"The Addams Family" and "Elf"'s lighting designer Natasha Katz talks about the path of her career, beginning with a high school community service requirement that saw her volunteering at a (now-defunct) Off-Broadway theatre and her semester away from Oberlin College as an intern/observer of designer Roger Morgan on the musical "I Remember Mama" which brought her into immediate contact with such notables as Liv Ullmann and Richard Rodgers. She discusses her on the job training (sans graduate school) with such figures as special effects whiz Bran Ferren and lighting designers Marcia Madeira and Ken Billington; explains why she thinks it takes longer now to mount a musical than it did when she began; how a tumultuous relationship with director Clifford Williams led to her Broadway debut at a very young age; what she learned from her work Off-Broadway and in regional theatre, including some 30 productions at the Dallas Theatre Center; why her task is to focus on two key elements -- people and sets -- and to both separate and unite them; how she comes to love a show that she didn't necessarily enjoy reading simply by virtue of working on it; when she joins the creative process with the director and other designers -- and whether that's always at the right time; how she constantly references and stays familiar with lighting in other shows and even other mediums; what it was like to be part of a triumvirate of designers for "The Coast of Utopia"; and why she thinks lighting design was initially very open to female designers and why she believes it's headed in the wrong direction today. Original air date - January 12, 2011.
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