Artist O’ the Week: Kevin Holden!

27 Apr
set design for The Unexpected Man

The set for THE UNEXPECTED MAN, designed by Kevin Holden

Kevin Holden, this week’s AotW, a prolific designer and director, designed the set and lighting for THE UNEXPECTED MAN, playing through May 13. Known for his fun-loving personality and his unique design perspective, Kevin shares a little about his background and what led him to direct and design for the theatre.

KEVIN: I was born in Pasa-get-down-dena!  I lived there until I left home for school in Austin. I work in almost all aspects of theatre, but primarily directing and design.

I knew it was going to be theatre during my first senior year at The University of Texas . . . I had been studying premed for three years, and was looking to my future with extreme dread.  I was taking an upper level English class that focused on the works of Shakespeare exclusively.  My professor gave the class an option of doing a scene from one of the plays in place of writing one of the many papers for due throughout the course.  I reluctantly decided to do a scene, and it became the pebble that started an avalanche.  After that scene I changed my major to Theatre with a concentration in acting and directing, and that was that.

STAGES: What about Yasmina Reza’s THE UNEXPECTED MAN intrigued you?

KEVIN: Two things mainly.  The script, of course.  It’s beautiful.  And the prospect of working on a show where the actors never talk to each other until the very last few minutes of the piece is intriguing as well.  The other intrigue came from working with Seth Gordon.  It’s always a new adventure as a designer to work with a new director.

STAGES: What was your process as you began your design?

KEVIN: What was my process?  What process?  I read the script, and it made pictures in my head.  I refined those pictures, and built a model of it.  Then I drafted it.  Then Jo-Jo [Stages master carpenter Joseph Blanchard, an artist in his own right!] built it.

STAGES: That sounds like it’s an organic process for you. Those are some amazing pictures that came out of your head! Is there something you hope the audience notices about the design as they watch this play?

KEVIN: I really hope the audiences don’t notice much about the design.  The design should ultimately bring focus to the two captivating actors on that turntable.  The set and lights are really just there to help establish an elegant and ever-changing mood around the two travelers.

STAGES: Alright, enough about work! Summer is coming up; what does Kevin do in his down time?

KEVIN: SUMMER!  I usually enjoy doing a scenic and lighting design for Stages’ summer musical, which includes grillin’ some food, a good game of tape ball, and some corn-holin’ around the fountain after tech rehearsal.  This summer however, I’m going to be having my first baby. It’s a going to be a girl, and her name (at least at this moment) is Ellis Arwen-James Holden. So I’ll be doing a lot of hanging around the house, and not sleeping most of the summer. Beyond that, I’ll also be working on Horse Head Theatre Co.’s world premier of JUAREZ, which is set to open in August at the Silo.

STAGES: Congrats to you on both of those new projects, Kevin!

THE UNEXPECTED MAN plays through May 13 and tickets are available here or via the box office, 713.527.0123.

Comments? Suggestions for the AotW? Post them below!

summer fun at Stages

What Kevin would USUALLY be doing during Stages' summer show(s)....

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