dias has created and visceral and unnerving manufacturing that asks audiences to face some troublesome truths. Can any of us develop into situationally xenophobic? How does race play into political decision-making? Are people complicit within the actions of their authorities? These are some questions that playwright Annalisa Dias grapples with.
David Siegel’s Evaluate
Natalie Tucker’s Interview with Annalisa Dias

Luigi Sottile and Brandon Espinoza in ‘The Approach of the World’ at Folger Theatre. Photograph by Teresa Wooden.

Alexander Dodge, Scenic Design
‘The Method of the World’ at Folger Theatre
Alexander Dodge’s set for The Approach of the World is essentially white and VERY New York. By way of a backdrop of white packing containers, we see a lot of gadgets; a handbag, a necklace, drinks, even hats, all underlining the obsession with issues which is on the coronary heart of the manufacturing. – Sophia Howes
Sophia Howes’ Evaluate

Timothy Douglas, Path
‘Lengthy Method Down’ at The Kennedy Middle
Directed with ardour and precision by Timothy Douglas, Lengthy Means Down is the world premiere of a undertaking commissioned by The Kennedy Middle. It’s a massively profitable and satisfying manufacturing. —John Stoltenberg
John Stoltenberg’s Assessment

David Dubov, Path
‘Hobson’s Selection’ at Quotidian Theatre Firm
The success of Hobson’s Selection is the results of some sensible casting, with a number of newcomers in main roles, and excellent course by actor David Dubov. – Ravelle Brickman
Ravelle Brickman’s Evaluation

The forged of ‘The Wolves’ at Studio Theatre. Photograph by Teresa Wooden.

Mikhail Fiksel (Sound Design) and Paul Toben (Lighting Design)
‘The Wolves’ at Studio Theatre
Lighting (Paul Toben) and sound design (Mikhail Fiksel) convey depth to the transitions and scene modifications in The Wolves, serving to us get into the psyche of the staff. These women are aggressive warriors. The strain is mounting. They’re on the street to nationals. And school scholarships. And turning into adults. Simply as the women in The Wolves work as a exactly synchronized group, the sound lighting on this manufacturing is modern, actual, and coordinated.
Hilary Sutton’s Evaluation

Patrick Flynn, Playwrighting
‘Sheila and Moby’ at Flying V
Playwright Patrick Flynn’s Sheila and Moby options intelligent dialogue, snappy motion, pressure, and laughter. Flynn has created characters that cleverly level out the foibles of childhood, the dangers of rising up an excessive amount of, and the modifications that include the passing of time. It’s recent and enjoyable and funky.
Cybele Pomeroy’s Evaluation

A.J. Guban, Scenic and Lighting Design
‘Aida’ at Constellation Theatre Firm
Maybe referencing the Egyptian pyramids, or perhaps the loves of the three leads—the story is about amid a profusion of triangles: on the ground in a sample of blue, black, gold, and silver; overhead in frames; and onstage in forced-perspective shapes and angles that mild up in brilliant colours. Much more spectacular are the jewel-bedecked and gilded excessive fashions for Egyptian royalty, uniforms and robes for his or her minions, and earth-toned rags for his or her slaves. Notably, the fashionista Egyptian princess Amneris will get her vainness on in a succession of outfits every extra eye-popping than the final. —John Stoltenberg
John Stoltenberg’s Assessment
Michael Bobbitt’s ‘Aida’ Mixes Grandeur and Intimacy at Constellation Theatre by Ravelle Brickman

e’Marcus Harper-Brief, Musical Path
‘The Gospel at Colonus’ at Avant Bard
e’Marcus Harper-Brief deserves particular recognition. As musical director, keyboard participant, and Creon all rolled into one, he each knitted the present collectively (whereas on piano) and gave a star flip because the proud, merciless Creon.
Elizabeth Ballou’s Evaluate

Anna Moon and Jonathan Feuer in John at Signature Theatre. Photo by Margot Schulman.Anna Moon and Jonathan Feuer in ‘John’ at Signature Theatre. Photograph by Margot Schulman.

