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SCENIC DESIGN: The New Theatre: CAMELOT
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For several years I worked primarily as a theatre designer, and did alright. But it's very hard to make a good living as a theatre designer. I somehow ended up working as the resident designer for three dinner theatres (The Westchester Broadway Theatre in Elmsford, NY; the Fireside Dinner Theatre in Ft. Atkinson, WI; and The New Theatre Restaurant in Overland Park, KS). But it is very hard to do 13-15 shows a year as I did in those days, and feel like I was really creating artwork.

I have to say that the most rewarding experiences were with the New Theatre Restaurant. This theatre began as two theatres (Tiffany's Attic and Waldo Astoria) in Kansas City. The owners Dennis Hennessy and Richard Carrothers made a great move in the late 90's consolidating their efforts in one place in this fast-growing suburb of Kansas City.

The New Theatre is a very well thought out facility, with great food, plenty of liquor, and they take great pains in creating as good a theatrical experience as they do a dining experience.

Their standard season is 4 to 5 light comedies starring a name actor from 80's and 90's television shows, and one musical. It may not be to everyone's taste, but it works.

I did several musicals there but I think the one I'm most satisfied with as a design project was CAMELOT.