Norristown Stage Designer Leaves Acting to Go Behind the Scenes, Recalls ‘I Hated Auditioning’

Chris Haig
Image via Chris Haig at the Philadelphia Gay News.
Chris Haig.

Theater professional Chris Haig, who grew up in Norristown, benefited from his parents’ talent as watercolorists. Suzi Nash explained how in the Philadelphia Gay News.

The artistic interest of Haig’s parents extended to the theater. Excursions into Philadelphia for road-show performances were common, and Haig was a willing participant.

Those experiences yielded in him a desire for a performance-related career.

Haig initially saw acting as an entry point, participating in community theater productions and eventually enrolling at the University of the Arts.

A university production of The Crucible became a redirect moment. As engaged as he was in his performance, the avant-garde setting caught his attention.

“[It had] the most interesting design elements,” Haig recalled. “I’ll always remember it as a pivotal theatrical moment in my life, a new way of thinking. It taught me that theater doesn’t have to be what’s written on the page.”

He had one more impetus for ditching the dream of acting: “I hated auditioning,” he said.

Haig transitioned professionally into the props master, and from there, evolved into scenic design.

His creative process begins with a script deep-dive.

From that, sketches emerge, which he then shares with the director. “Here’s what I saw,” he opens that conversation. “Is this something you’re envisioning?”

The nitty-gritty back-and-forth that follows yields a final product.

More on Chris Haig is at the Philadelphia Gay News.


What, exactly, does a theatrical scenic designer do?

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