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Company Spotlight: Bill Black and Samantha Allred

Bill Black, Costume Designer

Have you ever worked at the Festival before? I
This is my 24th summer season.  I have also done 5 Fall seasons.  I have designed costumes for almost 50 plays.

Where’s your home base?
Knoxville, Tennessee.  I am the associate head of the Theatre Department at the University of Tennessee and the resident costume designer for the Clarence Brown Theatre Company - a LORT theatre in residence on the campus.

What’s your education/training background?
I have an MFA in costume design from the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana.

What brought you to your field and what keeps you doing your craft?
Like many folks in the theatre I started as an actor - at age 4.  I have always been an artist and sewing and clothing have been avenues of expression for me.  Being a costume designer is a perfect combination of actor, artist, and sewing.  I get to play all the parts in the play in my head while I’m designing the clothes.  The sketches are my art and the making of the costumes feeds my need to create clothes.

How will you spend your time off while here?
Seeing the beautiful sights that are part of the charm of Southern Utah - hiking and touring in nature.

What does the Festival Experience mean to you?
It’s been the highlight of my year every year for the past 24!  While I love what I do the rest of the year, my time here renews and refreshes me.  I feel like part of a family of artists whose spring and summer home is here.  I always feel like I’m coming home when I arrive here in May.

If it applies, do you have a favorite memory of working in the Adams Theatre?
The first dress rehearsal of my first production (The Merry Wives of Windsor) in 1992.  I rained all afternoon and just before time for the rehearsal to begin the rain stopped and there was a spectacular rainbow over the theatre.  We had a lovely dress rehearsal and I knew at that moment I was someplace I was supposed to be.

If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
Making shoes fit anyone who put them on.

If you had a time machine, where would you like to visit?
Elizabethan Stratford upon Avon - that sounds corny but I mean it.

 

Samantha Allred, Actor

Have you ever worked at the Festival before?
Last year was my first year with the festival in which I was in the Greenshow, I was ensemble in Sense and sensibility and Rapunzel in Into the Woods.

Where’s your home base?
I most recently am from Cedar city where I am finishing up school at Southern Utah university.

What’s your education/training background?
By December of this year I will have my Bachelor’s in Fine Arts in Musical Theatre From SUU.

What brought you to your field and what keeps you doing your craft?
Well I have always loved theatre but once I got to college I found myself in the music program because I guess I thought it was more sensible. I was there for two years when in the spring if 2012 I was diagnosed with stage 2 cancer called Hodgkins Lymphoma. I immediately dropped school and underwent 6 months of intense chemotherapy. during that time though I discovered that life is really only worth living if you are doing what you really love, so I changed to theatre and haven’t looked back. I am now happy to report that I am happy and healthy and all doing what I love!

How will you spend your time off while here?
I love physical exercise so anything that has to do with that. I also love to keep my hands busy by doing crafts like crochet, or painting or drawing. Um I’m also reading Harry Potter for the first time this summer. I’m on book 3. Yay me.

What does the Festival Experience mean to you?
The festival experience means more to me than almost anything in the world. Starting as an audience member myself coming in the summer and see the festival from the outside with hopes to one day be in a show that is as beautiful and flawless as ones they put on. Then seeing my dream become a reality and knowing the kind of impact we are making as members of this company is one of the greatest achievements I have ever done.

Also knowing that our patrons are getting to be a part of much more than one or two single plays, but knowing they have 6 plays to choose from and talk backs and seminars and meet and greets and so much more is so satisfying as a member of this company.

If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
Oh man…. um I’d like to slow down and freeze time. This is because you can pretty much accomplish many other super hero powers with this one power. You can, of course,  freeze time but you can travel super fast because of it (no time at all) you can be invisible because no one will see you come or go. You can beat just about anyone because they can’t fight someone who is super fast and I would just love not having to waste time getting from one place to another.

If you had a time machine, where would you like to visit?
Probably Rome in the prime of its reign. (: just because it’s very cool. Or maybe Jerusalem in Christ’s time because how freaking interesting would that be.

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