Page 7 - The Islander - November '23
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The Islander, Page 7

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                                               Palm Beach Dramaworks

                    Names Anne Mundell Resident Scenic Designer

        Palm Beach Dramaworks                            is very different from how I grew up. I’m fascinated to   ‘I  better  go  practice  what  I  preach.’ And  students  are
      (PBD)  is  delighted  to                           see what’s next.”                                 phenomenal teachers.”
      announce that Anne Mundell,                           “We’re thrilled that Anne accepted our invitation,”     Mundell  took  early  retirement  in  order  to  seek  out
      an  award-winning  scenic                          said  PBD  Producing Artistic  Director William  Hayes.   new challenges. “When I was teaching, I was part of an
      designer and distinguished                         “She  is  a  pleasure  to  work  with,  and  has  a  wealth  of   amazing community of people with incredible ideas,” she
      professor emeritus, has been                       experience  and  a  rich  imagination.  She’s  also  very   said. “That’s one of the reasons I was thrilled when Bill
      named the company’s new                            forward-thinking  and  has  an  invigorating  approach  to   asked me about this job. I’m looking forward to working
      resident  scenic  designer,                        scenic design. She simply has so much to offer PBD.”  with another brilliant artistic community.”
      effective immediately.                               Mundell,  who  grew  up  in  and  around Washington,     Palm Beach Dramaworks is a professional, nonprofit
        Mundell made her PBD                             D.C., did her undergraduate work at Kenyon College in   theatre company founded in 2000 and located in the
      debut  in  2017  with  Tom  Stoppard’s  Arcadia, and   Ohio, and received a master of fine arts in scenic design   heart of downtown West Palm Beach. Each season, the
      subsequently designed the sets for Peter Shaffer’s Equus   from Brandeis University. She went to Pittsburgh to work   award-winning company produces five mainstage shows
      in  2018,  and Tennessee Williams’  A Streetcar Named   at Pittsburgh Public Theater just after grad school; her   and  offers  a  wide  variety  of  programs  for  students  at
      Desire in 2019. This season, she is designing the world   plan was to remain there for two years and then head to   the theatre and in schools. Committed to fostering the
      premieres of Jenny Connell Davis’ The Messenger and   New York. “That didn’t work out, because I kept finding   future of theatre, PBD has become a hub for playwrights
      Christopher Demos-Brown’s The Cancellation of Lauren   interesting things to do in Pittsburgh,” she said.   in Florida and around the country to nurture their work
      Fein, as well as Arthur Miller’s seminal  Death of a     One  day,  a  theatre  colleague  who  also  taught  at   through initiatives including The Dramaworkshop and
      Salesman. She is scheduled to do at least two shows a   Carnegie Mellon University asked Mundell to substitute   the Perlberg Festival of New Plays. PBD is a member of
      year at PBD.                                       for him in a class. She had no desire to teach, but she   Theatre Communications Group, Florida Professional
        “I’m  very  excited  to  have  this  opportunity,”  said   agreed  to  do  it.  “I  was  terrible,”  she  said.  “I  told  the   Theatres Association, the Cultural Council of Palm Beach
      Mundell. “Everybody made me feel so welcome from the   students everything I knew about a particular topic, and   County, and NNPN.
      first time I worked here, and I love the family atmosphere.   I was exhausted. I thought, ‘Oh, it’s the end of the class,
      I just retired from my professor job at Carnegie Mellon,   I wonder if there’s time for questions.’ Then I looked at
      where I’ve been for 30-plus years, and it’s nice to have   the clock and only 10 minutes had passed. But they kept
      another artistic home. And Dramaworks is such a good fit.   asking me back.” She served briefly as the interim head
      I really enjoy what the company does – you know, ‘theatre   of the School of Drama, spent a decade as coordinator
      to think about.’ That’s the kind of work I love to do. I feel   of design, and was associate professor of scene design
      like we’re at a point in history where artists have to bear   from 1988 until her retirement. Throughout her career in
      witness and tell stories that matter in ways that matter.   education, Mundell continued her design work in theatres
      That’s something that Dramaworks does. And everyone   around  Pittsburgh  and  various  parts  of  the  country,
      here is willing to take risks with ideas, which is always   including  Pittsburgh  Public  Theater,  Maltz  Jupiter
      fun for me. I come from a poetic, gestural tradition and   Theatre, Pittsburgh City Theatre, Utah Musical Theatre,
      like to explore the world of the play in a way that isn’t   Carnegie  Museum  of Art,  Quantum Theatre,  Hangar
      necessarily reproducing the actual physical space that the   Theatre,  Pittsburgh  Civic  Light  Opera,  St.  Michael’s
      story takes place, like a living room, for instance. I’m   Playhouse, Tennessee  Repertory Theatre,  Black  Hills
      also very interested in what theatre is going to be as we   Playhouse, and Players Theatre Columbus.
      move into a new generation of artists who think and tell     “Teaching and design became a feedback loop,” she
      stories in an aggregate way instead of a linear way, which   said.  “I  would  hear  myself  say  something  and  think,



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