Allen makes the leap from audience member to designer with OpenStage!
Tell us about yourself! What theatre or other experiences did you have in this discipline before working on this show?
I started acting at Jesters in Longmont around 2001, and after moving to Mississippi drama was my only focus in high school. I started college at Southern Mississippi, and was cast in several shows but started shifting my focus on technical work. I transferred to Northern Colorado and by the time I graduated I had worked everywhere backstage, with my first time on a props crew during the show Ragtime. I was also the sound designer for Urinetown and Richard III. During the pandemic I earned my Master's in Education, and for the last two years I taught drama at Westminster High School and directed their CenterStage Theatre group, but still lived in Fort Collins. Last spring I stepped away from teaching and took my first professional gig as a props master!
How did you hear about OpenStage?
I've lived in the community for over a decade, and the first show I saw was "The Full Monty." I've been impressed by everything since!
What is your brainstorming and design process?
The first step is to read the show, figure out what it's "about" and then get on the same page as the director and design team about the feel and general aesthetics of the show. Then I build some mockups and prototypes to make sure I'm on the right track, before diving in and scaling it up. Unlike other design work, when I do props I find it's just easiest to get out the hot glue and start sticking stuff together, since it never seems to work out like I think it would on a computer. Props goes in two phases, with the first deadline being rehearsals and giving the director and actors as much to work with as possible once they're ready. The second phase is getting everything show-ready.
What has been the most challenging part of this show and your work?
What has been the most rewarding part of this show and your work?
The show is about preserving the words and works of a beloved friend. I feel that in researching this show, I have gotten closer to The Bard than ever before. And this is after having performed a few of his plays.
What is your favorite part in the show?
Definitely the top of Act 2. I had such strong feelings reading it the first time, and the cast are absolutely doing it justice.
What is the importance of this show today? What do you hope audiences will get out of it?
What projects are you working on next? What is your dream role or dream show to work on?
By Lauren Gunderson
Directed by Sydney Parks Smith
November 4–December 2, 2023
Playing at the Lincoln Center Magnolia Theatre