Podcast Episode 111 – Broadway Set Designer, Derek McLane.

Designers are some of my favorite people to interview because it’s the area of the theater I know the least about.

And Derek McLane is one of my favorite designers, not only because he’s great at what he does, but because he explains what he does with such simplicity that even a guy like me, who can’t draw a stick figure, gets it.

And if you’ve seen any of his terrific designs, like Anything Goes or Follies or Pajama Game, Fully Committed or Ragtime, then you get it as well.

I had a blast talking to Derek (just like I had a blast working with him on designing Gettin’ The Band Back Together, the show he did for me that’s circling the runway of Broadway).  We talked about everything design related and more including:

  • Why a fish tank led to his career in design.
  • The one piece of advice that got him accepted into the Yale School of Drama.
  • How you can get him to design one of your shows.
  • The big part of a designer’s job that people don’t know about.
  • How projections will influence design in the future . . . or how they won’t?

If you’re a designer, then you’ve got to listen in to this Master Class.

If you’re not a designer, then you’ve got to listen in to this Master Class . . . twice.

Click here for the link to my podcast with Mr. McLane!

Listen to it on iTunes here.  (And if you like the podcast, give it a great review, while you’re there!)

Download it here.

Sorry about the sound issues in this podcast. We found the bug and fixed it in later episodes. It gets better, I promise 🙂


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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.