Last month, The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) asked us to create an award for Baz Luhrmann, this month they commissioned us to make awards for Barry and Fran Weissler and Chita Rivera. Pretty heady stuff.
We’ll talk about Chita another day. Today; the Weissler’s.
Barry and Fran Weissler are two of the most prolific producers on Broadway today. NYMF presented the award on Sunday night, the 14th anniversary of the opening of their hugely successful revival of Chicago on Broadway, and subsequently, around the world.
As are most producers, the Weisslers are aggressive supporters of the arts and artists. The create opportunities for the creation of art. Unlike the artists they support they are not generally associated with a particular genre. The Weisslers are huge supporters of the Musical Theatre and thus their association with NYMF, but they have also produced Shakespeare. They have also been involved with theatre education.
All a bit difficult to find a single image to use to work towards a design. Fortunately, the Weisslers solved this problem for us and The New York Times led the way to our ‘seeing’ the answer. There is a great slide show on the linked article. In their glorious backyard, the Weisslers commissioned land artist Beverly Pepper to create an amphitheatre. They use this space to entertain friends and associates while enjoying performances. A perfect setting for a pair of Broadway producers.
The amphitheatre and the beauty that flows from this unique performance space provided the perfect visual metaphor for our design. Greatly reduced in scale from the original, we used the basic shape of the land sculpture and an abstract representation of the sound that flows out during performance. The award is as elegant as the couple and the space. The inscription is laser etched white on white and the bronze/gray object is all bent from one form. Thanks to our friends at Gotham Scenic Studios for helping with the bending.
It’s not a huge leap from Set Design to Product Design. We learned that a long time ago. The training for set design requires so much knowledge about so many different media. There are many parts of many set design for film, television or performance that are product design. In this case, the set design was product design. We look forward to doing more.
We also look forward to continuing to support the import work of NYMF. We hope our readers might as well.