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May 2, 2011 | by  | in Arts |
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Louise Facebook Messages her pals lighting designer/operator and costumier William O’Neil and Jane Wenley

What was your first experience of working with theatre design?

William: I had the opportunity to be involved in the 2010 season of Young & Hungry, which gives young people aged 15-25 years the opportunity to gain hands-on theatre experience within a professional structure, mentored by industry pros. I totally recommend it purely for the connections you can make.

Jane: My first costume design experience was working with Sophie Hanover on VUW’s The Master and Margarita. This was a great starting point as a chance to experiment with a fantastic script and work within a budget.

If you weren’t involved with your area of design, is there any other role in theatre that you’d be interested in pursuing?

William: I’d like to properly try my hand at writing, one of these days. That sounds like such a pretentious white middle-class thing to say but there you go.
Jane: Something I would like to try is lighting a contemporary dance show; working with the design and how light affects dancers’ bodies and movement on stage.

If you could pick any person, living or deceased, to mentor you in your field then who would it be? 

William: I think it might be interesting to take some tips from some famous dead painters (I wouldn’t know who, because there was no room for art history papers in my science degree). Light and paint are obviously very different mediums but in both cases attention to and an understanding of the way light works has a big impact.

Jane: I would love to be mentored by Yumiko Takeshima who designed beautifully fluid costumes for the RNZB production of A Million Kisses To My Skin. The colour palette and texture of the pieces was stunning, and it would be amazing to learn about creating costumes for movement.

Who is your current favourite NZ designer? (Fashion, architecture, artist – whatever). 

William: Some work I’ve really enjoyed recently was the posters for the Wellington Young Feminists Collective by Natasha Sawicki Mead. Simple and effective.
Jane: At the moment I’m really liking Kelly Thompson’s illustrations.

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