The Small Group’s design artists embrace collaboration for spectacular shows

2013/02/21

Ryan Artzberger, Kevin Cox, Jason Bradley, and Torrey Hansen performed in a unique adaptation of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” which cast one actor as Jekyll and everyone else as different versions of Hyde. Photo courtesy of Julie Currie.

It may not be highly unusual for a group of theater artists to apply an interactive design philosophy to their workflow, but at The Small Group, it’s essential. “There are no hard lines between disciplines,” says Michael Klaears, the firm’s lighting designer. “So I might have a thought about sound, or the composer will have a thought about lights, and the costume designer will think something about the music. We really get into each other’s sandboxes. That’s not terribly normal, but in The Small Group, it’s expected.”

Click here to read this new profile and discover how Klaers, who also leads the Santa Barbara Vectorworks User Group, uses Vectorworks Spotlight with Renderworks software to realize the firm’s visions. The article also explores two of The Small Group’s recent projects. The first is an adaption of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” whose set was lit to project a dense, syrupy feeling in the air and featured a spiral, DNA-like staircase that wound up into the lighting grid. The second project is “Entangled.” For this play, the firm created a stage with 20-feet-tall mirrored panels that caused the set to keep looking back at itself. Klaers modeled the challenging set by setting up virtual cameras inside the Vectorworks program to see what would be reflected from every section in the house.

It’s this precision of working with the 3D modeling tools in Vectorworks Spotlight that gives Klaers a high level of certainty with his designs. “It’s how I think in 3D,” he says, assessing the power of the program. This must-read article delves deeper into the firm’s workflow and innovative designs. Enjoy!

The Vectorworks Spotlight program handles data and graphic and geometric information all in one application, making it easy to generate accurate section and elevation drawings. Image courtesy of Michael Klaers.

Previous post:

Next post: