After being given free run of the black box theater at UMass, David built the foundation for his Broadway career. Now, the Tony-nominated set designer of Hamilton is setting his sights even higher.
When I went to UMass Amherst, the first class I took was a class called Beginning Techniques in Design. Because I was someone who was focusing specifically on being a set designer, I was given basically free run of a theater, the small black box theater. And they handed me the keys to the theater and basically said, don't break anything and don't get hurt. And I just don't think I would have that experience anywhere else. I learned really how to build a show and paint a show and prop a show and create a show. So that when I moved to New York, I had all the applicable skills to really make it in the industry. And my primary collaborator, she was the director, and we decided to join forces to create Edge Theatre Company. We produced six shows. And the shows were not just successful, but they were kind of lightning rods for all the people in the industry that we wanted to come see our work. Again, it was an amazing thing. The opportunity of designing Hamilton came about because the creative team are all people who I have collaborated with before. And I interviewed for the job. I said, I'm Madison to your Jefferson. I'm not going to throw away my shot. You really have to give me this opportunity. And Lin dropped a 25,000-word document on my desk and said, I don't know what it looks like, I don't know how it moves, good luck. Designing shows and creating environments for anything is like pulling a piano out of a swamp. It's not easy no matter what it is. The thing that I'm trying to achieve in creating the environment for Hamilton is the story is really about the people who build the scaffolding from which the foundation of the country was built. And so we built a brick wall that's in the middle. And then in the process of being built-- and all of this wooden framework where you can reach and add bricks to. When I was at UMass in the theater department, I was so lucky to have found or be found by these incredible grad students and professors who actually cared and actually were able to help me find professional experiences that I never would have been able to find by myself. My name is David Korins. I am a production designer and founder of David Korins Design. I stand for making the world more beautiful one experience at a time. And I stand for UMass.