Johnny Carson School's Shoemaker, Madsen join United Scenic Artists, Local USA 829
calendar icon02 Apr 2015Lincoln, Neb.--Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film Assistant Professor of Theatre Laurel Shoemaker and Assistant Professor of Theatre J.D. Madsen have joined the United Scenic Artists, Local USA 829.
United Scenic Artists, Local USA 829 is a labor union and professional association of designers, artists and craftspeople, organized to protect craft standards, working conditions and wages for the entertainment and decorative arts industries. The members of Local USA 829 are artists and designers working in film, theatre, opera, ballet, television, industrial shows, commercials and exhibitions. The current membership is just over 4,300 members.
“For me, this has been a dream of mine since I was an undergraduate at UNL in the late 70’s,” Shoemaker said. “Becoming a member of the Union is the highest form of acceptance and peer review that there is for theatre designers. All of the designers I emulated and looked up to were members of the union.”
Shoemaker and Madsen were sworn into the union during the recent United States Institute of Theatre Technology’s annual conference in March in Cincinnati, Ohio.
“I look at the union not only as a collective bargaining tool and protectorate, but also as a brotherhood, similar to how an actor may view Actors Equity or Screen Actors Guild, as a hallmark of achievement and a status symbol,” Madsen said. “Local USA 829 is that same thing for designers. You stand shoulder to shoulder with the greatest names in your field, and you belong there with them. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of Local USA 829.”
Shoemaker has been working as a lighting designer and theatre artist for 30 years. Her credits include productions with Hubbard Street Dance in Chicago, Hubbard Street 2, the Chicago Dancing Festival, and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. She also was the lighting designer for “Flipside, The Patti Page Story” Off Broadway in 2012.
After receiving her BFA from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, she received her MFA from Florida State University.
Madsen is a professional freelance scenic designer and director and joined the faculty in the Johnny Carson School this year. Recently he designed the set for a Kennedy Center commissioned work titled “Grains,” as well as the regional premier of “Sex with Strangers” at the Tony Award winning Signature Theatre, which has been nominated for a Helen Hayes Award this spring.
He received his bachelor’s degree from Weber State University before completing his MFA from the University of Maryland in College Park.