Paige Hathaway, Set Design
‘John’ at Signature Theatre
Paige Hathaway’s scenic design was peerless. Not often have I seen such an entrancing and fantastically designed set. Hathaway had a totally furnished customer’s entrance on stage left resulting in a background of quite a few vintage dolls and collectible figurines, an enormous Christmas tree and a Parisian-style café for the boarding home friends to dine in. Cozy wanting chairs and a sofa have been set throughout the stage replete with small café type lamps and a big central staircase which results in the unseen visitor rooms upstairs. – David Friscic
David Friscic’s Evaluate
David Siegel’s Column

Patti Kalil, Set Design
‘Imogen’ at Pointless Theatre
The technical parts of Imogen are a small miracle. The seemingly easy set is filled with trick panels, which, when backlit, permit actors backstage to carry up puppets and act out goals or flashbacks. The lighting shifts each time an actor has an apart, which lets the viewers get inside every character’s head. Two multi-instrumentalists present phenomenal reside music that gives a backdrop to scenes which are danced out relatively than acted (the battle scene within the second half has killer choreography). None of those parts ever really feel out of sync or unbalanced. That this can be a small efficiency area makes Imogen’s technical elements all of the extra spectacular.
Elizabeth Ballou’s Evaluation

John Loughney and Brianna Letourneau in Other Life Forms, now playing at the Keegan Theatre. Photo by C. Stanley Photography.John Loughney and Brianna Letourneau in ‘Different Life Types’ on the Keegan Theatre. Photograph by C. Stanley Images.

Matthew Keenan, Set Design
‘Different Life Varieties’ at Keegan Theatre
Different Life Types options low key, pitch-perfect and intelligent set design by Matthew J. Keenan. His revolving stage permits us to glimpse two simultaneous blind dates, every happening in equally drab eating places. His evocation of Ben and Jeff’s bland, banal condo is true out of Seinfeld. – Amy Kotkin
Amy Kotkin’s Evaluate

Matt Kinley, Scenic Design
‘Les Miserables’ on the Hippodrome Theatre
After its celebrated two-and-a-half yr Broadway return, the nationwide tour – once more directed by Laurence Connor and James Powell – carried their imaginative and prescient ahead. Astonishing digital spectacles of smoke and lightweight, solely attainable now in our CGI age, successfully eradicated the necessity for revolving levels and large barricade units. Scenic Designer Matt Kinley’s three-dimensional backdrops and set items gave us Victor Hugo’s personal illustrations for his unique textual content editions. In a number of key scenes, the painterly results and projections achieved a cinematic high quality that enhanced the storytelling in suitably revolutionary methods. – John Harding
John Harding’s Evaluate

Alex Levy, Path
‘The Farnsworth Invention’ at 1st Stage
Director Alex Levy, who additionally serves as 1st Stage’s Inventive Director, helms a forged of fourteen actors who play about seventy-five roles on this fascinating story of the invention that perpetually modified the best way media and knowledge are consumed. Additionally value noting is the need of the play’s speedy tempo. The fast-paced Aaron Sorkin dialogue is difficult, to say the least, and the potential to lose the viewers in a sea of jargon is excessive. Add to that the truth that the present is greater than half exposition because of the nature of dueling narrators, and the present runs the danger of dragging and being too info heavy, however there was by no means a lull on this manufacturing. – Kendall Mostafavi
Kendall Mostafavi’s Assessment

Andrew Lieberman, Set Design
‘Noura’ at Shakespeare Theatre Firm
Andrew Lieberman’s set options the graceful, slatted curves of Noura’s front room wall. It cuts throughout all the stage, enveloping Noura and her household as in the event that they’re inside a conch shell. This can be a pretty option to render each Noura’s architect goals, and her want to return to an Iraqi-style home.
Elizabeth Ballou’s Assessment

The forged of Cabaret Rising, carried out at Dupont Underground.

