By Cynthia Lugo
The Master Builder is about an architect at the height of his powers, so we thought it only fitting to shine a spotlight on the set designer and the production team challenged with executing his vision. You may have seen our video interview with legendary set designer Santo Loquasto, who explains the aesthetic and the concept behind his evocative, polysemous designs.
Turning such complicated plans into a reality is no small task, and requires a talented and experienced crew. Enter Dylan Nachand, the production supervisor who coordinates the technical elements of everything onstage. Dylan got his start working on New York City music events like the River to River Festival and then gradually transitioned to theater. Loquasto's incredible level of insight into the process made it a dream to work with him on The Master Builder. Dylan said, "There’s a high level of craftsmanship to be able to put this together. And it’s the same for the model—to be able to put it together so accurately and [for it to be] so close to his vision. It’s impressive that it was fully realized. There wasn't a lot of back and forth. We were impressed when we saw [the set designs] were hand drawn. We found that throughout the process, whenever we had a question about something, we usually found that the answer was there and we had just missed it the first time around. And his plans ended up being almost exactly what went to the shop."
Here, Dylan takes us through the Santo's set designs (which are hand-drawn by Antje Ellerman), explaining the the major elements and the challenges in constructing them. In addition to being the production supervisor, Dylan also fearlessly served as John Turturro's stunt double—that's him looking at the moon in the first picture!
So what's the best part of his job? According to Dylan, it's "feeling like you’ve been a part of a great team and helped play a part in getting something up on stage that looks really great... and helping the designer do what they really want to do on stage and seeing how good it looks. That’s a good reward." The audience would agree.