E-Newsletter | boom | Featured Designer | Student Designers | Alumni Spotlight
Greetings, theatre lovers, students, colleagues, patrons, supporters, and friends,

The Department of Theatre at Lehigh University is starting 2016 out with a BANG - a production of Peter Nachtrieb’s post-apocalyptic one-act play, boom. A grad student's online personal ad lures a mysterious journalism student to his subterranean research lab under the pretense of an evening of "no strings attached" encounter. But when a major global catastrophic event strikes the planet, their date takes on evolutionary significance and the fate of humanity hangs in the balance.
Our first department newsletter focuses on the design process for boom, with two student designers and a NYC collaborator. Scroll to the bottom of this message for our alumni spotlight on Lee Micklin, ’08, and look for upcoming newsletters featuring faculty research, and Theodore Horger ’61 Artist-in-Residence, Akiń Babatundé.
Let’s meet in the lobby!
-Erica Hoelscher, chair, Department of Theatre

Art doesn’t just capture and convey the excitement, the thrill of life. Sometimes, it does even more: it is that thrill. – Julian Barnes
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New York City stage designer, scenic designer, boom

As I read the script for a play I am designing, I try to keep my mind blank. Even if I have very strong visual images, I prefer not to cling to them. I try to pinpoint the important points in the script that grab and challenge me. I have to find what will be my “obsession” for the play, so that I can obsess about it!

This is where the dialogue between the director and the designer starts. Layering my ideas with Gus’ has been very inspiring. Gus pursues his staging ideas with boldness and humor, which I hope is mirrored in the set. A broader conversation with the other designers enriches the incubation period, and suddenly, the set is born out of my obsession. boom is all about water – small scale water in an aquarium, and large scale water that envelopes and gives birth, but also threatens and destroys. 

sound designer, boom

Ever since I was a young child in San Diego, music and sound have been means of expression for me. I played the piano and later on became the "sound guy" at my high school. When I came to Lehigh in 2012, my first class in the theatre department was Sound Technology, and since then I've declared a theatre minor and have explored many areas in the department. I've been a master electrician and an actor, and now I'm back in sound. 

Sound design involves any controlled noise in a play, ranging from pre-show, background, or transition music, stock or custom-created sound effects, and even props that make noise. The sound designer adds life to the show by creating a soundscape that gives the action of a show another layer of depth. For boom, I am working to design a place that speaks through the sublime mystery of life itself... and, of course, a wonderfully big boom!
Waterscape Symphony

Click to listen to Waterscape Symphony - Eugene Vivino

costume designer, boom

After spending time on stage in high school, I decided to go behind the scenes at Lehigh and took Design for the Theater, (Thtr 087,) my freshman year. Despite initial nerves about my first visually expressive class, things seemed to click into place while learning to design sets and costumes. Now I’m a double minor in theater and graphic design, and have taken classes that taught me about the costume design process from the point of concept to construction. After designing for my first black box show in 2014 it’s been fun to be back collaborating with the theater department designing the costumes for boom!

I was planning to enter a pre-med program, however, I’d always been interested in theatre. My tour of Lehigh University included the Zoellner Arts Center, and I knew immediately that I wanted to spend my time there - I wanted to be a part of it.
I began studying as a set designer, but soon found my passion was in stage management. The theatre department program gives students the opportunity to work in all areas of the theatre, from designing to directing, backstage crews to acting. The technical aspects are strong, allowing me to get the best training as a stage manager. I loved being responsible for many different aspects of a production, and getting to work with a wide range of people from across the Lehigh campus. The theatre program’s openness creates a rigorous collaborative challenge; students must develop respect for how different people contribute to a production.
After graduating from Lehigh University, I attended the Yale School of Drama as a stage manager. I have been fortunate to work on and off Broadway on various productions. Currently, I am stage managing American Psycho, a new Broadway musical.
Department of Theatre | Zoellner Arts Center, Room 301 | 420 East Packer Avenue
Bethlehem, PA 18015 | Phone: 610-758-3640 | Fax: 610-758-6543

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