Will Lowry, Setting Design
‘Cabaret Rising’ at TBD Immersive performing on the Dupont Underground
Surroundings designer Will Lowry takes benefit of the gritty, spooky Dupont Underground by littering the area with spray-painted indicators, bare-bones stalls the place the Underground’s residents peddle scraps, and plywood platforms that rumble down the uncovered part of previous metro monitor. It’s a post-apocalyptic Wonderland that calls to thoughts video video games like Fallout and Bioshock. And, like the most effective video video games, the set pulls you into one other world you possibly can see, hear, and contact. For 3 hours, I forgot that the DC of 2018 was simply meters above my head. As an alternative, I had the good luck of assembly the Resistance leaders of 2028.
Elizabeth Ballou’s Assessment

Marti Lyons, Course
‘The Wolves’ at Studio Theatre
The Wolves, directed by Marti Lyons, springs to vivid life because the group (er—forged) circles up for pre-game stretches. The Wolves are a feminine indoor soccer workforce comprised of 16- and 17-year-olds. Their stretching routine is as completely polished as synchronized swimmers. The pacing and timing of DeLappe’s dialogue retains the viewers in shut step with the story. If we zone out for a minute, we’ll miss one thing. So the viewers stays shut. And, for that matter — we’re shut. The set is an indoor soccer turf flanked by the viewers on both aspect, and the viewers member furthest from the stage is perhaps 20 ft away from a forged member.
Hilary Sutton’s Evaluate

Neil McFadden, Sound Design
‘four,380 Nights’ at Signature Theatre
Sound designer Neil McFadden fills the set with fixed sound, so the viewers begins to really feel how troublesome sleep could possibly be. There isn’t a place to cover within the intimacy of Signature’s ARK.
David Siegel’s Evaluation

Coby Kay Callahan, Heather Marie Beck and Tess Rohan in Mamma Mia! at Toby’s Dinner Theatre. Photo by Jeri Tidwell Photography.Coby Kay Callahan, Heather Marie Beck and Tess Rohan in ‘Mamma Mia!’ at Toby’s Dinner Theatre. Photograph by Jeri Tidwell Images.

Mark Minnick, Path and Choreography
‘Mamma Mia!’ at Toby’s Dinner Theatre
At Toby’s, Director and Choreographer Mark Minnick handled playgoers to a Mediterranean trip with out airport hassles or passports. Minnick offered sufficient focus in a sunken central ring to make us care once more concerning the musical-comedy tangles acted out by his all-pro forged. Heather Marie Beck, Coby Kay Callahan and Tess Rohan greater than bought their huge pop numbers like “Dancing Queen” and “Cash, Cash, Cash.” They discovered loads of emotional help in seasoned performers Russell Sunday, Darren McDonnell and Jeffrey Shankle. For a present about ladies’s relationships, this Mamma Mia! made an equally robust case for the significance of fathers. – John Harding
John Harding’s Evaluate

Okay.J. Moran (Script and Lyrics), Isaac Warren (Music)
‘Unfinished Album of Lazarus Lovesong’ by Georgetown College Division of Performing Arts at The Kennedy Middle’s Web page-to-Stage Pageant
Georgetown College scholar Okay.J. Moran has written a hilariously unique and powerfully courageous play with music a few college-age lady named Lou who was raped a yr in the past by her then-boyfriend, Eli. It has been a yr since, and the trauma continues to be together with her—theatricalized as an actor representing Eli, invisible to all the opposite characters, who gained’t depart Lou alone. How Lou offers with that previous ache and finally feels able to make love once more makes for an of-the-moment narrative pulsing with humor and heartache—and trustworthy and sensible playwriting. The completely partaking supporting forged is rounded out by Lou’s roommates (Genevieve, June, and Lou’s homosexual bestie Benni) and a punk rock band led by Lazarus Lovesong, whose terrific musical numbers punctuate the story as if they’re Lou’s inside soundtrack. Probably the greatest new performs I noticed all yr. —John Stoltenberg
John Stoltenberg’s Evaluation

Kenny Neal, Sound Design
‘John’ at Signature Theatre
Sound design by Kenny Neal was vigorously interspersed all through with particular results together with the sound of bells, chimes, clock ticking, cellular phone noise, telephone and a jukebox radio that was brightly lit and performed symphonic music. Unusual rustling sounds and odd vocal sounds have been intermittent and the general impact was immersive. – David Friscic
David Friscic’s Evaluation
David Siegel’s Column

Daven Ralson and Billy Finn in ‘Every thing Is Illuminated’ at Theater J. Photograph by C. Stanley Images.

