About the Design
Our world is divided by many borders, both real—wood, water, stone—and imagined—closed minds, preconceived notions, rigid beliefs. The natural elements of wind, water, and light cross borders indiscriminately. Likewise, art has no nationality, no gender, race or other division. Enlightenment and understanding gleaned from art can break down the borders of ignorance and authoritarianism. Over time, walls—tangible and intangible—are breached. Cracks and fissures appear, holes develop—and the light of day and the light of understanding shine through.
Our exhibition design incorporates the shape of each region of the United States (abstracted) in the perimeter. The layout is reminiscent of an altar. At the center of most altars is the sun, a candle—light. The center sculpture is composed of words from designers and artists from our collective past—our forefathers in theatrical design. Light illuminates these words, suggesting enlightenment and inspiration as well as the unifying concepts of art, thought, inspiration and the creativity of the artistic community of the United States as a whole. It symbolizes the source of creativity, the Idea.
Humankind has an ancient oral history—passed on through countless generations by the human voice alone. The sound emanating from the center sculpture is entirely generated from the human voice speaking the words Imagination, Transformation, Memory, Wisdom, Intuition and Experience. There is no other source material or instrument. The words were recorded from as diverse a variety of individuals as time and resources allowed. These recordings were manipulated primarily through granular synthesis where portions of the recordings (“grains”) are repeated in various patterns and modulated to produce all the sounds you hear. The intent of this approach was to emphasize the diversity—and unity—of the human experience and the myriad possibilities that arise when the simplest of human elements, voice, is explored.
Most of us find it difficult to explain what it is we do—it defies defining in any concrete sense. There is an element of magic and the sacred in design. There is creation and dissolution, invention and elimination, originality and imitation. Things can be broken, fissured, and distorted like the definitions on the plexiglass. And yet, all inform the whole.
Theatres are our sacred spaces. Spaces where we imagine, where we design, where we collaborate, where we produce, where we create, where we build, where we transform elements . . . where we share our collective memory.
|Paige A. Willson: Lead Designer
Associate Professor of Costume Design and Technology, University of Houston
costume designer, crafts artisan, mask maker, dancer
MFA, University of Houston /Costume, Lighting and Scenic Design
BFA, University of Louisiana, Lafayette / Choreographic Design
|Ellen Doyle Mizener: Lead Designer
Free-lance Scenic and Costume Designer
calligrapher, scenic and trompe l’œil artist, cyclist, scuba diver
MFA, University of Houston / Scenic and Costume Design
BA, Honors, Gonzaga University /Philosophy and Political Science
|Clint Allen: Lighting Design
Free-lance Lighting and Projection Designer
Member: United Scenic Artists
MFA, University of Houston / Lighting, Projection, and Scenic Design
BFA, Steven F. Austin University Theatre / Technical Theatre
|Erich Keil: Sound Design
Director of Production and Resident Designer, Tulsa Opera
lighting, sound, projection designer, production management specialist, rock climber
MFA, University of California, Los Angeles / Lighting and Scenic Design
BA, Western Michigan University / Theatrical Design and Production
|Josh Brown: Sound Design Assistant
dramaturg, sound designer, baker, book lover, runner
MFA candidate Columbia University / Dramaturgy
BFA East Carolina University / Musical Theatre
|Mark Krouskop: Draughtsperson
Theatre Production Manager and Lecturer, Rice University
scenic designer, scenic artist, architectural model maker, furniture designer/maker
MFA, University of Houston Theatre / Scenic Design
BFA, University of Houston / Theatre
|Aaron Krohn: Design Team Assistant
lighting designer, projection designer, foster puppy wrangler
MFA candidate, University of Houston / Lighting design
BA, Trinity University / Theatre