Portfolio Title



A while back I had an article published in The Dramatist entitled "Why I Hate Musicals".
Please feel free to download the PDF, and share it (as is) with your friends.




Welcome to my portfolio.

I'm a scenic and lighting designer.
Occasionally, I design costumes.
I'm also a playwright.
And I direct on occasion.
I know...in our profession we like people to stick to one thing.
I don't. Get over it.

A bit about me...

My theatrical influences are Peter Brook (Open Door),
Robert Edmond Jones (The Dramatic Imagination)
and Edward Gordon Craig for a few.
I'm big on using design to evoke a time/place/emotion/etc
rather than trying to recreate reality on stage.
I fully believe theatre should be tailored to the time/place of it's presentation,
and use the fact that theatre audiences generally will accept
non-linear thinking on the stage.
Besides, we cannot do reality as it's done on TV and film,
and why would we want to try?

Directorally, I try to keep it simple.
I think having an anchor for a show is essential,
but imposing a concept on a show can be just deadly.
Know the script, get the actors to know the characters,
have a plan to artistically convey what's important
(know the arc of the lines, the scenes, the show),
and then just stay out of the way.
I've read stuff by/about Anne Bogart, and I find it a bit esoteric.
William Ball's A Sense of Direction was a great foundation for me as a young director,
and I've picked up a bend toward Meisner's approach to actors (at least as I understand it).

I like Shakespeare and am drawn to Greek tragedy
(that could be the Lutheran in me coming out),
but I also like Pinter and Mamet and Brian Friel and Romulus Linney.
I tend toward "serious" theatre as opposed to fluffy musical comedy,
(I'll take Waiting for Godot over Seven Brides for Seven Brothers any day)
but that's not to say I hate theatre unless someone dies.
By the way, the American Players Theatre Company in Spring Green, WI produced
the most sublime production of
Waiting for Godot in 2010
- thanks to them -
I'd not seen theatre that powerful in years.

After grad school ('98), my wife and I lived in Germany,
and I worked with a US Army community theatre.
Then when our girls came along, and we returned to the states,
I've stayed at home with the girls because family is important.
So, I've worked close to home -
for years that meant a community theatre for young people and the local high school,
and then professional and academic gigs as they could be fit in.
Now my girls are getting older, I've moved to the La Crosse area, so...
I'm hoping to have more time to engage in more liturgical theatre of my own devising
and regional educational and professional theatre.

As a result of the trajectory of my life, family and career,
most of my shows are low budget (under $2000).
That's not a complaint, just a fact.
So you won't be overwhelmed with the result of a show
with a $50,000 materials budget and a staff of dozens.
Most of what you see I did with a handful of helpers,
mostly volunteers, some students, and many with very, very little training in theatre.

That's not a complaint, just a fact.

Lastly, my interests continue to move deeper and deeper into my faith, and the development of good Christian theatre. I hope that soon my website will be full of good Christian theatre. Not just Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat or Godspell (not that there is anything wrong with them), but rich, complex, compelling theatre that also reveals the nature of what it means to a Jesus follower.

Along the lines of theology, I also tend to philosophize a bit about the arts, so if you enjoy thinking about why we, as Theatre Artists, do what we do, then please visit the What is Art? page.

Feel free to contact me, I welcome the feedback, questions and comments.
And enjoy.