Aaron Posner, Course
‘Every thing is Illuminated’ at Theater J
Director Aaron Posner conducts every pulsebeat with an emotional reverence that resonates all through the home. The play’s theatrical mixture of realism and invention comes alive in language so superb, it washes over one like waves. The stage arts additionally mix to make this a spectacularly partaking manufacturing. – Ravelle Brickman
John Stoltenberg’s Evaluation
Every little thing Is (Lastly) Illuminated: Aaron Posner’s Setting of Foer’s Masterpiece Makes Its DC Debut by Ravelle Brickman

Natsu Onoda Energy, Path
‘Vietgone’ at Studio Theatre
In Vietgone, Vietnamese-American Playwright Qui Nguyen units out to inform how his mother and father fell in love after being resettled in America as refugees after the autumn of Saigon. The present is rife with humor, numerous it uproariously broad and bawdy, and a number of the edgiest makes enjoyable of white America. “Yo what’s up white individuals,” exclaims Tong to the viewers on the prime of the present. The period is captured winkingly. There’s a haze-filled scene with mary jane. There’s bed-hopping galore. By the top, Vietgone does one thing so past entertaining, so sudden and unforgettable, that I not solely left the theater with my thoughts blown. I left with my thoughts modified.- John Stoltenberg
John Stoltenberg’s Evaluation

Kenann M. Quander, Costume Design
‘Aida’ at Constellation Theatre Firm
Maybe referencing the Egyptian pyramids, or perhaps the loves of the three leads—the story is about amid a profusion of triangles: on the ground in a sample of blue, black, gold, and silver; overhead in frames; and onstage in forced-perspective shapes and angles that mild up in vibrant colours. Much more spectacular are the jewel-bedecked and gilded excessive fashions for Egyptian royalty, uniforms and robes for his or her minions, and earth-toned rags for his or her slaves. Notably, the fashionista Egyptian princess Amneris will get her vainness on in a succession of outfits every extra eye-popping than the final. —John Stoltenberg
John Stoltenberg’s Evaluation
Michael Bobbitt’s ‘Aida’ Mixes Grandeur and Intimacy at Constellation Theatre by Ravelle Brickman

‘Imogen’ at Pointless Theatre. Photograph by DJ Corey Images.

Matt Reckeweg, Puppet Design
‘Imogen’ at Pointless Theatre
The technical parts of Imogen are a small miracle. The seemingly easy set is filled with trick panels, which, when backlit, permit actors backstage to carry up puppets and act out goals or flashbacks. The lighting shifts each time an actor has an apart, which lets the viewers get inside every character’s head. Two multi-instrumentalists present phenomenal reside music that gives a backdrop to scenes which are danced out slightly than acted (the battle scene within the second half has killer choreography). None of those parts ever really feel out of sync or unbalanced. The small efficiency area makes Imogen’s technical features all of the extra spectacular.
Elizabeth Ballou’s Assessment

Aaron Rhyne, Projection Design
‘Anastasia’ at The Kennedy Middle
Within the Kennedy Middle’s Anastasia, Projection Design by Aaron Rhyne is nothing in need of sensible. The background projections are animated completely to help the characters’ actions, whereas melding seamlessly with the stage lighting by Donald Holder. Scene modifications use trendy wizardry that means the fantastic extravagance of Imperialist Russian Operas and Parisian nightclubs. – Chuck Leonard
Chuck Leonard’s Evaluation

Klyph Stanford (Scenic Design) and Alicia Tessari (Properties Design)
‘Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas’ at Journey Theatre MTC
The tech for this present is completely spot on. Alicia Tessari’s props have been whimsical perfection, and regardless of there being many, many props, they have been assembled and introduced in a means that by no means interfered with the tempo. Talking of tempo, Scenic Design by Klyph Stanford was additionally impeccable – there have been numerous set modifications, but the present by no means stopped shifting, and each setting had its personal particular bit of caprice.
Assessment

Heather Raffo as Noura in Noura. Photo by Scott Suchman.Heather Raffo as Noura in ‘Noura’. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Masha Tsimring, Lighting Design
‘Noura’ at Shakespeare Theatre Firm
Masha Tsimring’s wonderful lighting, like Raffo’s script, makes a New York Metropolis front room into one thing extraordinary. Tsimring’s lighting design works in good concord with Andrew Lieberman’s set, in order that the lamps scattered round Noura’s home appear to glow, illuminating the actors’ faces – seemingly from proper beside them, fairly than above them.
Elizabeth Ballou’s Assessment

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