Introducing Signature’s new Scenic Charge Artist, Leila Spolter! Read on to learn about her role at Signature and her history as a Signature in the Schools student back in high school.
1. How does it feel to be back at Signature?
I’m excited. I grew up coming to this theatre and have already run into a lot of college friends who work here too! So, I already feel more connected to Signature than I would’ve expected.
2. What is a Scenic Charge Artist?
I take what the carpenters have built and make it look like the Scenic Designer’s drawings by building up physical textures and painting over them to create faux finishes like a rich wood, crumbling plaster, or marble, for example. As the Charge artist, I not only paint and sculpt but I also plan out how and when these treatments happen and bring in other scenic artists to help me.
3. Do you have any advice for aspiring theater technicians?
Follow your passion and do what makes you happy but listen to what the curmudgeons you meet along the way say. There are things to be learned from them, but don’t let them get you down.
4. When you were in high school, you served on the props crew in our Signature in the Schools program. What do you remember most from your time in the program?
I did! I was actually in Signature in the Schools for 2 years (probably for costumes the other time? That seems familiar) But it was so much fun. I remember making protest signs and drawing mushroom clouds in the artsy character’s sketchbook. I also chose to spend more time than necessary sitting in on rehearsals because I love watching stories morph as they’re built. But some memories that stand out were Jose Rodriguez pulling off a summer dress better than anyone else in the cast and everyone being very excited and a little jealous about it. Lintle Motsoasele gave me a pink feather earring, that I still have. And I also remember a movement exercise about walking and leading with different parts of our bodies and we all did our best to lead with our butts.
5. What are you most looking forward to in the next season?
It’s gotta be Sweeney Todd!
6. Bonus question: What is your favorite Shirlington business?