culture / nature / structure

Meghan Moe Beitiks
Design

Concert Under the Stars with Frankie & Myrrh (2019)

Media Design for “Concert under the Stars” with Frankie & Myrrh  at the Chaffee Planetarium at the Grand Rapids Public Museum, in collaboration with the artists. Photos by Emily Hromi/GRPM.

Concert Under the Stars with Fiona Dickinson (2019)

Media Design for “Concert under the Stars” with Fiona Dickinson at the Chaffee Planetarium at the Grand Rapids Public Museum, in collaboration with the artists. Photos by Emily Hromi/GRPM.

Concert Under the Stars with Mertle (2018)

Media Design for “Concert under the Stars” with Mertle at the Chaffee Planetarium at the Grand Rapids Public Museum, in collaboration with the artists. Photos by Emily Hromi/GRPM. Pictured: Space Pong, for “All I Gotta Do.”

 

 

 

Concert Under the Stars with Jes Kramer (2018)

Media and Set Design for “Concert under the Stars” with Jes Kramer at the Chaffee Planetarium at the Grand Rapids Public Museum, in collaboration with the artist. Wide-angle photos by Emily Hromi/GRPM.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Conviction of Pearl Dakota (2014)

IMG_4413Choreographer JN Soto created a dance piece, generated in part by his cast, based on movements observed at the City of Chicago traffic courts, and his own fictional writing. I created the lighting, set, and some sound design.

The piece performed in the Dance Studio at the Chicago Cultural Center. I built a series of flats, framing the studio mirrors with scrap fabric. Originally conceived as a kind of horizon line, this framing was meant to create visual depth in the piece, to reference the boxy framing of cubicles and the architecture of the space, and to give an alternative narrative to the action onstage. Lighting consisted of steely blues and no-color fronts. Sound included recordings from the traffic courts lobby, remixed into its own music and reversed.

With Anna Greenawalt, Joseph Hutto, Dani Martinez and April Noga.

The Conviction of Pearl Dakota from J. Soto on Vimeo.

 

Atom-r: The Operature (2014)

Atom-r 8I designed the lights for Atom-r’s US premeire of The Operature at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Chicago. I also assisted in production management and acted as Stage Manager.  

Atom-r is a provisional collective exploring forensics, anatomy, and 21st century embodiment through performance, language and emerging technologies. Participants include Mark Jeffery (choreography), Judd Morrissey (text and technology), Justin Deschamps, Sam Hertz, Christopher Knowlton, and Blake Russell (performers).

The Operature is a live performance and augmented reality (AR) poem engaging themes of anatomical science and spectacle. The work’s choreography and use of technology are influenced by research into a series of diverse anatomical histories including early-modern surgical theatres, Francis Glessner Lee’s miniature crime scene re-enactments known as the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, and The Stud File, an autobiographical record of the sexual exploits of Samuel Steward, a 20th century tattoo artist, gay pornographer, and friend of Gertrude Stein.

I created a parallel choreography to the piece with lighting, introducing two “operators” (Luis Meijer and Jake Vogds) that followed the action with antique floodlights. The instruments themselves spoke to a space between operating room and interrogation chamber, the operators simultaneously interrogators, voyeurs, and examiners. An attempt on my part to expand the world of the piece, comment on the source material, and make the lighting a fellow performer.

 

Another beautiful Zspace wedding (2011)

So, after the epic adventure designing my brother’s wedding at ZSpace, a San Francisco theater, I was enlisted to go at it again. The ceremony featured a split laser: the reception involved a tea ceremony and lavender cupcakes. The happy couple had specific color themes: beyond that, I was inspired to mix ZSpace’s amazing rep plot to create certain layered looks. It was especially fun making a gobo top wash for the tables, and a series of crazy chase sequences for the dance party. I also assisted the couple in some planning and staffing.

Photos by the amazing Michelle Damas.

