Play Place - Arts + Culture Texas
Dusti Rhodes interviewed me (as well as Houston scenic designers Kevin Rigdon and Jodi Bobrovsky) for a recent article in Arts + Culture Texas
Designer Ryan McGettigan leans toward the abstract as well. (Houstonians likely remember his remarkable use of trapdoors for the Classical Theatre Company’s production of Ubu Roi.) McGettigan is the resident scenic designer for Cape Red Theatre in Massachusetts, and has designed sets for theaters all over the United States, including local companies such as Houston Grand Opera, Stages, Main Street Theater and Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.
His recent design for Stages’ production of The Language Archive featured a file cabinet that seemed to grow up and out of the floor. But the surrealism didn’t end there. “Then it turns into a bakery,” he says and explains how as the scent of bread is sprayed into the audience, the file cabinet drawer fronts flip open and turn into bakery shelves.
“And there’s like three million loaves of bread. That, I love: Like, here’s what you’re looking at the entire time, which is weird in itself. You’re drawn to it because you don’t know everything about it and that’s what’s exciting – That’s what’s exciting about most things: If you know everything about it, why bother? Then, after staring at it for the past hour-and-a-half, it changes in this big way,” explains McGettigan.
When working for Cape Red in 2010, McGettigan designed the set for Eurydice, a play chronicling a mythological Greek woman’s unfortunate journey into the Underworld. For that play, McGettigan strung tiles together to create a structure similar to a beaded curtain, but to the audience, it looked like a solid wall. Once again, McGettigan defied and surprised.
“As [she] descended into the Underworld, it was her slowly going across this curtain and the entire world starts shaking like a dream sequence in a movie where everything becomes wavy,” McGettigan explains.
On the Verge - Back to the Future
Ryan McGettigan's set is surprisingly evocative.
[ On the Verge ] is the strongest offering from the Nora I've seen for some time...
Cape Rep makes most of Circle Mirror Transformation
Ryan McGettigan's set design and Herrick Goldman's lighting make the studio so real that tiny ballerinas could take over the stage during daytime hours. And Roudebush slyly uses the space for more small character cues, down to how someone flips on the bank of fluorescent lights when he or she is the first to class.
Avenue Q Paved with Wit and Imagination
Kudos to Ryan McGettigan for a terrifically rendered set. ... Avenue Q is a huge and complicated show to take on, and everyone at Cape Rep deserves credit for trying it, then succeeding so beautifully. This is a production people will be talking about for a long time — don't miss it.
It’s Easy To Fall For Cape Rep’s Hilarious Red Herring
Ryan McGettigan’s set design was clever. The shelves, drawers and windows of the set were reminiscent of the wall from “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In,” minus the colors. A couch would appear out of the wall for the McCarthy living room, a full-sized bed for Frank’s bedroom, another bed in Andrei’s boarding house room, a clerk’s window at city hall or a pier in the fog, all with a quick blackout. ... Credit for the set’s effectiveness should also go to Herrick Goldman’s light design and James Sugg’s sound design.
Cape Rep's Eurydice Will Entice!
Ryan McGettigan's set design, complemented by Herrick Goldman's lighting, should be lauded up front. Their creations bring the play to life and conjure a mystical palette with which Hanlon paints her players.
Secret Love Life of Ophelia - Theatre Mirror Review
Simple elegance marks the Nora Theatre production. Ryan McGettigan’s gorgeous, elevated wooden oval rings a pond which will become Ophelia’s grave. Erin F. Moulton dances light off the water as the two circle round the walkway. Director Wesley Savick has the actors pass by but never directly address each other, making us crave a physical connection.