in the spotlight Cue Up: Discussion with Lori Honeycutt S
ketch it. Sewit. Tweak it.Build it. Light it. Thismay sound like the lyrics to aDaft Punk song but in fact it is the begin- ning of an article about technical theatre.What follows is the
initial story of amultiple-issue-series called, CueUp. This serieswill focus on professionals in the technical theater profession and hope- fully give readers a taste ofwhat goes on behind-the scenes, how tirelessly these individualswork and the amazing talents and hard labor that goes into designing shows.
My love of tech theater developed in collegewhen, as a dance major, I had to take tech theater classes that ranged fromset design to lighting to costuming. I loved contributing to the behind-the- scenes aspect of the stage and found that I especially loved set con- struction. Power tools, equipment,wood andmetal! Itwas invigor- ating to be around such intense equipment and leftmewith a sense of empowermentwhen I learned howto safely operate this equipment. I loved that if Imade amistakewhileworking on a set piece, the usual responsewas “Meh. Throwa coat of paint on it and no one can tell fromthe audience.” I’moversimplifying of course because designing and building sets does in fact take a lot of skill and creativity. I found that the skills I developedwhileworking in scene shop have become transferrable tomany areas ofmy life, fromusing a screwgun to hang a picture,wielding a hammer to fix a shelf andmeasuring to install library and archives exhibits.
So, kicking off the CueUp series isLoriHoneycutt. She’s rad and does it all. I think you’ll be blown away by her talents and experi- ence just as I am.
TB:What is your current role/profession/title?
LH: Technical TheatreCoordinator,EastfieldCollege; Technical Director/SetDesigner/LightingDesigner,DGDGand Technical Director,CryHavoc (Contract basis)
TB:What is your background (educational and otherwise)?
LH: I grewup in a tinyWest Texas townwith 36 people inmy grad- uating class. I guess it all beganwhen Iwas 8 and inmy first school…Nah, just kidding, I have been in Theater since Iwas in Jr. High School inRanger, Texas. I have aB.F.A. in Theater from Tarleton StateUniversity (TSU). I had a job in the TSUscene shop as the shop foreman, butwas focusing onActing andDirecting. I guess, I found that Iwas very, very good at constructing scenery. Directly after earningmy degree Imovedmyself andmy two sons toDallas fromRanger. I interviewed andwas hired at theEisemann Center for PerformingArts inRichardson as a stage techni- cian/master carpenter/customer liaison. Iworked there for several years. I triedmy hand at teaching high school tech theatre in Alvarado, Texas.We took AMidsummerNight’sDreamOAP to state in 2005, decided I hated teaching high school (not because of the students), and began looking for a something/anything inDallas again. I found the positionwithDallasCountyCommunityCollege District and applied, interviewed, andwas hired. I have been here for 12 years. Just to finish the story, Iwas definitelyGemin an ele- mentary school talent show.
DANCE!NORTHTEXAS a publication of the dance council of north texas Pictured:DGDGdancers. Photo:DanielleGeorgiou TB:Do youspecialize ina specific area of technical theater?
LH:All of them!No, but seriously,whilemy particular strengths lie in fast and efficient set construction, over the years, I feel that I have cultivated a high level of expertise in set design and lighting design.Al
l of that being said, Iwould say all of them. I feel that I work strongly in almost all aspects of technical theatre. Inmy cur- rent role at the college there is not a steady student base, so I have to do everything in order to produce a show. I build it, tech it, run it, so on. I love it. I loveworkingwith the students, and I love teaching themnewskills. I think that if you have a passion for yourwork it rubs off and other people feel it and develop a passion for it aswell.
TB:Did youalwaysknowyouwanted to go into technical theater orwas this aninterest that developed over time?
LH: Itwas definitely an interest developed over time. Iwas just a kidwho thought I needed to act, and directingwas secondary to that, nowit is completely the opposite. Iwould rather direct and design. Iwas really focusing on acting in college andwas in every showin every season, except onemusical, becausewell, singing is not even on the list of things I amgood at, ormediocre, or pass- able…Anyway, I took a job as a shop foreman because I needed the
vol. 20 • no. 3 www.thedancecouncil.org
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