Peter Kallok

Associate Professor of Theatre Design
Hampshire College Professor Peter Kallock
Contact Peter

Mail Code HA
Peter Kallok
Emily Dickinson Hall 26
413.559.6839

Peter Kallok, associate professor of theatre design, received his B.A. from U.C.L.A. and his M.F.A. from the University of Washington.

He served as the technical director of the Summer Repertory Theater, Santa Rosa, CA for three years before joining StageWest in Springfield, MA, where he was technical director, scenic designer and artistic associate. With more than fifty designs to his credit Peter's work includes scenery for Equus, Riches, Closer, Venus, and BFE as well as lights for The Ride Across Lake Constance, Riches, Unplugging and Bind Their Wounds at Hampshire College. Other professional and summer stock design credits include the Miniature Theatre of Chester, Summer Theatre Mount Holyoke, Worcester Foothills Theater, New London Barn Playhouse and Summer Theater at Meredith Village. Peter has served as designer and fabrication consultant respectively for WALA Heimettel, International, and AGH Design. He designed and fabricated scenic elements for Popa Depot for HERE'S American Living Room Series.

Peter is actively involved in Hampshire's DART (Design Art and Technology) Program. He is focused on design-driven performance. Peter has worked with students developing and presenting performance pieces reflecting on trauma, a photograph, control, and a piece of thread. Peter's current project is based on memories of working in a DDT plant and Rachel Carson. In addition to scenography, Peter teaches courses in light art and in exploring performance spaces.

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Recent and Upcoming Courses

  • In this hands-on course, students are introduced to the processes of theatrical/performance production. We will examine and take part in the collaborative nature of performance arts by executing projects from the Fall semester's Division III Theatre Seminar under the real constraints of time, materials, budgets, and acquired skills. Working under the leadership of Division III students, the class will design and realize the visual, physical, spatial, and aural components of the productions. In addition to designing and building the elements of the productions, they will also have the opportunity to participate in the running crews during the performances. Each student will become a part of the entire production experience. Students will be expected to commit to evening hours during the technical rehearsal and performance dates. Keywords: theater, costumes, lighting, design, scenery, management

  • There are processes designers in the theatre must undertake to realize the physical world of a play. Within the performing arts, no single aspect of design exists in isolation and no designer should fly solo. Moving through a series of individual and group exercises, students will begin to develop their own process toward expressing the passion of a theatre work through their designs. Throughout the semester, students will develop a design vocabulary that allows for collaboration and interplay, while producing unified and coherent design work. This semester particular emphasis will be placed on scenic and costume design. Students will be introduced to the tools of design communication: drafting, models, rendering, etc. as they learn to discuss and to respond to performance works. Keywords: design, theatre, scenery, costumes, performance

  • What draws us to the light? What is the depth of our connection? We use light as a mode of artistic expression: to illuminate, to underscore, to surprise or intimidate. How does a lighting designer prepare and execute the lighting for a theatrical performance? During at least two-thirds of the semester, we will study the fundamentals of lighting design for the theatre. Then we will explore the use and the design of lighting in other disciplines such as dance, music, sculpture, and installation art. Through the study of how light defines and reinforces line, movement, texture, scale, and color in many disciplines, we gather skills and techniques that will inform our own personal use of lighting design in theatrical settings and beyond. In the studio, students will experiment with light and color manipulation using theatre lighting equipment. Studio classwork will include both group and individual projects during the semester. (keywords: lighting, theatre, design, performance, theater)

  • Working collaboratively and individually, students will undertake a series of theatre design exercises as they work toward shaping design driven performances that are inspired by design ideas. Traditionally, theatre directors, playwrights, or actors take the lead in creating performed projects. What happens when theatre designers initiate theatrical work? How can design speak to an audience? How can design inspire and develop narrative, tension, and conflict? Through "hands-on" investigations, we will delve into the mechanics of sound, lighting, costumes, scenery, projections, and props. We will examine methods of using these theatre design disciplines to tell stories and sustain audience engagement. We will also explore how design ideas can spark the development of devised work involving performers. Throughout the semester, we will survey the work of selected artists while analyzing how they mix traditional theatre design forms with new media and technology. In collaboration with classmates, students will develop and "perform" individual pieces inspired by their own design visions. (production, drama, space, studio)

  • When designing costumes, projections, sound, lighting, props, or scenery, do theatre designers read and hear musicals any differently than a director or an actor? To what does a designer respond? Theme, character, dialogue, stage directions, place, time, rhythm, flow, music, and arcs all play into a designer's process of discovering the visual and aural possibilities of musicals on stage. How does a designer sift through the body of a script to discover clues of the physical nature of the play? As students are introduced to different design areas (scenery, props, lighting, costumes, projections, or sound) they will read, listen to, and discuss a variety of musicals representing different periods and genres. Students will research aesthetic styles and present initial design ideas for each musical. Students will expand their design vocabulary and practice design presentations. (keywords: theatre arts, design, musicals, plays, scenography)

  • Light Art encourages us to slow down, observe, absorb, perceive, and feel. Light art is immersive; it alters our mental and emotional state. Light art truly invites us into it, not in the figurative manner that all art can, but literally. You pass through it, and it devours you. Whether it is calming, agitating, or whimsical, light can provoke thought or initiate a chuckle. Within a studio format, the class will manipulate light and explore light as sculpture and environment. We will tell stories and create acts of guerilla lighting. Using theatre lighting instruments and a vast array of other light emitting sources, students will create individual lightworks that express narratives, or simply reveal. We will study color, color mixing, reflection, and refraction. Students will develop skills and techniques that will inform students' personal use of light as an expressive medium. We will review the history of light art as well as the works of several light artists. (keywords: art, light, design, sculpture, installation)