The Guthrie Theater Lobby Exhibition
Historical Production Photos, 1989-2005
de Michal Daniel
In the late 1980s, technology of low light photography progressed past the need for set up stills of theatre productions, instead allowing photographers to begin documenting shows during live runs. I was among the first to blaze this new trail, when the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis Minnesota commissioned me to create publicity and archive images, without resorting to set up photo calls.
A quarter of a century later, I've had the privilege and pleasure of applying this candid camera technique in documenting hundreds of productions for dozens of live entertainment clients, from Broadway and Public Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Houston's Alley to Tampa's Starz Center and Westport Country Playhouse.
The results of my documentation have been internationally published in magazines and newspapers such as Time, Newsweek and New York Times. Some of the images have been on the covers of American Theatre magazine, and many have been published inside. Twice, American Theatre featured me in articles about top US theatre photographers.
In 2006, when the Guthrie moved into its new home designed by renowned French architect Jean Nouvel, my photos became the fabric of the theatre: Jean Nouvel utilized them on the facade, as part of the wallpaper throughout the building, and in backlit displays. Literally hundreds of my images — representing the stunning history of the Guthrie — line the walls.
The images in this book — selected by Director of Communications Melodie Bahan — highlight productions from 1989 to 2005, and are permanently exhibited in backlit cases which line the Guthrie's lobby walls. I have no higher honor than being a part of the Guthrie's amazing legacy.
Born in Prague, then Czechoslovakia. Left for the US in 1969. Served in the USAF and became photographer after seeing my first 4×5 neg come up in the developer, under a green safelight: military boot stepping on a flower. Corny, I know, but hey, I was instantly in love, forever. Ran my own custom b&w lab in Minneapolis for two decades, taught fine b&w printing, was the first and then exclusive US importer of FOMA film and paper products from the Czech Republic. Always made street photos for myself, and live entertainment images for a living, now back home in Prague. More in this TV segment about me: http://www.mnoriginal.org/art/?p=3157
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