Tag Archives: star wars

Longtime CAPA & Dance Kids Production Designer Working on Highly Anticipated Star Wars-Themed Park at Disneyland in California

It’s one of the most ambitious and eagerly awaited theme park attractions Disney has ever attempted and longtime Dance Kids and Carmel Academy of the Performing Arts production designer Nicole Bryant Stephens has been intimately involved in its completion.

Carmel, CA, June 06, 2019 — It’s one of the most ambitious and eagerly awaited theme park attractions Disney has ever attempted and longtime Dance Kids and Carmel Academy of the Performing Arts production designer Nicole Bryant Stephens has been intimately involved in its completion.

Bryant Stephens, an independent design contractor, has been hired as a field art director for Mural Makers since November 2018, working on the massive 14-acre Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge theme park being built at Disneyland Park in California (another one is being built at Disney World in Florida). According to Disney, the attraction will be the largest single-themed land expansion ever, and will have restaurants — including the park’s first-ever cantina — rides and other experiences to offer customers a fully-immersive experience.

“It’s phenomenal to be involved in a project of this magnitude,” says Bryant-Stephens, who has worked with Dance Kids and CAPA for over 25 years. “Just walking around and seeing it come alive is incredible.”

This is not the first time she’s worked with Disney. She has worked on teams that designed and built Disneyland Hong Kong, Disney’s California Adventure, Tarzan Tree House, and Disneyland. And she’s now working with her mentors from those projects, including Walt Disney Imagineers Ron Monk, Dino Fauci and 81-year-old Stefan Borowitz, who came out of retirement to work on Galaxy’s Edge.

Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland Park in Anaheim is scheduled to open on May 31, while Disney World in Florida will open at the end of summer on Aug. 29. The goal for Disney is that fans will believe they have been transported into the world of Star Wars — at the Black Spire Outpost on the planet Batuu.

“The 14-acre, themed destination at Disneyland Park in Anaheim will be unlike any attraction experienced before,” said the Hollywood Reporter, which was given a sneak preview last month. “With two state-of-the-art rides (Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run), a plethora of shops and restaurants (all in the theme of Star Wars so as not to feel like they are part of a Disney stop), jaw-dropping spectacles and full-scale droids milling about, the land delivers on the ambitious project (Disney chairman and CEO Bob ) Iger foretold when he announced the park at the D23 Expo in August 2015.”

Needless to say, the Star Wars park is the biggest project Bryant Stephens has ever worked on.

Born in New York, Bryant Stephens moved to Carmel in 1977. She was educated at Frohman Academy for Musical Theatre Education in Carmel and received her bachelor’s degree in fine art in Scenic Design from Theatre School formerly the Goodman School of Drama at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. In addition to Dance Kids and CAPA, she has designed sets for Santa Catalina School, York School, the Wharf Theatre, the Forest Theatre Guild and up in Aptos for Naatak the largest Indian Theatre group in the country. But her most extensive experience locally has been with Dance Kids and CAPA, including the annual “Nutcracker” and the Spanish-language version, “Cascanueces: A Folklorico Nutcracker.”

“My family has been extensively involved with CAPA and four generations of my family has been involved with Dance Kids’ ‘Nutcracker,’ even my grandmother, brother Joe and parents,” she says. “There couldn’t be a better creative outlet for my family than ‘Nutcracker’ and CAPA.”

Bryant Stephens has been involved in theater and dance since age 4, and by 12 began being paid for her work in technical theater. Her three children, two boys and a girl ages 7, 13 and 14, are all involved with ‘Nutcracker’, and her husband is the technical director he also helps out at home while she’s working on the Disney project in Anaheim. She has her own set and production design firm, Bottega Designs for over 27 years.

Working on a Star Wars project was one thing, but she was just as excited to be working again for Disney.

“I am a fan of Star Wars, but I’m an extreme fan of Disney,” she says, especially since being herself a Walt Disney Imagineer, for the first time in 2005 working on Hong Kong Disneyland.

Construction on the Star Wars park began in December 2017, Walt Disney Imagineering designed the project in collaboration with the Lucasfilm Story Group, with Imagineer Scott Trowbridge supervising the project, Asa Kalama and Chris Beatty serving as executive creative directors, and Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo and designer Doug Chiang of Industrial Light & Magic involved as consultants.

The team decided to create a new planet of Baatu instead of using an existing planet from the Star Wars films such as Tatooine or Hoth in order to give guests a new experience.

“We wanted to build new Star Wars stories, new Star Wars destinations, but this time you could be in that story that required us to go to a new place,” said Trowbridge to the Orlando Sentinel. “This used to be a vibrant trading port back in the old sub-lightspeed days, but now with advent of hyperspace, its prominence has kind of fallen and faded a little bit which has made it a great spot for those who didn’t want to be on that kind of mainstream path. The smugglers, the bounty hunters, the rogue adventurers looking to crew up, the people who don’t want to be found — basically all the interesting people.”

