Theatreworks' production of A Raisin In the Sun is fast approaching, and we know you'll love Lorraine Hansberry's revelatory masterpiece as much as we do. We got a chance to sit down with scenic designer Lawrence Moten to gain some insight into his passion for theatre.
Lawrence: I claim both Seattle, WA and San Antonio, TX as my hometowns. I was a navy brat growing up and we moved around a lot, but those two cities had the greatest impact on me and my family is still in San Antonio. Go Spurs Go!
TW: Home now?
Lawrence: I now reside in New York City. I just celebrated 6 years there!
TW: Who are your theatre idols?
Lawrence: In playwrights I love Anton Chekhov, Arthur Miller, and Dominique Morisseau; her work leaves me breathless, it leaps off the page. I have fortunately been blessed to work with the idols that I have in the world of design: Lee Savage, David Zinn, Rachel Hauck, and Alexander Dodge to name a few. I continue to learn and grow every time I have the opportunity to work with these amazing storytellers.
TW: One thing we should be doing to foster the next generation of theatregoers?
Lawrence: We have to be funding arts education at an early age. We need to make sure that our young people have access to art in middle school and earlier. We need to make it affordable for young people and young families to see live theatre, and we need to be telling stories that engage with younger audiences: stories in which young people are able to see themselves and their struggles accurately represented on stage. Only then will people continue to engage with our industry and keep it alive.
TW: Who are your heroes in real life?
Lawrence: Lately, I find myself considering those who came before me and fought for the rights and freedoms that I enjoy today. It gives me the drive that I have to keep working, keep pushing, keep trying to make the world a better place through my art. There are more people than I care to name but the weight of all that history is pushing me forward.
TW: Which talent (other than designing!) would you most like to have?
Lawrence: I always wanted to be a singer/songwriter. I am still slowly but surely working on this; I bought a guitar years ago and have been slowly teaching myself. Hopefully that turns into something more one day.
TW: What are you listening to on Spotify (iTunes, Sirius, etc)?
Lawrence: Michael Blume—he is Frank Ocean meets Beyonce meets social commentary, and I cannot stop listening. I have been following him for a few years now and I love everything he releases. Walk The Moon, PigPen Theatre Company and Frank Ocean are always on my playlists.