Theatre Design & Technology - Spring 2021 - 44

would be needed to continue. In each
task force, the members developed key
questions to focus on actionable items.
For example, the CADD Lab Task
Force, headed by Michael Williams, lighting director for Krannert Center, focused
on creating remote access to Krannert
Center's CADD Lab and providing equitable resources for those without adequate technology. This academic year,
from their personal computers, students
were able to login to the CADD Lab computers and gain access to the universitypurchased software programs, such as
Vectorworks Spotlight, Vision, Capture,
and ETC's EOS 3.0 Augment3d.
Dean Kevin Hamilton of the College
of Fine and Applied Arts lent his full
support to the endeavors and funded requests for additional technology to adjust
production and pedagogy practices. This
support enabled the purchase of four
digital camera kits, three film lighting
kits, and an audio recording kit, as well
as the development of the Laptop Loaner
program for students who might not have
access to fast and reliable Internet and
computers. The Department of Theatre
was able to purchase 15 MacBook Air,
six MacBook Pro, and 14 Dell Precision
laptops, which were mainly distributed
to students taking lighting design, sound
design, media design, and scenic technology courses. In addition, the department
purchased 11 iPads with Apple Pencils
for a costume rendering class taught by
Kim Curtis, instructor of costume design.
Each iPad was loaded with the Procreate
app, and Curtis used these digital tools in
class during the Spring 2021 semester
as an additional method of rendering beyond graphite, watercolors, gouache, and
markers. Curtis said that " although the
focus of the Costume Rendering course
was still on real and tangible materials,
there will continue to be an ongoing
component of the class in Procreate, and
one or two sessions dedicated entirely to
learning the program. "
It quickly became apparent that the
pandemic was going to impact every
area of production, including space access, room capacities, and social distancing. John Williams, facility manager for
Krannert Center, and his team analyzed
every room in terms of its dimensional
and ventilation capacities. Lisa Kidd,
associate lighting director for Krannert
Center, who oversees the lighting

Actors, from Left to Right: Charence Higgins (Narrator), Brandon Burditt (Kip), Rachael Fox (Helen),
Robert Quinlan (Renaldo). Production team included: Scenic Designer: Emma Brutman, Properties Master:
Timothy Swift, Costume Coordinator: Remy Saymiknha, Lighting Designer: Elliot Hubiak, Sound Designer:
Jodie Werner, Stage Manager: Duncan McMillan. | Photo by: Darrell Hoemann.

Why Did Desdemona Love the Moor?
In September 2020, Illinois Theatre presented staged readings of Tennessee
Williams' Why Did Desdemona Love the Moor? directed by Tom Mitchell, professor
of acting and theatre studies, in a tented structure used during the day for COVID-19
testing, located on the upper plaza of Krannert Center. After the testing center was
closed and thoroughly cleaned, the production team began setting up each evening
for rehearsals and performances. These staged readings included the Department of
Theatre's first audience since February 2020; masked and socially distanced members of the university community who all had recent negative COVID-19 tests and
had " Building Access Granted " status. These performances also served as an excellent teaching moment for the lighting and sound design students to learn about alternative event design in an exterior tented structure.
assistantship program, was a key player
in the planning of safe working environments. Kidd said that " all departments
got together and came up with a plan
on how to work backstage and within
shops, and how we would keep our staff
members safe and healthy. " During the
planning process, Kidd also supported
faculty, staff, and students by continually
reinforcing the need for everyone's patience and flexibility.
Additionally, Terri Ciofalo, director of
production at Krannert Center, worked
tirelessly throughout the summer to work
with federal, state, local, and university
guidelines to create the Krannert Center
for the Arts Backstage Operations Guide,
which was distributed in August 2020.
This 15-page document laid out the plans
and procedures for building access,
room capacities, work practices, testing,
personal protective equipment (PPE),
sanitation, social distancing, safety, and
training. In addition to this document,

44 | THEATRE DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY | SPRING 2021

the Departments of Theatre and Dance
and Lyric Theatre @ Illinois all drafted
COVID-19 Rehearsal Procedures which
were distributed at Krannert Center.
Finally, a checklist and worksheet for
Work Call Planning was put in place to
ensure COVID-19 safe operating procedures were being observed.
One common denominator that came
from these task force meetings was that
the team knew to expect everything to
take twice as long as usual. This theory
was realized as hard truth during the
fall semester. In the Scene Shop, working capacity was reduced by 40 percent
and build times were increased. In the
Prop Shop, the faculty and staff had to
address the fact that every prop would
need to be sanitized after it touched an
actor's hands. In the Costume Shop,
Andrea Bouck, costume director for
Krannert Center, estimated that labor
time was reduced by at least 50 percent,
and it may even have been closer to 75



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