What She Does: Jodi Bobrovsky is the properties manager at Stages Repertory Theatre and works with other local troupes as well. She is in charge of creating anything a production needs that isn't an outfit or a wall. In her case this has included suitcases, swords, books, wallets, keys, and an entire range of props based off Salvador Dali's work for Kira Obolensky's play Lobster Alice.
Work on Lobster Alice earned her the nickname "The Girl Who Melted Time," as a result of her sculpting Dali's famous melting clocks as well as dancing lobsters, ants, a remote-controlled girl with a hoop, pianos with trees growing out of them, a giant block of sliding fake ice with a rose embedded, a lip couch that swallowed people, a pink fur-lined file cabinet, and more.
Why She Likes It: "Every play presents different challenges and provides new learning opportunities. It's never a repetitive job. I love researching different periods of history and learning about historical figures, art and philosophical movements, through theater. I enjoy the collaborative process. There are fewer egos to deal with in the production side of theater.
"Usually, the design team is excited about working together toward the goal of creating a 'world' that serves the playwright's intention, provides a safe environment for the actors, and an immersive experience for the audience. It's really similar to a group of kids playing nicely in the sandbox, creating ephemeral sand cities together. "
What Inspires Her: Bobrovsky isn't much of a theater geek. She's never seen a Broadway play or had formal theater training. Her approach to creating comes from the bold, take-no-prisoners attitude she developed as a musician and journalist in the free-form punk movement in the '80s.
She is, in her words, a collector of images, which she mentally stores away until they can be used in future projects. As an artist, she admires the work of Robert Rauschenberg, Joseph Cornell and Marcel Duchamp.
If Not This, Then What: An organic celebrity chef.
If Not Here, Then Where: "Jerome, Arizona. It's an hour north of Phoenix, on top of a mountain with gorgeous views, and is populated by old hippies, draft dodgers, artists and outsiders. It's like a mini-Austin, but isolated, and lost in time. I think they need a theater company."
What's Next: Bobrovsky will be working with 27 different productions in Houston over the 2011-2012 season, including Stages.
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