25 in the present; 25 in the past

This week on Friday I opened my final two productions of the year (lighting design for A Christmas Story at Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre and scenic design for Dear Elizabeth with Renegade Theater in Duluth), so it feels like a good time to look back on 2018. I know I’m a busy guy, but I’m always surprised when I count up the projects I’ve done in a year.

In 2018, my team and I opened a whopping 25 theater productions (either designing, building, or both), 1 escape room, and 2 major exhibits. Phew! A lot of the design work is done on my own, but there’s no way I could do some of fabrication projects without my team of hardworking BrownKnows Design freelancers. Thank goodness for talented friends without full-time jobs, right?

Besides the 25 theater productions that I did this year, there’s another reason that the number 25 is pertinent… I realized that I’m going into my 25th year of doing theater! Who knew, back at the community college when I was forced to choose between a public speaking class and a stagecraft class, where that choice would lead? I had never been involved in theater AT ALL (aside from Sunday School plays that my mom wrote), but that stagecraft class opened my eyes to a new field.

My own spreadsheet lists at least 300 productions from then to now (and I’m sure I’m missing a few), so that means that I have averaged slightly more than 1 PLAY PER MONTH for each of the past 25 YEARS! And you’d be surprised how few of them have been repeats. Jeez, can I retire yet??

So anyway, best wishes to the two shows that opened this weekend (and continue for the next couple weeks, so check them out)! The opportunity to work with fun and creative people who are passionate about their art is what keeps me going when it all gets too crazy.

I’m already in the discussion and planning stages for at least 10 shows in the first few months of 2019 (as well as an exhibit or two), so you haven’t heard the last of me yet. Right now I’m particularly looking forward to a lighting design residency in Phoenix in late February/early March… Hmm, maybe I need an agent to book me somewhere warm and sunny in the middle of every winter! Best wishes to you all in 2019!