Thursday, July 19, 2012

Creative Team Interview #5: Michael Minahan, Set Designer for THE LOVER and DANNY

Welcome to our exciting series of interviews, where you can get to know the cast & creative team in our Summer Series, a double-header of John Patrick Shanley's Danny and the Deep Blue Sea and Harold Pinter's The Lover. The Summer Series is a true repertory event - both shows perform on the same evening with the same cast, creative team, and design concept.

The shows run back to back July 27 - August 12, 2012
Wed-Sat at 7pm;  Sat & Sun at 2pm, in New York City.

To donate (it's a worthy cause!), click here.
For tickets, click here.
For more info about The Seeing Place, click here.

Your Name:
Michael Minahan

Role in this Production:
Set Designer 

How long have you been designing/stage managing?
There has always been SOMETHING to order, build, and design. Theater has been getting the brunt of these impulses for about 12 years. 

How long have you been in NYC?
1 year +

Where are you from originally?
Charleston, SC is home. 

What's been your favorite project, to date?
I tried to single one out last time I was asked this but it's really a question I can't answer. They're all terrible and wonderful in their own way. 

What do you like about being involved with The Seeing Place?
The acting is visceral and real, and the opportunity to be a part of such an ambitious ensemble effort is very rewarding. 

What's a fun story about an experience you've had in your field?
I designed the sets and lights for a production in which I also had to run the board. It was a devised ensemble piece derived from Phaedra, and there was much reference to the gods - which ended up being directed towards us in the booth. Preesa (who was the stage manager) and I ended up dressing the part since so much attention was thrown our way - and ultimately I was expected to learn the final dance sequence for the theme which was Lady Gaga's JUST DANCE. I have very good rhythm (debatable?) but very bad memory, and the whole thing was a debacle. But some of the most fun I've had in theater. 

What's your previous experience with these two plays (THE LOVER and DANNY....)?
I hadn't read or seen either of them. I'm thrilled to be working on such great and varied texts about navigating intimacy. They're going to offer our audience a rich and unexpected evening for sure. 

What's been the most challenging thing about preparing for these projects?
Finding a dialogue between the two plays so they can coexist on the same stage in the same evening is the exciting design challenge. The logistical and technical challenges are going to hit hard durring the next two weeks. You should ask me this question again in August! 

What excites you about The Summer Series?
These plays and these two wonderful actors. 

Learn more about Michael at

To donate to support this project, please click here.


  1. That is such a wonderful painting! I really like it.

    Thank you for your energy and passion. Your perspective on visual storytelling has inspired me a great deal. It's really refreshing to be able to have a ensemble that involves great designers like you.

  2. I agree with Brandon - it's so refreshing to be around creative people who add something so valuable to the artistic conversation. Every actor should be so lucky to be closely collaborating with designers who create their world for them! :)

  3. Preesa Adeline BullingtonJuly 20, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    FYI Michael I was not the SM for Status. I only did costumes and ended up having to be in the booth with you because we needed something to feed the fabric out of the window to the actors. Sarah Winsor was the SM. You and your bad memory. : )


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