I AM THEATRE: Neil Patel

I AM THEATRE: Neil Patel


In 1995, I designed the set for “The Adding
Machine” which was directed by Anne Bogart. I had a large wallpaper panel – it was 40
feet wide, 8 feet tall and it descended out of the grid and rotated downstage to create
defined interiors. It was sort of an interestingly challenging piece to have. But the moment
that I knew it would work, when we were in the theater, in technical rehearsals, Darron
West, the sound designer, had designed this sound that went with the movement of it. And
the first time that it happened it was kind of a great revelation in the way that the
design elements together create a moment that was unexpected. What keeps you alive, I think, creatively
is always a certain level of fear that you’re doing something that won’t work, that is maybe
unconventional, or unusual, or maybe ill-guided. But it’s nonetheless, sometimes those are
the best ideas. And I think what makes that then possible or for that fear not to completely
overwhelm you is always having the right collaborators, having the people who will give you the confidence
to make the daring idea work. I’m Neil Patel and I AM THEATRE.

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