“The outpost looks lived-in and the intentional imperfections make the area feel like it’s been around for hundreds of years,” said the Hollywood Reporter. “There will be three entrances into Galaxy’s Edge, which is located north of Frontierland, where Big Thunder Ranch used to be, that also required the reconfiguration of the Disneyland Railroad and Rivers of America. Scents and music will be piped into the land, including original customized themes created by Star Wars composer John Williams.”

Bryant Stephens expects to work on the Star Wars project through April then it’s back to the Peninsula to work on local projects until Disney needs her again.

About Nicole Anne Bryant Stephens

Bryant Stephens has been a professional set designer and artist since high school. She received her BFA in Scenic Design from The Theater School formerly the Goodman School of Drama, DePaul University, Chicago, Ilinois. She has designed and worked on hundreds of productions including sets for the outdoor Forest Theater in Carmel, a variety of television specials, live musical events, theme parks and casinos.

After college, Nicole moved to Las Vegas and began work for PRG (Production Resource Group) where she expanded her skills working in casinos designing stages for a variety of shows. She was lead scenic artist for Penn and Teller’s “Sin City Spectacular” for their three-year run. After her tenure at PRG, Nicole struck out on her own, quickly building a stellar international reputation. During this time she also partnered with her family to launch Bottega Designs, where she applied her talents as a production designer and scenic artist to her father and brother’s architectural work.

Nicole has a talent and passion for teaching others new skills and techniques, directing live performances, and managing local crews as a field art director on various large casino and theme park projects.

Bottega Designs



Marci Bracco Cain

Chatterbox PR

Salinas, CA 93901

(831) 747-7455


LondonTown.com: Best events in London in May 2015

Star Wars comes to Madame Tussauds

LONDON, April 27, 2015 — /REAL TIME PRESS RELEASE/ — Stormtroopers descend on the capital on 16th May 2015 when Star Wars – also the theme for Secret Cinema’s summer extravaganza in London – opens at Madame Tussauds, one of the best London events to look forward to in May 2015.

May 2015 begins with a Bank Holiday weekend from Friday 1st until Monday 4th May and the extra day off makes this a great time to visit London with the London Sketchfest, Breakin’ Convention, the free Canalway Cavalcade in Little Venice, and Grand Designs Live showing the great variety of events on offer in the city.

The London Coffee Festival, Pick Me Up graphic design festival continue throughout the May Bank Holiday weekend when the Wellcome Collection offers illumination in free festival ‘On Light’, the Southbank is transformed into the Streets of Spain, Vaisakhi Festival offers free entertainment in Trafalgar Square, and Land of Kings brings music, theatre and movies to Dalston on Sunday 3rd May.

Take inspiration from Richard Curtis’ movie and visit the Notting Hill May Fair on Saturday 9th May, part of the month-long Notting Hill MayFest. On Sunday 10th May the Dulwich Festival Fair, just one of the many Dulwich Festival events, comes to Goose Green, and the Covent Garden May Fayre & Puppet Festival celebrates its 40th anniversary. Later in the month Alchemy brings ten days of Indian culture to the Southbank Centre, and there’s more festival fun to feast on when the Foodies Festival comes to Syon Park.

London theatre highlights for new productions beginning in May include Simon Russell Beale starring in Steve Waters’ new play ‘Temple’ at the Donmar Warehouse, and Oscar nominated actor Bradley Cooper who reprises his acclaimed Broadway role as Joseph Merrick in ‘The Elephant Man’.

James Phillips’s new play ‘McQueen’ starring award-winning actor Stephen Wight, named Outstanding Newcomer at the Evening Standard Awards, premieres at St James’s Theatre on Tuesday 12th May. Gurinder Chadha brings her hit film Bend It Like Beckham to the London stage on 15th May 2015 when this season’s Regents Park Open Air Theatre programme launches with Peter Pan.

Major photography fair Photo London brings commissioned exhibitions and live events to Somerset House, Art15 attracts collectors looking for something new and different to Olympia, Clerkenwell Design Week includes Exmouth Market and its surrounds for the first time, and the new city-wide London Craft Week showcases work by top designer-makers in a specially created pop-up pavilion.

May’s live music highlights include Essex X Factor success story Olly Murs and throwback bands S Club 7 and Fleetwood Mac who welcome back former member Christine McVie after a sixteen-year hiatus. Texas, Belle and Sebastian, Maroon 5, and The Maccabees offer more memorable musical moments while Nick Cave and Eric Clapton both appear at the Royal Albert Hall. For a free classical music concert, catch the London Symphony Orchestra performing an open air concert in Trafalgar Square on Sunday 17th May.

London’s pop-up cinemas are back! The Rooftop Film Club returns to the Bussey Building, Hot Tub Cinema comes to a disused railway station in Shoreditch, and Pop Up Screens invites us to look at the science behind films like Alien at Chelsea Old Town Hall. From science to nature, the Chelsea Flower Show showcases stunning floral displays, and there are four days of fashion as Graduate Fashion Week sashays into the Old Truman Brewery from 30th May 2015.

