Q: Where did you grow up? Were there any activities you did as a child that led to your passion for the arts?
I grew up in Midlothian, VA, a suburb of Richmond. I did all kinds of things as a kid, but I would say girl scouts probably had the biggest influence on leading me towards a career in the arts.
Q: Where did you receive training? How did this prepare you for your work in the theatre world?
I did my undergrad at Longwood University, a small liberal arts college in Farmville, VA. Though a small school, the B.F.A. program for technical theatre was pretty intense. It put me on the prop path. I continued my training at Ohio University where I earned a M.F.A. in Props Technology and Costuming Crafts. With all my formal education I was propelled into some high quality circles of theatre.
Q: What is your full-time position with Charleston Stage?
I am the Properties Master here at Charleston Stage. Basically if it’s part of the structural set, and an actor isn’t wearing it – it’s a prop! For all of the shows I am collecting, altering, and building from scratch to enhance the show.
Q: Please discuss your design process and what was involved with designing props for The Curious Incident.
With any design process, the main goal is to achieve the director’s and designers’ vision, while creating props that are functional and actor friendly. Working on Curious Incident was a process centered around cubes and a model train. The cubes were the first and most important props to nail down. They function like furniture pieces and storage bins, and they shift and transform the location for each scene. As for the moment involving the model, the design was a product of functionality and story telling. This moment literally represents a journey for our protagonist, so we had to make it special. I connected with The Charleston Area Model Railroad Club and they were able to collect track pieces and an English-style model train. It’s always cool when we can collaborate with members of our community. Furthermore, with the set angled on a rake, which is visually stimulating for the audience; however, it presented science-related challenges that we needed to overcome.
Q: What are you most excited about that audiences will experience with your designs for The Curious Incident?
I’m very excited about having the opportunity to share this show with the community. My youngest sister is autistic and I think this show really highlights how hard it is to be a person who doesn’t have the ability to communicate the way everyone else does and also how straining it can be on family members. I think all of the design elements, not just scenic and props, combine to give the audience a glimpse into what things are like for Christopher. I hope the audience walks away feeling moved, empathetic, and wanting to learn more about it.
Q: Tell us a little more about yourself.
I’ve lived in Charleston for 2 years, I have a toddler that lights up my world, and I play roller derby for your local Lowcountry Highrollers.
Final 4 performances of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time run Feb. 21 – 24 at the Historic Dock Street Theatre. For tickets, click here.