Father Comes Home From the Wars, Parts 1, 2, & 3 - Yale Repertory Theatre, 2018.  Photo courtesy of Jon West

 

New Haven, CT: 2017 - current

Yale School of Drama

Technical Design & Production, MFA Candidate 2020

Furthering my education in areas such as: technical design, structural design, mechanical design, parametric and 3D drafting, technical management, collaboration, rigging, etc.

 

 second year highlights


First Year Highlights


Seven spots on the sun

Assistant Technical Director - 2018

By Martin Zimmerman Directed by Jecamiah Ybanez Lily Guerin (Scenic Designer)

April Hickman (Costume Designer) Evan Anderson (Lighting Designer)

Andrew Rovner (Sound Designer) Evan Hill (Dramaturg) Jenna Heo (Technical Director)

Zachry Bailey (Stage Manager)

The falling Wall

The big ask from the creative team for this show was to have upstage wall of the set fall down as fast as possible as the big reveal. This was my task and was accomplished by turning the wall into a pneumatically actuated, counterweight assisted drawbridge. A 5hp lifting winch was used with a Digital Winch Unit Drive Control as the heart of the system. Since the hinge was located in front of the center of gravity of the wall, the pneumatic actuators acted as springs both to push the wall over and to cushion the wall as it came up.

The wall itself (20’ wide x 12’ tall) was jobbed out to a Structural Insulated Panel (SIPs) manufacturer. This allowed for the wall to stay lightweight and be walkable, and this freed up the scene shop to focus on the fabrication of the rest of the steel components. The wall was held together by a truss of steel built to fill the shape of 2x6 lumber, this truss kept deflection to ~1/2" over 20’.

As can be seen in the videos, the effect ended up being run ~6 seconds from start to finish.


research project

During the Fall of 2018 and into the Spring of 2019, I worked on researching the strengths and health hazards of typical adhesives used in production. I learned a great deal, not least of which is that PVA glues are quite strong in shear when adhering steel to plywood. As you can see in the video below and in my report, linked here, the data is quite fascinating.

Substrate A - 1 inch wide x 3/4" Sturd-I-Floor Plywood Substrate B - 1 inch wide x 3/16" mild steel Overlap - 1" Adhesive - White Glue
 
Substrate A - 1 inch wide x 3/4" Stud-I-Floor Plywood Substrate B - 3/16" x 1 inch wide mild steel Overlap - 1" Adhesive - West System 105 Epoxy

Father Comes home from the wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3

Assistant Technical Director - 2018

Father Comes Home From the Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3

By Suzan-Lori Parks Directed by Liz Diamond

A Co-Production with American Conservatory Theater In the astonishing first installment of Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks's new American Odyssey, set over the course of the Civil War, Hero is offered his freedom from slavery in exchange for joining his master in the ranks of the Confederacy.

Video courtesy of Yale Repertory Theatre, 2018.

By Suzan-Lori Parks (Songs and Additional Music)

Directed by Liz Diamond

Randy Duncan (Choreographer)

Riccardo Hernández (Scenic Designer)

Sarah Nietfeld (Costume Designer)

Yi Zhao (Lighting Designer)

Frederick Kennedy (Sound Designer and Music Supervisor)

Catherine María Rodríguez (Production Dramaturg)

Catherine Sheehy; (Production Dramaturg)

Latiana (Lt) Gourzong (Technical Director)

Chantal Jean-Pierre (Vocal and Dialect Coach)

Rick Sordelet (Fight Director)

Cookie Jordan (Wig Designer)

Shelby North (Stage Manager)

 

I-Beams

The initial push from the scenic designer was that all of the elements on stage be "real" in the sense that they would not be "scenery", but the genuine article.  This idea ran into a hard wall when it came to the design of the I-Beams which would be sprouting from the stage at odd angles.  Initially specified to be W12 x 90 I-Beams, the theatre and stage itself would not be able to hold their estimated weight of 2,000# each.  Not to mention how expensive they would be to procure.  It was decided to then make them using traditional scenic methods: plywood, sheet metal, and paint.

Below is a gallery of production photos showing the I-Beams under stage conditions.

All production photos courtesy of Joan Marcus, 2018.

 

I-Beam technical Drafting

Sample build drawing for I-Beam Construction - Jon West, 2018. - PDF available here

I-Beam seam connection detail - Jon West, 2018. PDF available here.

Behind the scenes photos of I-Beams as installed.  Photos courtesy of Jon West, 2018.

 

Fabric Surround walls and Flying RP Wall

The largest parts of the scenery for Father... were also the least noticeable.  Surrounding the stage were fabric panels on all 3 sides were stretched fabric panels.  This fabric panel system consisted of 12" tall, 1x1 box tube truss with 1/4" MDF facing.  The custom cut heavyweight muslin fabric was then stretched over the frames and attached to tension rods on the back with bungee balls.  

Fun fact: the total sq. footage of all of the fabric walls and the RP was: ~5,000 sq ft.

Production photography courtesy of Joan Marcus, 2018 except as noted.

 

wall surround technical drafting

Wall Surround assembly drawing - Jon West, 2018. PDF available here

Wall Surround build drawing sample - Jon West, 2018. PDF available here

 

The Death of yazdgerd

Properties Master - 2017

By Bahram Beyzai

Translated by Manuchehr Anvar

Directed by Shadi Ghaheri

The Death of Yazdgerd , 2017.  Photo courtesy of T. Charles Erickson, 2017.

The Death of Yazdgerd, 2017. Photo courtesy of T. Charles Erickson, 2017.

Michael Costagliola (Music Director and Sound Designer)

Mohsen Namjoo (Composer)

John Bondi-Ernoehazy (Scenic Designer)

Mika H. Eubanks (Costume Designer)

Samuel Kwan Chi Chan (Lighting Designer)

Yaara Bar (Projection Designer)

Iman Raad (Visual Artist and Muralist)

Ariel Sibert (Production Dramaturg)

Kevin Belcher (Technical Director)

John Carlin (Stage Manager); 

 

The dead king

The entire show centers around the body of the dead King, so you cannot do this show without the body.  As the Props Master, this was my charge.  The body had to look, feel, and sound like a dead body, in addition to look similar to one of the main actors, James Udom.  A typical stuffed muslin body would not do for this, so I purchased prop body from the best creepiest website, Dapper Cadaver.  The body was modified to make it do what was needed of it; bending at the waist, bounce like a body, limbs articulate, sound like body when struck, etc.

All photos courtesy of T. Charles Erickson, 2017.

All photos courtesy of Jon West, 2017.


Sweat

Assistant Sound Designer / Engineer

By Lynn Nottage

Directed by Joan MacIntosh

Jennifer Archibald (Choreographer)

Jessie Chen (Scenic Designer)

Beatrice Vena (Costume Designer)

Erin Earle Fleming (Lighting Designer)

Megumi Katayama (Sound Designer)

Christopher H. Evans (Projection Designer)

Sophie siegel-Warren (Production Dramaturg)

Dashiell Menard (Technical Director)

Olivia Plath (Stage Manager)

 

Assistant Sound Designer / Engineer

As the ASD/E, my role was to work with the designer and the production team to deliver the sound system that best fit the budgetary and space constraints of the production and space.  I created System Block Diagrams and worked with the supremely talented sound staff to help deliver a working sound system from component parts.

The sound system utilized 22 boxes total, with UPA speakers for mains, SB18s for subwoofers, UB12s for surrounds, JF200 and 8XTs for ambient fill, and a practical TV and jukebox.

Photos courtesy of Courtney Jamison, 2017.