Poster for John Logan's "Red" at Berkeley Rep. The background image is a red painting in the style of Mark Rothko. The foreground is an extreme closeup of a simplified silhouette section of eyeglasses like those worn by Rothko. A small man in silhouette stands inside the lens, his feet on the bottom rim of the lens. The image represents the younger artist dominated by the gigantic presence of Rothko.
Poster for the stage adaptation of Green Day's "American Idiot," first at Berkeley Rep and later on Broadway. The image is a thoughtful remix of the original album art by Chris Bilheimer, including the iconic stencil-ish hand holding a hand grenade in the shape of a heart.
Poster for Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" at Impact Theatre. The image is an old-school Hollywood clapper with the title and director's (Melissa Hillman) last name, evoking the classic Hollywood setting of this production.
Poster for the play "Blackademics" at Crowded Fire Theater. The image is a closeup of a woman's mouth as she is about to eat a forkful of salad, a mix of baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, and razor blades.
Poster for TheatreFIRST's stage adaptation of Orwell's "Animal Farm," called "The Farm." The image is a gritty black and white portrait of an actor who plays a pig: her face is dirtied, as is the rubber snout tied around her head with elastic string.
Poster for The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles's production of "Henry IV" featuring Tom Hanks and Joe Morton. The image is a tankard of ale knocked over on a wooden table, the spilled ale making a stain on the table in the shape of a crown -- or jester hat.
Poster for the play "Fallaci" at Berkeley Rep. The image is of cigarette smoke rising from the bottom against a red to black gradient. There are seven translucent names, one to each line, in large capital letters, such as Qadafi to Kissinger, one letter of each name standing out in a vertical column to reveal the letters FALLACI (each name is a famous person Oriana Fallaci interviewed; she also famously had a raspy voice from smoking).
Poster for the play "Waafrika 123" at TheatreFIRST. The poster is a blue background with a triple exposure of the protagonist in silhouette, reaching up his hands in different directions. From each of the top corners another hand reaches out to those of the protagonist.
Poster for the play "You for Me for You" at Crowded Fire Theater. The image is of the profile of faces of two women facing each other, one at the top looking down, the other at the bottom looking up. Red carnation petals float down from the eyes of the woman on top into the mouth of the woman at the bottom. The poster is designed such that it could almost be flipped upside down and still be readable, with the title words one to a line, stacked vertically, with the second "for" and "you" upside down.
Poster for Sarah Ruhl's adaptation of Chekhov's "Three Sisters," directed by Les Waters at Berkeley Rep. The title is woven in front of and behind three stylized birch trees, each in a different season: summer, fall, and winter, evoking the personalities of the sisters.
Poster for Oakland Symphony for a program featuring Dvořák's "New World Symphony." The image is evocative of a classic early 20th century travel poster for an ocean liner with the composers and titles on the bow of the ship.
Poster for Lauren Yee's debut play "Ching Chong Chinaman" at Impact Theatre. The image is a surprised-looking donkey piñata that is spewing fortune cookies from its belly.
Poster for Christopher Chen's "Mutt: Let's All Talk About Race" at Impact Theatre. The image is of a multiethnic politician in the style of the Barack Obama "Hope" poster, in a stylized illustration that changes the colors of the inspiration image to brown, magenta, yellow, orange, and a blue with horizontal lines as if from television.
Poster for "Participants," a collection of short plays at TheatreFIRST. In the background is a subtle image of industrial gears blending into a view of the Earth from space. In the foreground, the letters of "PARTICIPANTS" are spread out like numbers on a clock, with the hands of the clock positioned at 11:58, reminiscent of the Doomsday Clock.
Poster for Naomi Iizuka's "Concerning Strange Devices from the Distant West," directed by Les Waters at Berkeley Rep. The image is a photo of two lovers' implied nude bodies together as if in intercourse. One partner's body has an elaborate Japanese tattoo of a dragon; the other's body has an equally elaborate Japanese tattoo of clouds and flames, such that when the bodies are combined in lovemaking, the dragon is breathing fire.
Poster for Brecht's "Mother Courage" at Berkeley Rep. The image is a dirty foot emerging from the bell of a shiny trumpet. Around the large toe is wrapped old-style military ID tags as though it were a toe tag of a dead soldier. The background is a green hillside and storm clouds.
Poster for the play "Titus Andronicus" at Impact Theatre. It's a black and white image of a woman seen from the mouth to chest, drenched in blood. Over the image is a translucent large TITUS in red.
Poster for "I Call My Brothers" at Crowded Fire Theater. The image is a man with a Palestinian scarf around his neck. It's a stern portrait but the man's eyes are censored by being transformed into mosaic boxes of color that obscure his identity.
Poster for Martin McDonagh's "The Pillowman" at Berkeley Rep. The image is a young boy's face being swallowed in a sea of white feathers.
Poster for the play "Year of the Rooster" at Impact Theatre. The style of the poster is reminiscent of a boxing announcement with strong condensed wood type sans on aged, yellowed newsprint, with two red illustrations of rooster heads facing off against each other from either side of the poster.
Poster for Shakespeare's "Richard III" at Impact Theatre. The image is a photo closeup of a man in a conservative suit and tie like that of a politician, viewed from the collar to the chest. The focus is on his fingers affixing a cuff link that is adorned with an actual human tooth.
Poster for Lynn Nottage's "Ruined" at Berkeley Rep. Image is a beautiful piece of cloth in a triangular geometric pattern in red, yellow, purple, and turquoise reminiscent of fabric from Congo, being violently torn apart by two hands. The void within the rip is black and centered on the poster.
Poster for Trevor Allen's solo show "Working for the Mouse" at Impact Theatre. The image is a stylized illustration, as if from a graphic novel or comic, of an ice cream cone with scoops of vanilla ice cream in the shape of Mickey ears, but that it fell on the ground and is slowly melting into oblivion.

Poster Design

Stop and look.

A poster needs to do one thing: make you stop and look. My goal is always to create an arresting image that makes you want to know more about the show. I imbue each design with emotion and smart references to the play and its themes, but I try not to make anything too obvious. I want it to evoke the play rather than scream. If you don't get the references, I'm ok with that. I just want you to be curious. After you've seen the show and come across the poster image again, I hope you'll say, "ah, now I see what he did there." And then sometimes I just want it to be a beautiful image.

Image descriptions: the photo carousel on this page features some of my posters appearing across the country, from LA to the Bay Area to Broadway.

Let’s fill those seats.

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