Here's a typical Wednesday at Berkeley Rep: Patron Services Manager Katrena Jackson and I are standing in the rain, pretending to tear some fabric, while Art Director Cheshire Isaacs takes pictures.
As it turned out, those photos were a proof of concept for the Ruined poster, and the real shoot took place a few days later with three different "volunteers": E.T. Hazzard, who's a carpenter in our scene shop; Samantha Budd, our graphic design fellow; and Kate Vangeloff, our marketing and box office fellow. Sam and Kate held the fabric up while E.T. "tore" it (those are his hands in the photo), and the result -- after much photo-wizardry by Cheshire and Sam -- is the poster you see below.
After my near-brush with stardom, I started wondering about the other faces (and limbs) in our other show posters. Were they not, as I previously imagined, trained models who sipped Evian and called their agents between shots? Or were they actually just the staff members sitting closest to Cheshire when he got his big idea?
Pretty much, yeah.
Here's another example: A couple of seasons ago, we produced In the Next Room (or the vibrator play). Whose eyeball is that peeking through the keyhole? Why it's our very own Margo Chilless, special events manager!
And what about Finn in the Underworld? The boy on the left is Oliver Sweibel, son of the director of marketing & communications, Robert Sweibel. The man to the right is former Facilities Director Mike Schaefer (not Tom Hanks, as I had originally guessed).
Turns out Oliver wasn't the only child of a staff member to make his big debut in a Berkeley Rep poster. General Manager Karen Racanelli's son Cassady Bogatin lent his sweet little face to The Pillowman poster a few years back.
"The marketing team was looking for an innocent-looking child and he fit the bill," Karen recalls. "Cheshire created a frame with feathers attached, so while it looks like he’s lying on a bed of feathers, he is really lying on the hard floor with a frame around his face. His little sister was also at the photo shoot and terribly jealous not to be included. But she got her turn at the holiday party where Cheshire brought the frame and took photos of staff and kids on a 'pillow bed' as well." Awwww.
Having trouble imagining the contraption? Here's a behind-the-scenes photo of Cheshire doing a test shot with former Marketing Associate Adrienne Mansard:
Oh, but it doesn't stop there. Director of Public Relations Terence Keane's foot makes an appearance in the art for Mother Courage:
And Alli Nash, former graphics intern, can be seen frolicking in To the Lighthouse:
Argonautika probably wins for most staff members in a single poster, although no one can remember exactly whose hands are whose. "It was after a meet and greet or something -- a lot of people just dove in," Cheshire tells me. (Our best guess is that the pair on the right belong to E.T. again and the hand to his left is former Marketing Associate Megan Spence's.)
I've yet to be immortalized in a Berkeley Rep poster, but I'm not ready to give up on the dream. (I figure if I follow Cheshire around long enough, he's got to cave eventually.)
What's your favorite Berkeley Rep poster? Know who the mystery hands belong to in Argonautika? Let us know in the comments!
My hand is in there! I think I'm the one right next to E.T. and I think Spence is the one on the far left. There were like 8 of us standing in the courtyard holding up a little boat just after the meet & greet.
This was a great post! I remember when Alli got to frolic...we were all jealous :)
Hey Cheshire, where are my Pillowman pictures? I feel like I took some, too!
Great post! Loving some of those images.
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