What’s your deal? Who are you and what’s your story?

I believe my trifold loves—literature, theater, and painting—drove me to pursue a career in scenic design. My favorite thing about scenic design is the fact that, more than some visual mediums, it relies heavily on its relationship to storytelling, and by extension the necessity for all parts of the design (set, light, sound, costume) to work towards the common goal of telling the same story.

What most excites you about in taking on this design opportunity at TAM?

It was definitely an exciting and unique challenge to create something relatively minimal but evocative, that both serves the needs of the production and accommodates the fact that the shows at TAM run in repertory and must be quickly taken down and put up again. It definitely encouraged me to think outside of my usual maximalist box and compelled me to distill and distill and distill until I got to a simpler version that ended up being more useful to the show’s action.

Why Shakespeare?

I think, when performed live and performed well, Shakespeare, and especially his comedies, is stripped of the “seriousness” that I think makes people shy away from his work. A good rendition of a Shakespearean comedy is bawdy, messy, playful, and silly; featuring very human people with very human desires, who just happen to be endowed with the Elizabethan equivalent of razor-sharp Aaron Sorkin dialogue, with perhaps a bit more pathos. Seeing Shakespeare performed when I was a child was definitely one of the determining factors for both my interest in pursuing theater and my love of reading and learning about the history of artmaking. These days, I find myself primarily drawn to new work, but I am always grateful for the opportunity to dive back into the work of a man that has proved such a wellspring for generations of theatrical creativity and innovation.

Who is your role model, and why? 

My mother. She is a very recently retired mental health worker who spent most of her professional career helping people with substance abuse problems, being outspoken about the opiate epidemic, and taking leadership positions in her union chapter, as well as participating in other local social justice organizations.  On top of that, she was an awesome mom! Throughout the years, in addition to encouraging me to pursue my passions, my mother has taught me so much about compassion and being outspoken about one’s beliefs. She is amazing!

You can have dinner with any three powerful women in history. Who would you choose and why?

George Eliot, Hedy Lamarr, and Frida Kahlo.  All three women were trailblazers in their respective fields (literary, inventing/engineering and film acting, visual art), but all three had narratives that, at least in their lifetime, caused their places as women in the societies in which they were living to overshadow or minimize the importance of their contributions.  I have long loved the work of George Eliot (Middlemarch is one of my favorite books; I have read it three times) and Frida Kahlo; I learned about Hedy Lamarr’s formidable contributions to science more recently.  I think getting the three of them together in a room would be immensely interesting.

What is your super power?

I really enjoy detail-oriented but tedious tasks that require a high degree of visual precision.  In my “other life” I am a scenic artist, and this is a skill that really comes in handy. I was just gifted the opportunity to replicate an old map on a 9’ globe and the project was a dream come true.

Describe yourself in three alliterative words.

Creative, Considerate, Curious.