March, 2022 Issue
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- Makeup Design: A Case Study for Alice @ Wonderland

-What do Artistry’s Set Carpenters do when there’s no show being built?



- Luke Granholm Recives Kennedy Center Teaching Award

- Garth Hemphill Joins Schuler Shook as New Principal

- My Last Newsletter!

- Productions Around The Region


- MonkeyWrench Productions- Three Positions
- FOH lighting operator for a residency show + US tour dates


- Treasurer's Report
- Newsletter Archive Links
- Time to Renew Your Membership?


- Info and links to the March Conference and Stage Expo


- Current Section Officers


Member Renewal Form
Mission & Information
























From the Chair

by Corey Shelsta, NBS Section Chairperson

Todd     We were setting up a few moving lights not long ago in our concert hall here on campus.  I had worked with the conductor to create some lighting effects for a wind symphony performance.  Normally they just use the standard, no-color downlight for concerts, but they wanted to something a little different for this particular concert.  Moving lights, color changing LED washes, and a few other things.  In the process of setting all this up a question was asked of me: “Oh wow, did we get new toys?”
    Now I thought nothing of it at the time, I explained the purpose of the equipment and how it was being used.  I am not one to dwell on the past.  But I thought about this.  Why would someone call these “toys”?  I understand the connotation – something expensive.  And yes, they are.  But that word also implies a sense of something being frivolous-  a luxury item.  Something that one does not really need but purchase anyway.  I think the idea of expensive equipment being though of as “toys” comes from a lack of knowledge as to what it does.
    Are moving lights simply toys?  Or are they tools that we use to enhance our design?  Could we live without them?  Of course.  But they also serve a valuable purpose when it comes to technical theatre education.  Having even a basic knowledge of moving light programming is pretty helpful when it comes to employability.
    We have these “toys” in almost every area of theatre production.  I think flashing, moving, and color changing lights get the most attention.  Sound probably comes next with the digital consoles, giant speaker arrays, and racks of black boxes with knobs and blinky lights.  Things that people who don’t work in that area KNOW cost a lot of money, but have no idea what it is they actually do or why they are needed.
    We have a couple of 3D printers in our prop shop.  We have a machine in our costume shop that can cut out logos and patterns and applique things.  Pretty darn useful for “toys”, I think.   And if you are fortunate enough to have a CNC table in your scene shop – well that’s the ultimate “toy”, isn’t it?  But when it comes to creating detailed edges and perfectly aligned cuts that are repeated over and over for a scenic element it proves its worth.  I think we are often to eager to throw the word “toy” around when we see new equipment arriving in a shop or on stage.  We need to be better about appreciating the value of our stuff, whether from a design standpoint or an educational one.  And explaining to those who don’t understand what they do why they are tools, not toys.
    In other news, Brian Bjorklund is retiring as the editor of our newsletter.  We will be looking for someone to take over this responsibility.  And these are big shoes to fill!  I am not certain how long Brian has been creating our newsletter, but I was able to find a find a copy of one of his first ones:
    In all seriousness, Brian has been a friend and mentor to me since I joined Northern Boundary 18 years ago.  His leadership has helped to guide and grow our organization.  And I always looked forward to the newsletters to see what everyone was doing!  So, join me in thanking Brian for his years of dedicated service and best wishes on retirement.
    The board of directors discussed how to fill this role and we came up with the idea of creating a position of social media coordinator (or some other more creative title TBD).  Someone that would be in charge of not only a newsletter every few months, but also build and maintain our presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.  This is something that will be discussed at the meeting during the national Conference and Stage Expo.  Please bring your ideas and suggestions.  Also, please contact me if you are interested in taking on this role. 
    And speaking of roles that need to be filled, in looking back at the years of articles I have written, I realize that I am at the end of my term as Section Chair.  We will be looking for nominations to fill that role as well.  Once again, please contact me if you are interested and I can share my experiences and tell you more about it.  It has been one of the highlights of my career to work with all the amazing people in our region.  I have made so many friends through this experience – it has truly enriched my life.
    I don’t want to limit those who are thinking of throwing their name into consideration for either of these positions, but if you are on a tenure track in an academic setting – leadership on a regional and national level look really good on promotion and tenure applications.
    I am not able to attend the national conference this year because of scheduling conflicts.  But that does not mean I am not REALLY EXCITED that it is live and in person!  I hope all of you who are able to go have a great time!      [  ]