Sunday, January 9, 2011

From scenic designer Nick Shaw, ESCAPE FROM THE HALTSBURG BOYS CHOIR's Maker of Gates


Welcome to the New Year Everyone!!!

I am excited to be working on my second show with The Ruckus!! I am very thankful to have a theatrical family in the great city of Chicago. I think the work that they/we are doing is extremely important and exciting. It is a welcome and dangerous change from the kind of theatre I am a part of at my day job.

I would like to tell a little story about my history with The Ruckus.

I graduated from Western Michigan University in 2005 with a double emphasis in Performance and Technical Theatre. I luckily was accepted into the Graduate Program of Scenic Design at University of Missouri, Kansas City. Upon the completion of my MFA (Mutha Fuckin Artist) I promptly received a position at Eastern Illinois University, teaching technical theatre and designing scenery for half of their season (bear with me, I am almost to the part where I reunite with the people of The Ruckus) I was bored during the summers and looked for a creative outlet outside of the university. I was scanning for a little summer design work and there was a notice from The Ruckus. They were looking for a scenic designer for The Gay American. I opened up the notice and the contact person was one Allison Shoemaker and I was like WHAT??? ALLISON SHOEMAKER??? I wonder if that is the Allison Shoemaker I know. There really can't be more than one Allison Shoemaker in theatre?? I promptly went the The Ruckus's website and discovered that I knew more than half of the company(cue music: "It's a Small World) I was super relieved when some of them remembered me and was even more relieved when they wanted me to play theatre with them.

This story is for all you young designers, directors, and actors reading this. Be GOOD!!! Be a warm and nurturing collaborator!! You never know when or where you or your colleagues are going to end up. You may have to work with the asshole sitting next to you, sometime in the distant future.

I would like to thank the entire company of The Ruckus for making me feel welcome and letting me sleep on their floors or couches or beds(Dan) I would also like to thank them for giving some of my students at EIU a chance to do some theatre outside of EIU.

-Professor Shaw

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