The Grand Designs of Ia Ensterä and Jason Amato

posted Jul. 17, 2015. #4 of 21 photos.

Three, or The Sound of the Great Existential Nothingness, Breakig String Theater (2013). From the Chronicle's Best of Austin 2012 issue: “Ia Ensterä: Best Valkyrie of the Set – After you see the name credited with the set design in so many programs in so few months – Middletown, Spacestation1985, The Twelfth Labor, Rose Rage, Rapunzel's Bad Hair Day, The Materiality of Impermanence, The Aliens, The Schooling of Bento Bonchev, Arcadia all in 2012, along with another half-dozen shows – you gotta figure this Ia Ensterä must be some Scandinavian scene-building consortium, an IKEA for stage sets that's cornered the local market. Truly, how could one person design and construct that much scenic material in a year? Then you see her, this tall, sinewy Finn with the frost-colored hair and intense eyes, wielding a hammer like Thor, and you realize she can do all that by herself and more; this is a warrior woman right out of Valhalla. With an audacious imagination to match her fierce drive and construction skills, Ensterä has crafted several of the boldest and most memorable stage settings of the past few seasons, and in a short time has become a major force in the Austin performing arts scene."

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