Senior Portfolio Review offers a look at design process

Students who mostly work backstage and behind the scenes of theatrical productions, films, and entertainment venues will take the stage Friday, April 26, when the nationally ranked School of Design & Production at UNCSA presents Senior Portfolio Review.

An expected 74 candidates for Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees will participate in the review from 7 to 9 p.m. in HanesBrands Theatre, 209 N. Spruce St. The event, an annual presentation, is free and open to the public.

"Scenes from an Execution" / Photo: Peter Mueller

"Scenes from an Execution" / Photo: Peter Mueller

“Portfolio Review will show the community the great work our students are producing at the School of Design & Production,” said Michael J. Kelley, Dean of D&P and an alumnus of its scene design program. “These students will soon be among their industry’s leaders, as so many of our alumni already are.”

At Portfolio Review, prospective graduates will display schematics and sketches, renderings, photographs, models and actual props, costumes and wigs they’ve created. They will be on hand to answer questions, along with their faculty mentors.

The display will document work in all D&P disciplines, including costumes, stage management, wig and makeup, sound design and technology, lighting design, scenic design, props, scenic art, scenic technology and stage automation. It will be similar to that shown to prospective employers at a recent job fair, and it will document the progress each student has made over a multiple-year period.

Among this year’s review standouts are:

  • Madison McLain, an undergraduate wig and makeup artist who received the Kryolan Professional Makeup Design Award from the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) at its Annual Conference and Stage Expo held this past March in Louisville, KY; 

  • Undergraduate lighting designers Dominic Desalvio and Hannah Fuqua, who were chosen to participate in the prestigious 15th annual Hemsley Lighting Portfolio Review, which was held this past March in New York; and  

  • Graduate costume technology student Carolyn M. Walker, who was awarded USITT Young Technicians juried public review at this year’s USITT conference.
Next to Normal

"Next to Normal" / Photo: Peter Mueller

UNCSA’s School of Design & Production boasts an impressive 98 percent job placement for its graduates.

“If you graduate from D&P, you can make a living and you can work at a high level,” Kelley said, adding that students routinely find work in Broadway shows, regional theater, films or such entertainment companies as The Walt Disney Company or Cirque du Soleil. A formidable network of alumni helps open doors.

The students displaying work at this year’s Senior Portfolio Review have secured positions with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines; WorldStage; “The King and I” (National Tour); “Bronx Tale,” (National Tour); PRG-Scenic (set electrics); and Hudson Scenic. The have also lined up jobs with Show Motion (set electrics); Disney Entertainment; “Hamilton” (Chicago); “Love” (Cirque Vegas); Walt Disney Imagineering and Universal Studios.

The review will also showcase student internships, including costume designer Keyon Woods (play reading at La MaMa Theater,  New York City); scenic designers Manika Gupta (Walt Disney Imagineering Entertainment) and Sarah Cominsky (Cirque Du Soleil); wig and makeup artist Jonathan Amaro (Cirque Du Soleil); stage manager Luke Wood (American Ballet Theatre); lighting designer Aaron Bobeck (ETC); and lighting designers Casey Taylor (Bandit Lighting) and (Criss Angel MINDFREAK). 

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April 08, 2019