In the Classroom with Jessica Zivny

Students in the Production Managerial Arts program are working with Manhattan Theatre Club’s Prop Supervisor, Jessica Zivny. Jessica has worked on a tremendous number of Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, including the current productions of Brooklyn Laundry and Mary Jane. She designed an exciting project for LIHSA students for which they created a simple wooden stool and are bringing it into different phases based on various prompts from a “director.”

“I’ve been working on building a stool that is a clam shell based on Greek mythology and the birth of Aphrodite,” says student Evelyn Engels. “It’s a very big chair and it has been a real challenge. Jessica explains it really well, and it’s helpful to have her at LIHSA working on it with me. She thinks outside the box.”

Engels says she appreciates hearing Jessica’s ideas with other students too. Other concepts include an alien throne (that “turned into a wearable dress!”) and a car chair. “It’s exciting to have someone who literally builds props for Broadway shows come to our school,” adds Engels. “Jessica is very patient and thoughtful. It’s a great collaborative project that shows how props are developed for big shows. One of the things that is great about coming to LIHSA is that you get actual experience with people who do theatre for a living. It helps you make sure you want to go into the field.”