Theater Designs Gain National Recognition
The 2010 summer edition of Theatre Design & Technology featured a full color, full page layout of the set designs for UO’s The Threepenny Opera (2008) and Metamorphoses (2009).
Each of the sets provided an impressive backdrop for their respective, excellent performances.
The journal specifically honored UO Associate Professor Jerry Hooker for his design of The Threepenny Opera and Adjunct Instructor Brad Steinmetz for his Metamorphoses set design. Theatre Design & Technology is the quarterly journal published by the United States Institute of Theatre Technology (USITT)
Steinmetz and Hooker made it into the journal after their designs were selected at the national USITT conference in Kansas City in April 2010. A total of 14 designers were chosen for the magazine feature from more than 150 professional, university faculty and students who submitted descriptive panels of their work for display.
Metamorphoses (below) was set in and around a large pool of water onstage and billed as “possibly the most technically difficult production attempted at the University Theatre.”
The setting for The Threepenny Opera (possibly known best for the nefarious character, “Mack the Knife”), was created using scavenged objects—in keeping with the beggar theme of the performance itself. (Pictured below and in thumbnail above.)
Hooker teaches scenic design, theatrical rendering techniques, scenic painting and property design and construction in the theater department at UO. His work has been featured at various theaters throughout the west, including: A Contemporary Theater and Intiman Theatre (Seattle), Actor’s Theatre of Phoenix (Arizona), Stages Repertory Theatre (Houston), Utah Musical Theatre and the Oregon Festival of American Music (Eugene).
Steinmetz is a resident designer with the “For/Word Company.” He has been lighting designer for the Oregon Children’s Theatre, and scene designer for the Hand2Mouth Theatre, Chicago’s Redmoon Theatre, Denison University and Red Herring Theatre Ensemble. Steinmetz has been published in Puppetry International, and is the winner of the USITT Rose Brand Award for Scenic Design (2003). He is currently lecturer in design at The Ohio State University in Columbus.
Notably UO was the only institution to be honored for two designs and one of only four Association of American University (AAU) theater programs honored among the 14. Other AAU theatre programs honored were the Guthrie Theater, Delaware Rep and North Carolina’s Mint Theatre Company.
United States Institute of Theatre Technology is an international association for performing arts and entertainment professionals. The USITT magazine, Theatre Design & Technology is published quarterly. USITT has 3800+ members throughout the United States, Canada and 40 other countries.
— Patricia Hickson