Hundreds of museums, galleries and historic spaces across the UK and London open their doors late for Museums at Night. The Museum of Childhood marks the 150th anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with The Alice Look.

In dance, Wayne McGregor presents his first full length ballet for The Royal Ballet Woolf Works, and the full ranks of Tredegar Town Band accompany Rambert’s dancers in the world premiere of Dark Arteries at Sadler’s Wells.

Meet crocodile Joe and Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick when the London Pet Show comes to London’s ExCeL centre on 9th & 10th May.

See a star studded comedy cast at Channel 4’s Comedy Gala including Michael McIntyre, Alan Carr, Jack Dee, Jason Byrne and Jonathan Ross, and book in for the splendid London Wonderground Spiegeltent which launches on 7th May with headline show Scotch & Soda, bringing Coney Island-style attractions and cabaret performed in the shadow of the Southbank Centre.

For more information on these and other great London events in May 2015, go to LondonTown.com where a wide choice of London hotels to suit all budgets is given as well as information on restaurants, attractions and all the latest London happenings.



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International Sportsmen’s Exposition Announces 2011 Phoenix Show Dates – February 24-27

The 11th annual International Sportsmen’s Exposition (ISE)-the Southwest’s largest outdoor adventure travel, fishing, hunting and learn-from-the-experts show-sets up camp in Arizona February 24-27, 2011 at the University of Phoenix Stadium, in Glendale.

Phoenix/Glendale, AZ, February 01, 2011 — The 11th annual International Sportsmen’s Exposition (ISE)-the Southwest’s largest outdoor adventure travel, fishing, hunting and learn-from-the-experts show-sets up camp in Arizona February 24-27, 2011 at the University of Phoenix Stadium, in Glendale.

More than 20,000 fishing, hunting, offroading and adventure-travel enthusiasts are expected to attend. Nearly 300 exhibiting companies will include local outdoor retailers and product manufacturers, guides and outfitters, and resorts and lodges from Arizona, across the West, Mexico, Alaska, Canada and even South Africa.

What’s New:
* Hollywood Gun Display includes Eastwood’s “Dirty Harry” .44 Magnum; Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber from the original “Star Wars” trilogy; Rooster Cogburn’s (John Wayne) rifle from “True Grit”; plus guns from “Die Hard”, and Nicholson and Dicaprio (“The Departed”)
* The Orvis Fly Fishing 101 program will offer semi-private casting and fly-tying lessons, for free, with every student receiving a $25-off coupon
* Operation Outdoors USA boat. Already signed by nearly 2,000 veterans, the brand-new, fully rigged Phoenix boat will be donated to the Texas-based Lone Survivor Foundation by Page, AZ residents Jarrett and Rebecca Edwards, a young couple who own and produce the Jarrett Edwards Outdoor television show on The Sportsman Channel. All show-going veterans are welcome to sign the boat
* Close-by Phoenix hiking highlights seminar by Arizona Highways editor-in-chief Robert Stieve, who’s new book, Arizona’s Hiking Guide, has just been published
* Enlarged Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation rifle and gear raffle, with proceeds to help conservation efforts in Alaska
* All-new trophy displays from the RMEF and Eastmans’ Hunting Journals
* “Refuse to Be a Victim” self-protection clinics

Show Favorites:
* Giant, activity-packed Youth Fair; hosted by Arizona Game & Fish Department
* DockDogs pond and dog-jumping contest (Sunday finals)
* Giant archery range hosts a contest on Saturday; computer-controlled, three-dimensional targets pop up and move across the range’s foggy outdoor setting
* 40-ft.-long, fish-filled aquarium tank, site for demos by top bass pros and guides
* Urban- and wilderness-survival clinics by Doug Huffman
* Adventure Theater, with hourly presentations on a wide variety of hunting, camping and travel-related topics
* Huge, water-filled casting pond, with seminars and hands-on lessons (gear and guides provided)
* Game-calling competition for youth and adults
* Ms. Geico racing-boat display

New show days and hours are: Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 10 noon-6:00 p.m.; and Sunday 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Show admission is $15 for adults. Youth 15 and under and veterans with Military ID are admitted free of charge. Parking is free. Tickets can be purchased online ( http://www.sportsexpos.com ) or at the door. For more information, call 1-800-545-6100 or visit http://www.sportsexpos.com or http://www.facebook.com/sportsexpos.

About The International Sportsmen’s Exposition (ISE):
For more than three decades the International Sportsmen’s Exposition (ISE) has produced the West’s largest, most diverse and exciting events for fishing, hunting and outdoor enthusiasts. Each ISE strongly promotes youth and family in the outdoors. ISE has pioneered a wide variety of guided, all-gear-provided activities for newcomers and experts of any age.

International Sportsmen’s Expositions Contact:
John Kirk

Press & Media Contact:
Scott Kelly
Black Dog Promotions
Tempe, AZ 85284 USA