Breaking It Down: Shotgun Players at 20
Oral and visual history book for a theatre company
A soup-to-nuts project where I served as project manager, art director, production artist, photo editor, color retoucher and print manager.
The challenge: bring to life the dramatic evolution of this risk-taking troupe. Shotgun Players, born in the basement of a pizza parlor, had 20 years later become the owners of the nation’s first 100% solar-powered theater. I built the book on a three-act structure, assembling hundreds of vivid photos, anecdotal recollections, personal essays, production design sketches, illustrations by R. Black, and an index of personnel with original poster art for every play. The book is a spirited, comprehensive history. We began working on this 208-pager in August, printed it overseas and —miraculously— had it in hand by mid-December. Lickity split!
Breaking It Down is for sale here.
The Field Identity Facelift
Graphic overhaul for New York City arts advocacy non-profit
Longtime client The Field approached me with a desire to update their visual identity on the eve of their 25th Anniversary. They were not interested in creating something completely different; they preferred to refresh their existing materials in order to reinforce their long history of helping emerging artists find their way. With a few simple type modifications, some judicious cropping, and guidelines for the placement of their logo on materials, I gave them something that felt familiar to their clientele but that freed the organization from a feeling of being stuck in the past.
The Aurora Campaign
Capital campaign system
Berkeley’s Aurora Theatre Company launched a $2.1 million capital campaign for a buildout of their existing space. Taking over a portion of an adjacent warehouse meant taking a metaphorical sledgehammer to a wall. I worked closely with both the campaign manager and the copywriter to create a striking, singular and participatory set of fundraising tools that yielded results.
Visual elements repurposed from the organization’s existing materials lent the materials a familiarity with the tradition of the theatre while bold statement art generated excitement for the expansion.
The Companion Piece
Promotional campaign for an evening-length performance
Neo Vaudeville. With a meta-theatrical twist. Old + New. These were my takeaways from the first client meeting. This is of one those projects that surprisingly resembles the messy scribbles made at that first meeting.
I art directed photography of the three actors and did extensive rebuilding and retouching. The final product emulates the tinted, slightly gaudy photography of the Vaudeville era. We even ran a limited edition of posters for which I created a sticker of the title of the piece, to emulate the old fashioned, wheat-pasted “EXTENDED” signs of yore.
To my great delight, the set designer faithfully hand-painted the main character's image on a 30' theatrical drop for use in the actual performance.