Considering Sustainable Design @ PQ 2011

Every four years theater artists of all kinds gather in the Czech Republic for the Prague Quadrennial. Countries set up pavilions to display the best of their professional and graduate-level stage design. The city is swarmed with performances, lectures, panels and demonstrations. When I first went in 2003, site-specific performance was highlighted as a fascinating trend in scenography. Since then, the Quadrennial has expanded from a stage-design conference to a dialogue on all things performance and space. Site-specific projects are more the rule, less the exception. I’m here until June 27th, nerding out with the folks from the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts. We’ll be participating in a Roundtable Discussion– Considering Sustainable Design— on June 21st. Check sustainablepractice.org for further updates. Until then, I’m loving me some cobblestones.

p.s. : the Latvian pavilions are kicking butt, as usual.

American Layercake. (2011)

The design concept of this show was points of light. Like little star-drops, like the stuff your pupils eat when you’re on drugs. The show, created by the David Herrera Performance Company, was intended to follow the story of a family through struggle and time. It opened with a solo piece by Shae Colette, pictured here. I enlisted a few genius electrician friends to help me build many dangling sculpted LED practicals, which hung above the stage like stars caught in hairballs. If you look closely, you can also see the little lights we attached to dancers’ fingertips. This was so much fun. Media design by Olivia Ting. Assistant Directed by Jean Johnstone.

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Mike + Emily: designing my brother’s wedding (2010)

Want an adventure sometime? Design an event for two people who are producing the most important event of their lives. That was my brother’s wedding to Emily Smith, now Beitiks. It involved gobos, wall stickers, walkie-talkies, a slow buffet line, the colors blue and white, rosemary, and a very hard-working wedding party.

These photos are long overdue: the wedding was last year, in 2010. This was in Z Space in San Francisco, using a lot of their plot and some trees from Friends of the Urban Forest. I’ve finally digested all my production-managing and lighting-designing well enough to edit the photos.

That’s me instructing the uncle of the bride in one pic, by the way. I was tempted to include a few pics of me hugging my new sister-in-law or marching around with a radio looking serious. I resisted.

And yes, Mike + Emily are now Happily Ever After.

Photos: Kim Komenich

Photos from SF Sketchfest 2011.

Photos from SFSketchfest are up on the online gallery! Check them out and drink in all of my mic-setting/light-focusing/production managing mania for all of December and January. And part of February.

David Herrera Performance Company makes a layercake. (2010)

DHPCo is an SF-based dance theater group. I’ve been their resident designer since 2005. This is a photo from last season’s show, “Origins.” This year the show is called “American Layercake,” and we’re working with LED props, some of which I am building. Ulp! Right now in rehearsal the dancers are running around with points of light on their fingertips. We go into tech next week. Show opens at Dance Mission Theatre on March 11th. Should be fun.

SF Sketchfest!

This is my third year as Technical Production Manager for SF Sketchfest. This beast of a festival usually involves 8-11 venues, 100 + performances, and a lot of stress-dissolving laughter. This year we’re coordinating a Viva Variety Reunion and bringing together some SNL Originals with Inside Joke. At least: the producers are bringing it together. I’m wrangling the mics, furniture, tech staff and funny hats. The first year I worked this gig I designed the lights for the first live all-member reunion of The State in 11 years. I nearly peed my pants. I’m hoping that at this point my bowel control has advanced considerably.

I’m in Yosemite (working. seriously).

This is my second year as Lighting Technician for the Bracebridge Dinner at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite. It’s a great gig, for a number of reasons: the scenery, the free food, the fact that the TD actually listens to my design suggestions (two new specials this year!). In between shifts in the scissor lift, I’m finishing up my COP16 coverage and preparing for SFSketchfest. I’ve also been watching the videos from Green Stage Scratch Night. It looks like it was a great production, with a lot of work done in very limited time. Unfortunately their camerawoman got caught in a subway strike and it had to be filmed on an iphone. Took me ten minutes for me to get the courage to watch it. Definitely a learning experience, made some necessary edits clear. In the meantime, I’m waving hello to the deer.

Funhouses (2003+)

In the early 2000s I got very excited about funhouses as interactive spaces of abstract form. While traveling around the country with veggie buses and hitchhiking, I would stop at state fairs and carnivals to take pictures, and geek out on Carnival History. At some point I also assisted an elementary school class in making their own roller coasters. This is essentially an archive of the photos and explorations of that time.