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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

BAM Blog Questionnaire: Joanne Howard, set designer for Alan Smithee

The set's floor in process. Photo: Joanne Howard
Big Dance Theater is known for its engrossing productions that shapeshift between dance and theater, but a constant among its shows is the presence of memorable set designs. Joanne Howard has been designing sets for many Big Dance Theater productions including Alan Smithee Directed This Play: Triple Feature, coming up at the BAM Harvey Theater from Sep 30—Oct 4. The busy designer shared a few thoughts in a BAM Blog Questionnaire.

You are a close collaborator of Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar. How did you meet?
Annie-B and I were introduced through a mutual friend. I needed a roommate and she needed a room.
What are your some of your favorite props from Alan Smithee?
It's a toss up between the fur coats and the telephones.

Alan Smithee Directed This Play: Triple Feature. Photo: Mike van Sleen.

Which artist do you admire from a field other than your own?

Too many choices!

What's the biggest risk you've taken?
Returning to school at age 50 for an MFA.

What is your favorite thing about seeing your set on the Harvey Theater stage?
The Harvey is such a gorgeous theater, and has had such remarkable productions on its stage, so I love being able to have my set be a part of that tradition. But my favorite thing about any set I've made for Big Dance Theater is seeing it lit and having the performers inhabit it.

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