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Notable Neighbor Clay James: He is designed units from Hickory to San Francisco | Native Information

There were many other theaters. There were some that I call one-offs that I only built once for. I stayed with some of them for 10 or 20 years. There were several companies that I stayed with. When their productions showed up, I went ahead and made them. Sometimes I was technical director, sometimes I designed. Of course, at that age, I had a lot more energy.

Usually the technical director oversees all technical elements – that doesn’t mean he or she does them all. I would make sure we have the people on the ground and the equipment. My focus was on construction and painting. That was my strong point, but we usually hired people for sound, light, video and so on. It’s similar here, my strengths are building, painting. I do a lot with software, down to background scenes when we need them. Eric Seale will take care of much of the video. I don’t do a lot with video. I have the software, I just don’t know how to use it.

Process for set ideas

Usually we have an initial production meeting where we come up with the idea. There is a lot of give and take for what we want. I read the script. Maybe I’ll go to other shows and then finally formulate what I think, and at the first production meeting I present my designs and thoughts through photos or quick little drawings, then it goes on.

Once we have decided where to go, I’ll start rendering and drawing. Once that’s done, I started a big call for volunteers and that’s it. The volunteers come in and we have it built and painted. It pretty much follows the designs. Every now and then there will be a little change, but not often. We do 10 shows a year and there is no time for changes.

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